4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 29, 2008 4:04 PM by David Wigforss-Hv1BNN


      working in AE 7.0. Using pen tool to create a mask that lis left open, is it possible to restart the mask, adding points beyond the last ones?

      Whenever I try to, a new mask starts. Is there any way to "link" two masks, or combine them into one closed one?

      Thanks very much.

      Randall Martin
        • 1. Re: masks
          A. Cobb Level 3
          Select the endpoint you want to start from, then start drawing points. The pen tool should connect to the selected vertex.
          • 2. Re: masks
            David Wigforss-Hv1BNN Level 2
            Merging 2 open mask splines is possible, but it's a little complicated.

            Basically, you need to change the mask splines into a position motion paths. Then select the motion path and change it back to mask.

            select and copy mask 1
            paste onto position.
            Move further along time past the first set of position values.
            Select and copy mask 2
            Paste onto position.
            Select and copy all position keyframes
            paste on mask shape.
            • 3. Re: masks
              Aaron: when I select an endpoint with the selection tool, then use the pen tool to add points, it starts a new mask. Did I do what you meant?

              David: I'm not sure what is meant by "paste onto position."

              Trying to use help: "To select a vertex on a mask, click with selection tool. To add vertices to the selection, shift-click them."

              I thought I got that to work, once but can't repeat it.

              (Maybe I need to go back to school!!!).
              • 4. Re: masks
                David Wigforss-Hv1BNN Level 2
                Hopefully this will help. To add to end, you need to select the last vertex. If you click mask or mask path, it'll select all of them, so you can either: switch to selection tool (v) and drag a selection region around the end point to just select that, or sometimes I find it easier to shift select last point (to unselect it from the others that are selected) and then reselect it by clicking it.

                Now that you have end point selected, switch to pen tool (g) and draw new vertices. If you have pen+ (pentool with the +,-), it won't draw new vertex, so make sure it's just the plain pentool

                Now for answering question to me... It might be easier to copy the stuff onto a temp solid, so the layer you're working on doesn't go flying around screen... select mask1's Mask Path. ctrl-c. select "position" on the other layer. ctrl-v - that should convert the mask into a motion path, adding position keyframes on your timeline. Move forward along timeline, past those keyframes. Repeat for second mask. (it's important to select mask path and not just mask). After you have all the position keyframes, select them all, ctrl-c, paste onto Mask 3's mask path (I duplicated my second mask so I could see each seperate mask and the combination).

                You'll have to tweak the bezier handles where the curves are merged.

                (PS. Thanks Rick for this technique)