8 Replies Latest reply on May 7, 2009 1:59 AM by Mylenium

    Trying to hide part of a mask

    Federated Films Level 1

      I am animating the stroke around a highly serifed font using a mask and the Stroke effect with quite a wide brush sizes of 5 as the font is sometimes very thin and other times very wide.

       

      It works well but where the serifs cross over it reveals the opposite line like this:

       

      Mask Intersect.jpg

       

      I need the animation to be on a transparent background as it will be overlayed on some video. So how can I obscure the intersections for a few frames before the stroke animation catches up with the intersection?

       

      Thx

       

      Kevin

        • 1. Re: Trying to hide part of a mask
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Sounds like you may want to work with multiple layers instead of just one and use one instance as a matte/ stencil for the other. Not sure what version you're on, but you may also consider using shape layers in CS3/ CS4 which actually properly combine and intersect paths instead of just blending the pixel results. Applying a Stroke with a Trim Paths modifier would work just the same and since you can have as many groups as you like, they all can have their own Merge Paths modifiers or even groups can be merged with otehr groups...

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: Trying to hide part of a mask
            Federated Films Level 1

            I'm using CS3.

             

            So I have drawn a shapelayer above my text layer which contains the mask; how do I make the shape layer obscure the bit of the text layer I don't want to see and be transparent?

            • 3. Re: Trying to hide part of a mask
              Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              Personally, I use the Paint tool (and a Wacom tablet) to do write-on effects, purely because it allows more accuracy and variable pen width.

               

              You may also be able to use the paint tool on top of your existing stroke animation to temporarily erase the extraneous edges of your text.

              • 4. Re: Trying to hide part of a mask
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                This is a bit difficult to describe without example images but I'll give it a try.

                 

                 

                 

                When I do this kind of project I create the type in Illustrator and convert it to outlines. I then draw a path over the top of the type on top of the type layer with a stroke width wide enough to completely cover the text. I then edit the outlines cutting them up into bits that correspond to the strokes that you would make with a pen. If the stroke crosses it's self like the letter e or doubles back like the letter m, then I cut the stroke right at the edge of the stroke that covers the type and move them to separate layers. I hope you get that. I'm splitting up the text into pieces that I can reveal layer by layer in AE.

                rloop.gif

                 

                Here comes the second part of the trick. The in point of each layer is set to the precise point where the animated stroke passes the intersection. All of the text stroke layers are pre-composed and the animated stroked path is used as a track matte for the pre-comp.

                 

                I hope this helps. You might want to take a look at this CS4 project. I added a mask and split the 3rd layer in this project to fix a small problem. This should give you the idea.

                • 5. Re: Trying to hide part of a mask
                  Federated Films Level 1

                  Thanks Rick for your detailed reply.

                   

                  I have a lot of crossover points in my animation though.

                   

                  Link to the project http://www.mmcr.co.uk/Serif animation.zip

                   

                  Would your approach work on this?

                   

                  Kevin

                  • 6. Re: Trying to hide part of a mask
                    Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                    CR wrote:

                     

                    So I have drawn a shapelayer above my text layer which contains the mask; how do I make the shape layer obscure the bit of the text layer I don't want to see and be transparent?

                     

                    I was more aiming at copy&pasting the entire array of letters into the shape layers, then creating logical groups there. Without knowing the exact words and what typeface you are using, it's a bit hard to advise, but Rick's tips should get you started. For shape layers, you'd follow a similar approach. After you pasted the letters, you'd add a Merge Paths modifier so they appear as one and put them inside a group A. This would give you a perfect stroke for al lthe outlines. for the inside strokes, you would then simply duplicate the group as B, remove the letters not required and do the same. Now with the two groups in place, you'd duplicate the original once again into a group C, where you remove the letters you don't need. Then you add other Merge Paths at the root level of the groups, so A, B, C are combined, e.g. add A to B, but use C in subtract mode. You'd then repeat that until it looks right as you would on your other setup. The hierarchy might look something like that:

                     

                    Group A
                    -- Letter A
                    -- Letter B
                    -- Letter C
                    -- Letter D
                    -- Merge Paths (Add)
                    Group B
                    -- Letter A
                    -- Letter C
                    -- Merge Paths (Add)
                    Merge Paths (Add)
                    Group C
                    -- Letter B
                    -- Letter D
                    -- Merge Paths (Add)
                    Merge Paths (Subtract)
                    Stroke
                    

                     

                    You can then build more hierarchy levels as needed (groups within groups within groups). The advantage is, that if done right, you only need to animate one or two instances of a stroke instead of having to treat everything separately. If that's too much to swallow for the time being because it would be your first time, use Rick's approach with the split layers, it works jsut as well and may spare you from having to learn a new feature under pressure.... In the long run, you should however take a look at shape layers. They can save your butt more often than it may appear (due to them being fully editable at all times).

                     

                    Mylenium

                    • 7. Re: Trying to hide part of a mask
                      Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Haven't had a chance to look at your project yet but the answer is yes. Lot's of crossovers = lots of work.

                      • 8. Re: Trying to hide part of a mask
                        Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                        Yepp, now that the project is available I see what's going on. Lots of self-looping curves in the type. What you should do is to convert the type to mask shapes (Layer --> Create Masks from Text). Then you can copy&paste stuff around to serve as shapes for the holes. Basically each hole would be a separate layer with a mask. As the blending mode you'd use Silhouette Alpha and put it on top of your normal text. By adjusting the in-points, you could make it so as to not interfere with the drawing of the line pretty much in the manner Rick was suggesting.

                         

                        Mylenium