3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2011 2:27 PM by Dave LaRonde

    Mask Path changing with Key Frames.


      Hello, everyone.


      I'm quite new, but very interested in amateur filmmaking.


      So I bough After effects, however, I'm working on a lightsaber project and I set up the Mask path with Key frames but for some reason when I start it back from the beginning, the mask moves from where I set it. So I tried resetting them again but then 10 or so Key frames later, I go back to the beginning and the mask has moved way off my lightsaber prop again!


      I've looked everywhere for an answer, and your help is much appreciated.


      Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Mask Path changing with Key Frames.
          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP
          1. Draw your mask
          2. Press the M key to reveal the Mask Path
          3. You'll see a stopwatch next to Mask Path
          4. Click on the stopwatch
          5. You'll see a diamond appear in the timeline window under the CTI (current time indicator)
          6. Move down the timeline, move any mask vertex
          7. You will now see a new diamond in the timeline under the CTI


          That's it. If you're not seeing keyframes in the timeline you're not animating.


          You may be moving the whole layer, check the position values, but more likely you've missed the step of turning on animation for the mask.


          One other thing you can do in CS5. The second icon from the right looks like a stopwatch. It's the "Auto Keyframe" switch. Click it, it will turn red, then, the first time you change any property you'll start setting keyframes. I don't use this feature but some do. Any time you have set a keyframe in any property, After Effects will automatically add a new keyframe whenever you change the property. The Auto Keyframe property simply eliminates the first step, but it doesn't set keyframes at all until you move off the original values so it isn't really saving a step....


          Hope this helps.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Mask Path changing with Key Frames.
            JVFilm0123 Level 1

            Thank you so much!


            Very helpful and detailed. Worked like a charm. User error, haha.

            • 3. Re: Mask Path changing with Key Frames.
              Dave LaRonde Level 6

              If you're really new, you should know that AE will frustrate and befuddle the novice who tries to learn it intuitively.  I urge you to take advantage of the resources found here: