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Set Matte with anything but text layers

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Christopher KirkmanSet Matte with anything but text layers
by on Jun 9, 2016 at 7:45:11 pm

I've got a series of layers (imported PNGs) that I want to use a single mask. There are over a dozen layers, so I'd really rather not copy, past and apply the same track matte over and over. Animating and precomping each layer is equally, if not more so frustrating and time consuming.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I SHOULD be able to use Set Matte on these layers, using one single mask layer, and animate things as I see fit while it adheres to the mask. It baffles me that if I'm using any sort of footage OTHER THAN a shape or text layer, it's as if a copy of the mask layer is parented to the layer the effect is applied to, so the mask moves with it. I've attached a sample so you can see what I mean. The text layer appears to be moving behind the black areas of the mask, but the png footage only ever shows a small chunk taken out of the foot which, by the way, is no where near where that part of the mask is on the stage.

What gives?!?!

I want to clarify that attached is just a sample. I've got a lot more layers and "just duplicate track mattes" or "precomp and animate separately" are answers I'm not looking for.


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Christopher KirkmanRe: Set Matte with anything but text layers
by on Jun 9, 2016 at 8:22:12 pm

file attached:

10182_setmatte.zip


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Walter SoykaRe: Set Matte with anything but text layers
by on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:00:34 am

[Christopher Kirkman] "Correct me if I'm wrong, but I SHOULD be able to use Set Matte on these layers, using one single mask layer, and animate things as I see fit while it adheres to the mask. It baffles me that if I'm using any sort of footage OTHER THAN a shape or text layer, it's as if a copy of the mask layer is parented to the layer the effect is applied to, so the mask moves with it."

Text and Shape layers are always continuously rasterized by the Ae renderer. No matter what you do to a text or shape layer, its initial size is always the comp size, not the layer size, because continuous rasterization changes the render order and processes transforms before effects. It's almost as if these kinds of layers are internally "pre-comped" by the renderer. This is why they behave differently with an effect like Set Matte.

Which brings me to a workaround. It's not just Text and Shape layers that behave like this -- vector layers do, too. If you import your PNGs into Illustrator and save them as AI files, you'll be able to throw that "Continuous rasterization" switch on in the Ae timeline and get the results you're looking for with Set Matte.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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