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After Effects CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating a garbage mask


From:

After Effects CS6 Essential Training

with Ian Robinson

Video: Creating a garbage mask

Whether you create a garbage mask at the beginning of the process or after the process of keying is really up to you. I personally like to get everything cut out of the scene that I'm not dealing with so I know exactly what's left to use for my key. If you're unfamiliar with the term garbage mask, all it is the process of creating a mask to cut out any extemporaneous elements that you don't want in your scene. So if we look at our video clip here, let's select Layer 1 and turn the visibility off.
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  1. 1m 8s
    1. What is After Effects?
      1m 8s
  2. 2m 53s
    1. Welcome
      1m 40s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 13s
  3. 1h 8m
    1. The six foundations of AE
      5m 3s
    2. Introducing the interface and the workspace
      7m 51s
    3. Understanding compositions
      8m 48s
    4. Getting comfortable with layers
      7m 33s
    5. Getting started with animation and keyframes
      8m 30s
    6. Understanding effects
      3m 26s
    7. Moving in 3D space
      7m 41s
    8. Rendering your first animation
      8m 20s
    9. Specifying preferences and cache settings
      5m 44s
    10. Staying organized
      5m 15s
  4. 38m 6s
    1. Creating compositions
      7m 19s
    2. Importing footage and compositions
      7m 54s
    3. Preparing compositions for animation
      8m 7s
    4. Introducing renderers
      3m 15s
    5. Understanding precomposing
      7m 16s
    6. Relinking missing footage
      4m 15s
  5. 59m 58s
    1. Defining layers
      6m 23s
    2. Creating type
      5m 58s
    3. Creating layer solids and shapes with masks
      7m 55s
    4. Building shape layers
      6m 17s
    5. Understanding switches and blend modes
      8m 26s
    6. Crafting custom shapes and masks
      6m 18s
    7. Creating variable-width feathered masks
      5m 1s
    8. Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
      8m 20s
    9. Refining with the Roto Brush
      5m 20s
  6. 1h 8m
    1. Understanding keyframes
      6m 1s
    2. Adding and adjusting keyframes
      9m 54s
    3. Interpolating keyframes
      8m 5s
    4. Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
      7m 17s
    5. Understanding positional keyframes
      7m 0s
    6. Controlling animation with parenting and the pick whip
      9m 57s
    7. Understanding animation paths
      6m 27s
    8. Timing to audio
      4m 41s
    9. Trimming and sliding edits
      5m 31s
    10. Swapping images
      4m 1s
  7. 29m 7s
    1. Layering multiple effects
      9m 13s
    2. Generating graphic effects with adjustment layers
      7m 28s
    3. Building backgrounds with effects
      6m 50s
    4. Creating animated strokes
      5m 36s
  8. 40m 15s
    1. Introducing cameras
      10m 3s
    2. Working with 3D layers
      6m 37s
    3. Positioning layers
      6m 13s
    4. Adding lights and working with Material Options
      9m 21s
    5. Using 3D precompositions
      2m 5s
    6. Adjusting depth of field
      5m 56s
  9. 28m 31s
    1. Caching and prerendering
      6m 33s
    2. Understanding the alpha channels
      5m 18s
    3. Using the Render Queue
      4m 34s
    4. Rendering with Adobe Media Encoder
      7m 15s
    5. Archiving finished projects
      4m 51s
  10. 44m 27s
    1. Creating type animators
      12m 16s
    2. Animating type in 3D space
      6m 35s
    3. Adding and animating type on a path
      8m 45s
    4. Composing 3D type
      8m 41s
    5. Animating shape layers
      8m 10s
  11. 32m 45s
    1. Creating stylized video
      6m 47s
    2. Retiming video footage
      9m 31s
    3. Retouching with the Rubber Stamp tool
      10m 19s
    4. Smoothing shaky camera footage
      6m 8s
  12. 14m 19s
    1. Understanding keying
      3m 19s
    2. Creating a garbage mask
      4m 27s
    3. Getting started with Keylight
      6m 33s
  13. 15m 56s
    1. Importing Photoshop documents
      6m 11s
    2. Importing Illustrator files
      4m 24s
    3. Working With Premiere Pro projects
      5m 21s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Adjusting ray-tracing quality
      8m 19s
    2. Tracking footage
      8m 15s
    3. Extruding shapes
      8m 39s
    4. Bending layers
      8m 38s
    5. Adjusting ray-traced lighting and materials
      9m 22s
    6. Adding environment maps
      4m 58s
    7. Beginning compositing
      8m 52s
    8. Creating render passes
      10m 17s
    9. Building a final composite
      8m 14s
  15. 1m 8s
    1. What's next
      1m 8s

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After Effects CS6 Essential Training
8h 41m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Ian Robinson introduces Adobe After Effects CS6 and the world of animation, effects, and compositing. Chapter 1 introduces the six foundations of After Effects, which include concepts like layers, keyframes, rendering, and moving in 3D space. The rest of the course expands on these ideas, and shows how to build compositions with layers, perform rotoscoping, animate your composition with keyframes, add effects and transitions, and render and export the finished piece. Two real-world example projects demonstrate keying green screen footage and creating an advanced 3D composition with the expanded 3D toolset, an important addition to CS6.

