After Effects Apprentice 05: Creating Transparency
Illustration by John Hersey

Filling mask shapes


From:

After Effects Apprentice 05: Creating Transparency

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Filling mask shapes

There are uses for mask paths beyond just creating transparency for a layer. For example, a handful effects can draw along the outside of the mask path or draw inside the mask path. If you have access to the exercise files that come with this lesson, open up the Comp 04-Effects*starter. If you don't have access to these files, just bring in any layer and create an interesting mask path around it. In this case we have even animated that path. Let's play around with a couple of the effects that can fill the area inside this mask path. One is the simple Fill effect.
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  1. 3m 17s
    1. Overview
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 28m 53s
    1. Creating basic mask shapes
      5m 7s
    2. Using advanced parametric shapes
      3m 35s
    3. Basic mask shape editing
      4m 35s
    4. Masking in the Layer panel
      1m 55s
    5. Working with mask parameters
      4m 0s
    6. Animating masks
      5m 52s
    7. Creating vignettes
      3m 49s
  3. 25m 56s
    1. Masking with the Pen tool
      6m 44s
    2. Editing a mask path
      6m 19s
    3. Using RotoBezier masks
      4m 32s
    4. Targeting masks for animation
      3m 13s
    5. Setting the first vertex point
      5m 8s
  4. 19m 7s
    1. The basics of variable-mask feathering
      7m 33s
    2. Exploring variable-mask feathering options
      5m 56s
    3. Exploring visual effects applications
      5m 38s
  5. 7m 55s
    1. Exploring mask modes
      3m 58s
    2. Fading mask opacity
      3m 57s
  6. 11m 48s
    1. Using targeted treatments
      2m 35s
    2. Filling mask shapes
      3m 8s
    3. Following mask paths
      6m 5s
  7. 13m 31s
    1. Using alpha mattes
      3m 48s
    2. Grouping track matte pairs
      3m 40s
    3. Working with luma mattes
      3m 52s
    4. Animating mattes
      2m 11s
  8. 10m 0s
    1. Using Stencil Luma
      3m 5s
    2. Using Stencil Alpha
      2m 5s
    3. Using effects with stencils
      2m 20s
    4. Stacking stencils
      2m 30s
  9. 8m 23s
    1. Quizzler challenges
      1m 18s
    2. Quizzler solution one: One word at a time
      3m 53s
    3. Quizzler solution two: Stroke drawing direction
      3m 12s
  10. 11m 18s
    1. Idea corner one: More masks and effects
      2m 50s
    2. Idea corner two: Transition effects
      3m 44s
    3. Idea corner three: Sequenced layers as mattes
      4m 44s
  11. 16m 29s
    1. Understanding track matte rendering order
      5m 48s
    2. Exploring mask interpolation
      10m 41s

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Watch the Online Video Course After Effects Apprentice 05: Creating Transparency
2h 36m Beginner Mar 23, 2011 Updated Nov 15, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, Chris Meyer demonstrates the most common techniques for adding selective transparency to layers in After Effects through the use of masks, track mattes, and stencils. In addition to explaining the tools and basic theory behind transparency, the course covers several practical applications for these techniques, including isolating objects, creating vignettes, and filling text with visual texture. Tutorials on crafting custom transitions and other treatments are also included. Exercise files accompany the course.

The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.

Topics include:
  • Creating masks using parametric shapes or freeform with the Pen tool
  • Editing and animating masks
  • Combining multiple masks
  • Using one layer to define the transparency of others
  • Explaining the interaction between effects, masks, and mattes
  • Mastering mask animation
Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Filling mask shapes

There are uses for mask paths beyond just creating transparency for a layer. For example, a handful effects can draw along the outside of the mask path or draw inside the mask path. If you have access to the exercise files that come with this lesson, open up the Comp 04-Effects*starter. If you don't have access to these files, just bring in any layer and create an interesting mask path around it. In this case we have even animated that path. Let's play around with a couple of the effects that can fill the area inside this mask path. One is the simple Fill effect.

I'll drag Fill under this layer and the Effects Control panel I can define what mask path to use. By multiple masks I can say draw all the mask or just one selected one. Go ahead and change the color, makw something orange there, invert the mask, feather the mask out if I so desire and also control its Opacity to reveal the original underneath. Beyond Fill there is the far more interesting Scribble effect. I'll drag that onto my layer. What Scribble does is automatically draw back and forth scribble lines inside the mask path.

Again you can define what mask you want to use if you have multiple masks on a layer. You have lots of options on how you take advantage of that mask path. You can draw inside, centered along it, inside it, outside it. I'll go back to Inside for now, and other controls such as a curvy or a loopy the path is, spacing between the lines, how thick that line is, and what angle those lines are drawn at.

Straight up and down, or off to the sides. If the mask itself animates like this one does, the Scribble effect will draw differently to go ahead and fill whatever that mask shape is at a given frame. And by the way Scribble also self animates. So you can go ahead and set a wiggle per second to have those lines automatically draw, in a kind of a wiggly little pattern. And what's particularly interesting is the Composite mode. Here it's just drawing a white scribble. However, you' can say just draw on the original image itself or Reveal Original Image.

Now we just have our background layer revealed through this animating stroke. Once you do that you can now have all sorts of fun. I can go ahead and drag another layer behind this, such as the Wildflowers layer we were playing around with earlier, and I can apply additional effects to it. For example, I like to give things like this Bevel Alpha to give a little bit of raised bump to the edges, and then also a Drop Shadow to go ahead and separate it from the background. So that's another use for your masked paths, to take advantage of the area contained by it to apply effects.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about After Effects Apprentice 05: Creating Transparency .


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Q: This course was updated on 11/15/2012. What changed?
A: We added a movie that shows our premium subscribers how to use the exercise files, We have also added new sets of exercise files designed for After Effects CS5.5 and After Effects CS6.
 
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