1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 22, 2015 6:01 AM by Rick Gerard

    Mask options gone in cc 2015 + timelineheader frustrations

    Felix Van der Hallen Level 1



      In previous versions of after effects I used the stroke effect together with a solid in stencil alpha blending mode to create a write-on effect of text.

      I did this by drawing mask around my letters on a solid layer on top hereby revealing the text as its been drawn on with stroke effect.


      However in the new update, masks that aren't closed don't show the options of add, subtract etc anymore.

      When drawing masks to cover the letter O they are a closed circle, they still display these options.


      However, because some of the masks (for example for the letter C) doens't have these options. The stroke effect doesn't work as it used to, I have to solve it by changing the mask options of the closed letters to none and than adding another mask in a zone outside the text, changing it to add, to make the stroke effect behave like it used to. This is very useless and I fear that projects made with the previous version opened in cc2015 will be suffering from this problem as well, and will not dispaly the correct animation as they used to.


      Isn't there an option to add mask options to non-closed masks again?


      I don't want to go back to cc2014 if I don't have to...


      Also, major dislikes to the autolooping effect when previewing through spacebar. If I press spacebar to stop previewing, I want my timeline header to be on that point, not to jump back at the beginning of the preview.

        • 1. Re: Mask options gone in cc 2015 + timelineheader frustrations
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Masks that were open never showed the add, subtract, etc., options. Never did. They make no sense if the mask doesn't create an alpha channel. From CS6:

          Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 5.28.02 AM.png


          Stroke behavior also has not changed. Create a bunch of masks open or closed, add Effects>Generate>Stroke, select all masks and animate the start or end point and the paths will be stroked sequentially. I can't make it do anything else. It sounds like you don't have stroke set to write on transparent. This bypasses the mask's alpha channel and eliminates the need to set the mask options to none. Also, there is no need to close the path on an O if you don't want to. Most of the time when I use stroke to do a write on effect I'll use only one path because it's easier to get the timing down so that it looks like a signature. When someone writes with a pen time passes as they move from one letter to the other. I accomplish this by simply drawing a path that is pretty close to the path a pen would follow while writing the text. Overlapping parts of a letter like the letter A are handled with masks on the text layer that I animate as the stroke passes the overlap. I also use the stroke layer as a track matte instead of using Stencil Alpha because it's easier to control, edit, and modify.


          Here's a screenshot of how I would set up a mask for the word Path:

          Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 5.49.47 AM.png

          And here's what the masks on the text layer would look like before I started animating the stroke:

          Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 5.50.15 AM.png

          Each mask would stay in place until the stroke needed to reveal that part of the letter. While this takes a little while to set up it's by far the best way to write on text.

          You can edit the playback options in the Preview Panel. Also, there is an update due any time now that is supposed to fix many playback issues.