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After Effect Mask Query

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Robert HoltbyAfter Effect Mask Query
by on May 16, 2016 at 12:16:57 pm

Hello, I was wondering if anyone would be able to help me with this mask-based question that has had me puzzled for some time, I'll try to explain it in the fullest terms possible, using a basic example.

Essentially I'm looking for a way to 'cut' a mask leaving me with two (or more) solid additive masks.

For example, I have a square masked onto a solid(in reality it'd be a more complex shape), I want to bisect the square with another mask to create two masks, or two halves of the square in this example.

Here's my example and I will explain using this example and I'll explain it in terms of this project from here on.

I have two characters, B and O, a total of 5 masks, the B body and the two subtractive holes and the same with the O.

I need to have the characters (and there's a lot of unique characters to do I've done 36 so far and it's turning into quite a time sink and this seems like it should be possible) separated as per the bottom set, which so far, I've been tracing my original lettering making allowances for the chunks I need.

So in the bottom example, there are 4 masks on the B, all additive, or positive, and the O also contains 4 additive masks.

In a nutshell I'm looking to be able to slice and separate the masks along a desired spline.

I do have access to other software with spline or vector based tools, but ideally I'd like to keep it all within AE, but I'm open to using Illustrator or 3DS Max.

I hope I was able to explain that fully enough, the description probably got a bit convoluted the more I explained it, but any assistance would be appreciated

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Kalle KannistoRe: After Effect Mask Query
by on May 16, 2016 at 2:39:04 pm

Illustrator is the answer here. You can draw those additional lines along which you want to split the letters and use the pathfinder tool to split the letters along them. You can copy Illustrator outlines easily back and forth with AE.

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Robert HoltbyRe: After Effect Mask Query
by on May 16, 2016 at 2:44:18 pm

Thanks for your response, I had tried Illustrator briefly using the pathfinder operations, although I wasn't able to find the correct solution. However I've just had a second attempt and it seems the "Divide" operation is the correct one to use in this instance! So I must have glossed over than in my haste (possibly because it still leaves the excess of the separation, which it turns out is easily removable!)

Thanks for helping me find the solution!

(Also I noticed the link I posted appears to be broken, so I shall try to rectify that should anyone else be looking for a solution to this problem)

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Kalle KannistoRe: After Effect Mask Query
by on May 16, 2016 at 6:50:49 pm

If you make the "slicer" lines separate open paths with no fill you will have no cleanup to do.

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Robert HoltbyRe: After Effect Mask Query
by on May 16, 2016 at 8:05:32 pm

That's interesting, initially I used an open path, however once I used the Divide operation the open path closed itself, which wasn't ideal...

I've only tried it once however, perhaps I'm missing something (maybe it was the fill option, I can't recall whether or not it was set)

Anyhow, thanks again for your assistance!

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