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Any way to make a shape layer stroke mask the layer below?

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Matt Exton
Any way to make a shape layer stroke mask the layer below?
on Jul 29, 2020 at 10:03:28 am

Hi all,

I'm trying to make a 'transparent' stroke on a shape layer so that it acts as a mask for the layer below in the stacking order.

For example:

Here is an image of my character:



The bicep, forearm and hand are on separate layers in order to animate the character typing. However, I want to add an invisible stroke to the bicep so that the arm appears divided rather than a full silhouette like so: (this was done as a blue stroke in order to show the example)



The reason I want to make the stroke appear as an alpha, is because the character is precomposed and is acting as a matte for a texture layer in another comp like so:



Because the precomped character is a matte layer, the stroke doesn't separate the limbs as required. So essentially I need the stroke to be there to hide the layer below, but not actually be visible. (if that makes sense.)

I'm trying to avoid multiple track mattes for each limb if possible.

I don't know if it can be done by using the merge paths function but had no luck so far. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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Brice Munn
Re: Any way to make a shape layer stroke mask the layer below?
on Jul 30, 2020 at 2:11:57 pm

Hey,

Do I understand correctly that you have pre-comped your whole character?

In which case my approach would be to set the character shapes fill as white, the strokes as black, and use a Luma track matte instead of an Alpha matte. Would that help?

A luma track respects alpha. The logic is that transparency is matted black, the same as your black strokes. Then the luma track matte maps all blacks to transparent.

Any stroke you don't want to be transparent make white in the precomp.

Forgive my very rough recreation of your your character, but these screenshots should illustrate what I mean.





Hope this helps!


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Matt Exton
Re: Any way to make a shape layer stroke mask the layer below?
on Jul 30, 2020 at 2:34:48 pm

Hi Brian.

Yep. This is exactly what I was trying to do but couldn't for the life of me figure it out. My workaround yesterday was to apply a bright green stroke and then use keylight to remove it. That did the trick but your method was the actual one I was trying to achieve. Thanks a lot for taking the time to respond and mock up the screen shots. Much appreciated.

Matt


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