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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®.
Just like we can do a Stencil Luminance and use the luminance of one layer as the transparency for the composite of all layers underneath, you can also do Stencil Alpha. I'll open up a different example to show you that. 12-Stencil Alpha*starter. Again, I've got our composite of two different layers. This will be our complex background or our complex fill as the case maybe. Then I've got our NIGHT LITES title. It's in black but you see it does have an alpha channel when I show the transparency grid. Turn that back off. Turn off the Solo.
There's NIGHT LITES on top of our complex background composite. Again I go underneath the Mode, not the Track Matte popup, and choose from the bottom of the list Stencil Alpha, as opposed to Stencil Luma. That will take the alpha channel of this layer on top and impose it on all of the layers underneath. There's the cutout. Now you see we have our complex composite playing inside the alpha channel for that NIGHT LITES layer on top. Again stacking order is important. Go ahead and squeeze all my layers here, so you can see names a little bit better.
If I drag it into the middle, only the Cityscape will fill, will be cut out by NIGHT LITES and then the VirtualInsanity layer will be composited on top. So don't think that stencils do an entire comp; they just do what's underneath the layer with the Stencil set underneath the Blend Mode pop-up. I'll put it back on top. Again, just as you could Stencil Alpha, the invert is Silhouette Alpha. Now you'll see the type is transparent and our complex background fills outside of the type.
I'll go back to Stencil Alpha. Now the outside is transparent.
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