Topics include:
  • Setting up the workspace, important preferences, and the cache
  • Importing footage and comps
  • Relinking missing footage
  • Creating type, shape layers, and masks
  • Rotoscoping with the Roto Brush
  • Adjusting keyframes in the Graph Editor
  • Timing animations to audio
  • Building backgrounds with effects
  • Rendering with the Render Queue and Adobe Media Encoder
  • Animating 3D type
  • Smoothing shaky footage and retouching footage
  • Keying green screen footage
  • Working with 3D: extruding shapes, adding ray-traced lighting, and more
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Author:
Ian Robinson

Creating a garbage mask

Whether you create a garbage mask at the beginning of the process or after the process of keying is really up to you. I personally like to get everything cut out of the scene that I'm not dealing with so I know exactly what's left to use for my key. If you're unfamiliar with the term garbage mask, all it is the process of creating a mask to cut out any extemporaneous elements that you don't want in your scene. So if we look at our video clip here, let's select Layer 1 and turn the visibility off.

You can see I have a graphic background that I want my talent over and I have two shades of green. This is basically the edge of the stage. Now if we scroll out, you can see there's a slight black line all the way around this as well. So we're going to create a mask that just goes around her making sure to cut this element out and this black line out. All right, so let's scroll back up here and I'm actually going to choose Fit up to 100% just so I can see all of the edges of my comp. Okay, now if you go up to the Tool panel, let's click and hold, we can just choose the Rectangle tool.

You could choose the Pen tool if you want to manually click around, but I like to start wide and then work my way in. So with the Rectangle tool, make sure you have Layer 1 selected, and let's click in the upper left-hand corner and drag down to the lower right. Now we don't want to go this far because we want to cut out that light green area, the edge of the stage, and there we go! We've created our garbage mask. Now some people would call this finished, but what I would do is scrub through the timeline with your current-time indicator and make sure that the talent doesn't move outside the edges of your mask.

There is nothing worse than having your talent move outside the edge and their shoulders cut off, or something like that. One of the things I like to do is actually bring my mask in a little bit so I have less to deal with in the process of keying. Even though this is a beautiful flat, evenly-lit key, it's kind of fun to just pinch in the edges a little bit. So let's select our mask on Layer 1 just by clicking on Mask 1 and go up to our Pen tool in the Tool panel. If you hover over one of the lines with the Pen tool, you will get the Plus symbol.

So just click on one of the edges here, I'm going to pinch this in right about neck height. So here let's click here, and we'll do the same thing on the right side, let's just click there. Okay, now I'm going to grab my Selection tool, and if you Shift+Click the four top points here just by holding down Shift and clicking, we'll have all four points selected. The reason I'm doing this, sometimes it's easier to just use transform controls to move your points. Obviously, we could click on the points and move them in side by side, but with the points selected, if you press Command+T or Ctrl+T on the PC, you can then click on one of the edges and start to drag in.

Now as I drag in, on the Mac, I'm going to hold Command; on the PC it would be Ctrl, and just sort of pinch the edges in a little bit. Now when it's set the way you like, you can press Return or Enter on your keyboard. I'm just going to slide these over to the right a little bit since the angles of her shoulders are set up this way. Now when I press Enter, I have my garbage mask, and again, it's really important to scrub through the scene and make sure she doesn't go off the edges of the mask. And now as I'm looking at this, I realize, yes, we have the edges in, but remember there is that black line all the way around the scene? If we move our mouse over the canvas and scroll out here, you can see it a little more clearly.

So let's click on the lower right corner of the mask and then Shift+Click on the lower left and we can just click and drag this up just to crop this one edge off. Now with our mask actually set, let's deselect the mask for a quick second and now we can select our talent and actually just move her and the mask slightly down off the scene. Now when we key this, we'll go ahead and position her properly within the scene, but I just want to start by moving her just a little bit off the edge of the canvas.

So in summary with garbage masks, you want to make sure that you don't crop in on your talent and have them get cut off in a funny place, but also you want to make sure to cut out any extemporaneous elements that you won't need in your scene.

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