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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®.
Let's say that I want to have two windows on this footage instead of just one. If I want to draw a second mask, I can reselect my mask shape tool and start dragging, but I'm rather blind as to what I'm dragging here. I can go ahead and hold the Spacebar to reposition a mask, but you know there is a better way, and that better way is to edit my mask shapes in the Layer panel. So I'm going to undo to get rid of my second shape, and double-click my layer to open it up in its dedicated Layer panel. That way I get to see just as footage with no distractions of external layers, any effects, any scaling.
I can focus just what I'm working on. The View popup defaults to looking at masks, which is what I want. Also, the Render option defaults to on. This means that it actually going to cut out my footage. However, if I want to see the entire clip and just the mask outline, I'll turn off Render and now I get to see the whole clip and now it's much easier to go ahead and select around an additional object I might want to mask out. There I've used the rounded rectangle, which was previously selected. I can undo and change my tool to something like the Ellipse tool and drag that out.
Draw my layer, hold the Spacebar to reposition a mask, release, and there is my second shape. Click Render, turn Render off, there is my whole footage. I go back to my Comp panel. I will now see this footage in context with my cutout layer revealing portions on my background layer behind it. Turn off my mask outline and now I get to see the footage with a nice clean mask edge.
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