7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 13, 2015 10:23 PM by Szalam

    Help please. Masks?


      Hi all.


      I suppose I ought to explain what I am trying to do first, then let you experts tell me if this is possible.


      I begin with an overall picture of an area. I then want a portion of that overall area to shrink and move to the corner. This will be a reference shot while I zoom into the main area and reflect my position on the small section in the corner.


      As the above paragraph is likely to make no sense at all, I will explain the exact job I have.


      I have filmed some roofing as the gutters need to be inspected. It will be roofing from 6 large buildings. So I will begin the video with a large image or still of the overall area covering the 6 buildings, each labelled with a name. As the footage moves on, I want the main image to not only shrink and move position, but also lose most of what is in shot to leave me with just one of the buildings which I will shine a spotlight on to show which area I am now zooming in on in the main window. So the spotlight will also need to move across the guttering area in the smaller window.


      If this is simple enough, at the end of the first survey it would be great if the area within the small box could be slid across to the next building.


      I am assuming this involves using a mask, but I just can't seem to get the mask to be anything but on or off.


      I apologise if this all sounds confusing. Try being inside my head! I have been at it for hours now and have restarted afresh 5 or 6 times so really would be grateful for any assistance.



        • 1. Re: Help please. Masks?
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I would make everything you want to be in that small box inside it's own composition. This is often called a precomp. You could then create as many layers inside the precomp as you want for parts to fade in and out. So, if you have six buildings, you'd have six layers with a mask on each building. That way you can fade each building on and off as you wish.


          Then, in your main comp, create a new solid, put a mask on it and use it as a track matte for the precomp so you can slide it around as much as you want.


          It sounds like you're pretty new to AE. I would highly recommend getting a solid foundation underneath you (just like in construction). I'd recommend starting here: http://adobe.ly/AE_basics

          That is the fastest free way I know to get up to speed on using AE. If you go through all the resources linked therein, you will know all about how to do what I suggested.

          • 2. Re: Help please. Masks?
            richlizard Level 1

            Thanks Szalam.


            You are correct in assuming I am new to AE. Well, new as in I started about a year ago and never actually improve. I just keep solving my current 'problem' until the next comes along... then forget the initial problem lol.


            I have actually been told not to even use AE, but use Premiere Pro but that would mean learning from scratch all over again.


            I will try doing what you have said above and see what problems I come up with.


            I promise to get round to going through those tutorials.

            • 3. Re: Help please. Masks?
              richlizard Level 1

              Szalam, now you have confirmed it is a mask I should be using can you explain something for me.


              I have my original image/still filling the screen. I animate it so that the area (building) I want scales down and repositions top left. But then if I apply the mask to that one building it will actually apply to the whole layer so that the original fullsize image/still has this mask on. I obviously want it to change from full image to one building as it moves to the correct position.


              Hope that makes sense.

              • 4. Re: Help please. Masks?
                Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                I tried to explain how to do that in my first post. Try reading through it again.

                • 5. Re: Help please. Masks?
                  richlizard Level 1

                  Hi Szalam.


                  Sorry if I am being a pain, but I really do appreciate your advice. I have done as you suggested and produced a video of my little pre-composition here which is pretty much what I was after... York Court - YouTube


                  The layers I used to create the composition are shown here in this image. I realise I have probably not done it the simplest way, but the result seems ok.

                  York Layers.jpg

                  So I then made a new composition (main). I inserted this composition into the main one as you suggested. But I now seem to have got stuck. I thought you were saying to put duplicated comps in which I tried and modify each one to suit. But when I modify one, they all change.


                  I am sure it is easy from here, but maybe my brain has just frazzled a little doing the above.


                  Any clues please? Pretty please?

                  • 6. Re: Help please. Masks?
                    richlizard Level 1

                    Scratch the world!


                    I think I sussed it without getting involved in the Matte thing. I was using the 'make composition from...' option when right-clicking my composition. This changed every composition when changing any detail. I am not sure what benefit that option has. When I used duplicate composition from the drop-down list, I could then edit the new one without it affecting the previous.


                    I ended with... Main Composition 1 - YouTube


                    Thank you again for pointing me in the right direction.

                    • 7. Re: Help please. Masks?
                      Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Glad you figured it out!