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Animating two masks, on separate layers, in tandem

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Narum Hyatt
Animating two masks, on separate layers, in tandem
on Sep 25, 2012 at 10:44:28 pm

I'm trying to achieve a simple effect that is proving to be beyond my limited range of abilities. I have a solid with some masks on it (text converted to outlines in illustrator) and I am dragging a rectangular mask across the 'text masks' to reveal them (a sort of very quick 'typing' effect). The part that's fouling me up is that I want to create a highlighted bright spot with a little blur at the front (where the text is being 'drawn' so to speak; somewhat as if they were being etched by a laser if that helps), and I'd like to keep it's position perfectly synced up with the edge of the rectangular revealing mask. The method I'm using is to place an adjustment layer (containing my blur and brightness/contrast effects) above the masked solid, and animating a small mask on it (the adjustment layer) that follows the front edge of the rectangular reveal mask on the original solid. The problem is that the relationship between the two masks is too easily varied. I'd really like to simply animate the reveal mask, and then tell the 'highlight' mask to move with it somehow, effectively linking them together. I realize of course, I could be going about this all wrong. Any advice or links to relevant material would be great. Thanks!

Bonus: The other problem is that most of what I'm doing is rather time consuming and I need to be able to duplicate this effect multiple times down the page with different text for a computer readout style effect. Any tips on how to expedite this process would be great.


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John Cuevas
Re: Animating two masks, on separate layers, in tandem
on Sep 26, 2012 at 12:02:00 pm

I did something very similar using multiple masks and had the same problem. One solution is that you could create two shape layers(or solids) the size of your mask line up the edges, then parent one to the other. Animate one to drive the text reveal and the blur/glow will follow. Place them over the text and adjustment layer in the layer stack and change the adjustment/text's track matte to alpha.

Here's a quick project where I demonstrate the technique:

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.

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