2 Replies Latest reply on Oct 26, 2013 10:49 PM by Rick Gerard


    Rama1234ish Level 1

      I need some opinions on this. I have a video of a friend running, and I am putting explossions behind him. Do you think it would be better to copy the layer and paste it over the first one and do one mask around him, then put the explossions inbetween the layers. Or, do the same thing, but have five layers of him running over the original layer, and mask a different body part in each one (such as right and left arm, right and left leg, and body and head). If you do not understand what I am talking about please ask.

        • 1. Re: masking
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          You don't need to have multiple layers to use a mask for each separate body part.


          You can have a single track matte layer with several masks on it, one for each body part. So, you'd have one background layer, one track matte layer, and one foreground layer. That is how rotoscoping is typically done.

          http://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/alpha-channels-masks-mattes.html#track_mattes_a nd_traveling_mattes

          (Sometimes the track matte layer is a precomposition, with a matte built out of a lot of pieces with a lot of layers within it, but that's more advanced.)

          • 2. Re: masking
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Maybe this mini tutorial will help:



            The stabilizer I was talking about was NOT warp stabilizing. It was AE's point tracker set to stabilize. Watch the video about 3 times and you'll catch on.


            One more hint, Don't waste any time on a single frame that is not going to need to be rotoscoped. Overlay your explosions, then trim your layers so that you are only masking what needs to be masked.


            This also applies to using AE's new and vastly improved Rotobrush tool. Don't waste your time masking anything that does not need to be masked. Most beginners will roto a 30 second shot carefully cutting out an entire actor when they really only needed to mask about 60 frames of the actors left side and hand to pull off the effect.


            Good luck. Roto, even Rotobrush, takes a little practice, but it's not hard and it doesn't need to be time consuming.