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Animating multiple masks over a single layer

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Steve HarrisAnimating multiple masks over a single layer
by on Jan 23, 2010 at 2:35:18 pm

Hi guys,

This has been bugging me for a while now!

I want to animate multiple masks (independently) over a single layer.

Here's a diagram:

Hosted by imgur.com

Referring to my diagram, I have 5 different shaped masks

each has a different motion path (represented by the white dotted line)

they all cut through one layer (the blue rectangle)



The only thing I can think of is to put my five shapes into one precomosition

then to place that precomposition directly above my blue rectangle layer

then to set the TrkMat for the blue rectangle layer to: Alpha Inverted Matte "five shapes Precomposition"

But I've had no luck with that approach!

Any Idea how to go about this?

-Cheers


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Todd KoprivaRe: Animating multiple masks over a single layer
by on Jan 23, 2010 at 7:25:33 pm

You can animate masks by animating the Mask Path property for each. If you're animating the position of a mask, just be sure to select the entire mask path. The easiest way to move (transform) an entire mask path is to use the free-transform mode.

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Dave LaRondeRe: Animating multiple masks over a single layer
by on Jan 23, 2010 at 11:57:59 pm

To summarize:
  • You have five different shapes
  • Each shape travels along a diferent motion path
  • The goal: to cut holes in a solid in the form of each shape, as the shapes move along their paths.

I guess that sums it up correctly. Frankly, I don't see why your project isn't working for you.

The only thing I can think is that you have a background-colored solid in the precomp containing the animated shapes. No area of transparency, so no Inverted Alpha Matte.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Steve LaytonRe: Animating multiple masks over a single layer
by on Jan 24, 2010 at 7:05:13 am

I'm sorry that I seem to have not been able to express myself correctly... but I would like the layer, which the mask reveals to be linked in such a way that mask does not simply reveal the layer- but the layer is warped based on the ways in which the mask path is animated.

So if the mask is a square- and it's two top corners reveal the letter "Z" in each of its corners and it's two bottom corners reveal the letter "A"... as the mask moves up- the top corners will eventually contain the letter "A" and the bottom corners will be empty. I don't want this- I want the layer to move with the mask.

I have begun to think that this is simply not possible- with masks- and that I must convert the mask into an alpha matte- and somehow manually puppet the layer which it reveals- so that it appears to be linked to the alpha matte.

Any suggestions would be helpful- as I am willing to go any route on this one.


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Joey ForemanRe: Animating multiple masks over a single layer
by on Jan 24, 2010 at 5:26:16 pm

You're right that masks don't have any such functionality built-in.
You might be able to accomplish something like this with expressions.
And I have a feeling that if this is possible, it might involve the Reshape effect, which is a warping tool that utilizes masks. You might be able, via expressions, to link a mask in one comp to the mask used in the reshape effect in another comp.
You might want to pose this question in the Expressions forum.



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Joey ForemanRe: Animating multiple masks over a single layer
by on Jan 24, 2010 at 8:07:15 pm

Oops, I responded to the wrong mask inquiry topic.



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Steve HarrisRe: Animating multiple masks over a single layer
by on Jan 24, 2010 at 5:50:05 pm

I figured it out in the end:

I made a new solid. Drew out a shape on that solid then animated the position of the solid. Then pre-composed all those layers and used that as my track matte.


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