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In Motion 4 Essential Training, Ian Robinson shows how to start building outstanding motion graphics and animations for video production. He demonstrates how to build custom text animations with the new Adjust Glyph tool and explores Motion’s amazing real-time 3D tools. Ian highlights working in the 3D space, creating depth with lights and shadows, and using reflections to add realism. He gives practical advice on how to integrate Motion into a professional video workflow, round-tripping with Final Cut Pro and sending a final project to Compressor. Exercise files accompany this course.
So before I show you how to create a simple mask, it's obviously kind of important to understand exactly what a mask is. The best analogy I can think of sort of like when you were a kid and your mom would roll out sugar cookie dough and you take the cookie cutters and cut them out of the dough. That's sort of how a mask works. It's used the exact same way in video. You just create a shape and it cuts that shape out of the image. For this example, I want to tone this background down a little bit more and blend it into some of the other pictures that are lying underneath. So to see that, press F5 on your keyboard to open the Project pane, and let's open the Background layer under the Imagine_Board and we'll see we have our Glass layer.
Go and turn-off the Visibility so we can see the layers underneath of a Sky layer and this background Canyon Rocks layer. Let's leave the Sky layer off for right now and turn the Glass layer back on and that's starting to look a little better but I'd actually like to cut out this color around the title. So go up to the Mask tools and to make a custom shape, you want to use either the Bezier Mask tool or the B-Spline Mask tool. Now since it doesn't really need to be that curvy, I'll just use the Bezier Mask tool.
These tools function the exact same way as the Create Shapes tool, the only difference being, they automatically apply the mask to whatever layer you have selected. So it's very important to make sure you have the right layer selected in the Layers tab. So with the Glass layer selected, let's go ahead and click and drag different points. I'm just clicking and dragging to sort of round the edges. I'm just going to make kind of a fun funky shape here. I just want the color to kind of go right up to the edge of the Canyon there.
Now with our path complete, you'll notice a new layer in your Layers tab and that's the Bezier Mask. It's already been applied to the layer and you can turn the mask on and off just by checking the Visibility checkbox. Now this is getting kind of close, but I would like to soften the edges. Press F7 to open the HUD and let's soften the edges with the Feather slider. Click and drag and adjust the Feather slider. That's getting a little better and let's add the Sky layer back in. Now it's kind of washing out my background a little too much.
So let's see if we can just mix that up with the background a little bit more using the Soft Light. It will wash out the background a little bit but it helps pop the colors in there, and it helps the image burn a little more overall. So there you have it, a basic mask, not just used to cut out a specific object but actually used to help intensify a specific area within the screen.
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