Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Now in this video, we're going to mask out the inside of this screen. In the past, this used to make me a little nervous. But with the new Mask Feather tool, this is going to be relatively easy. So to get started, let's select our Panel layer and go up to the Pen tool. Instead of choosing the Pen tool, click and hold and I want you to look at the Pen tool and the Mask Feather tool. Notice the key command G will toggle between these two. If you're used to using this command to toggle through all of the different tools, you probably want to go under the Preferences and update it.
But if you're new to After Effects, I would encourage you to leave this setting the way it is because you'll see it's relatively helpful. With the Pen tool selected, let's click in the corners of our screen. But first, we should scroll up to 100% magnification, and make sure the resolution is Full. This way we can see exactly what we're getting. Now I'm going to press the Spacebar and with my Hand tool to kind of center this up. Let's click through the corners of the inside of the screen, and I know this edge is little hard to see, but that's okay, just get them rough in there for now.
You want to be on the inside of this dark edge and click up to originating point to set the mask. In order to see this properly, we need to invert the mask. So select Layer 1 in the timeline and press M, and we could either change this from Add to Subtract or just select, Inverted. Now before we get too far into how to do this specific shot, I just want to give you a quick overview of the Mask Feather tool. So press G on your keyboard to bring it up, and click on one of the edges.
I'm going to click on this right edge and just hold and drag out. There we go, you can see I'm creating a feathered edge and that's no different than what we used to be able to do. But check this out. If you click on the edge and drag back to the inside, you can really feather the daylights out of this thing. You can also click again and drag back out, and notice I have control as I'm clicking and dragging as to how quickly this variable edge is going to change as it comes around the corner.
Now in order to move these around with key commands, you can use your left and right arrows; if you hold down Shift, it'll move twice as fast. If you hold down Shift and click on the handles, you can select more than one handle as you move around. The up and down arrows will move you in and out away from the Mask Path. Just understand, when you're using the left and right arrows, whether you're using Shift or not, left moves down counterclockwise and right moves them clockwise.
We have a bunch of points. We need to delete these, so we can actually mask our scene. So press Command+A, since we had one of these selected already. Now they will all be selected and you can just press Delete. All right, now since this edge is so dominant, I just want to feather this one edge. And in order to do that, hold down Shift and then hover over the edge and you'll see this icon pop-up. Now when I'll click and drag, it's going to feather just this one edge. Now obviously, layout here, that's a little drastic.
So let's just feather it out maybe up to around there, that's looking good. I want to have a slightly soft edge all the way around, and I know this, because when we deselect, see how sharp that is? That's not very realistic. So let's go over to the left edge after we select our mask again and just click and drag a handle out, just a little bit, and you notice something happened. Notice I have this hard edge here on this handle. That's because with these edges set the way they are, I have a sharp edge that I need to just drag around to here.
See how this looks like a tear drop here; let me zoom in here so you can see it. See how this looks like a teardrop and then this handle is round? The Teardrop handles are what are called hold handles. They hearken back to hold keyframes. These are linear, just like linear keyframes. I want to just drag this close to my hold edge and then bring it in, so it's relatively close to the edge of my mask. Now you can see if I hold the Spacebar and grab my Hand tool and click and move around, I have a nice soft edge to the other part of this image.
Now let's set back to 100, and deselect our layer so we can see what we're looking at. This is starting to look a lot more realistic. Honestly, if I were to keep tweaking this, I would grab my Mask tool, press G again, and then start moving where these points are. So now that you understand how the Mask Feather tool works, you can use it in all kinds of new situations.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
93 Video lessons · 25417 Viewers
135 Video lessons · 60353 Viewers
79 Video lessons · 19953 Viewers
350 Video lessons · 105254 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.