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After Effects - Learn Motion Graphic Design

Basic Masking

Daniel Walter Scott || VIDEO: 34 of 53

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Hi, in this video we're going to do some masking. We'll go into the basics of masking, then we'll work through a couple of other options. We've done green screen, now we're going to do just some basic masks.

So, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to bring in a logo. So, on my 'Desktop', under 'After Effects', there's one in here called Bring Your Own Laptop logo, 'BYOL Logo'. Grab that, bring it in. It's an Illustrator file, that's cool. And what I want to do is, make a 'Comp' for it to go into, because if I make a 'Comp' from this, I'm going to get a really strange 'Comp' size because of the size of the logo. That's not what I want. So I will 'undo', I'm going to go to 'New Composition', I'm going to make it my 'HDTV 1080 25', 'Background Color'. Now in this case what we can do is, you can say, "I want it to be white because my logo is going to stand out better on white." The only trouble with this is that this white here is temporary. If I go to 'Export' now, or 'Render' it, it's going to go back to being black. That background there is just kind of a place holder. So, if you want a white background I can make a 'New Comp'. It doesn't really matter if it's made the background here white or black. I'll leave it as black to make it obvious what we're doing.

What I need to do is, I need to put a background, and to do this, you do 'New', sorry, 'Layer', 'New', and you go to 'Solid'. And down here, you pick the color, and it matches the right size. I'm going to call this, instead of 'White Solid', I'm going to call this 'Background'. Now when I rendered this, this will actually have a white background. One of those weird After Effectsisms that will catch you out. Don't bother changing the 'Comp' size. Make sure you got your background actual solid. It's actually just a big box. Big old rectangle, but we're going to use that in the background.

What we're also going to do is, see this little locking icon? Down here, click that. This means that you can't move it, so this stays with this background. Great! I'm going to drag my logo on. Here he is there. I'm going to scale it up a little bit, I'm going to zoom in first of all, and scale it up a little bit. I'm going to hold 'Shift'. Grab the edge. No, I'm going to start dragging, then hold 'Shift'. Get it to about this size. Now it's going to start pixelating. This happened in an earlier one when working with those-- can you see, it's fuzzy.

So does anybody remember how I got it to look crystal clear? Was it effective graphic, or an Illustrator graphic? That's right. Make sure you're-- I've toggled between these two. It's this one here. That little sunshine one, if you click that, it's going to redraw the vector every time. You might not notice a big difference, but if you're a bit of a resolution purist, you'll notice the difference when it exports. So what I'd like to do is draw a mask.

Now to do a mask, the really simple way is to have a logo selected, the thing you want to mask. It could be anything, it doesn't have to be a logo, it could be a type, a video, it can be anything. And then grab one of the things you want to mask it with. I'm going to use a 'Rectangle Tool'. And you could use the 'Pen Tool' if you know how to use it, but we're going to use the 'Rectangle Tool'. What we're going to do is, say I want to get rid of that text here, I want to click and drag. Can you see? So, I'm going to grab my 'Move' tool. And now, I've got this guy. So I've masked off all the text. What's happened is, on this logo layer here, you can see there’s this thing here called mask. If I twirl it down, that is my mask. Just kind of added a mask to this physical layer. Which is cool. What I want to do is maybe animate this mask so the type looks like it appears, so I'm going to 'undo' till it gets back over here. That's just a basic mask. Job done, finished.

Next step, let's look at masking that. Hey, it's Luke's birthday, I must turn these things off. So, I'm going to get the mask to animate. So what I need to do is, this thing called the 'Mask Path'. That controls this box around the outside. So what I can do is, this little animation I can say go. You saw our timing, you can see, here's a little key frame. And I might go, after about 1.5 seconds. What I can do is, I can click on this mask, double click, and I can go-- it's there. So, 2 key frames, back here it's nice and small, and up here, it's nice and big. I'm going to select both of these guys. Right click them. Go to 'Velocity'. Change it to '70'. And let's have a little look. Nice! Animated mask.

So it might be a way that you do this for your title sequence, we did the low thirds earlier on in the series. It might be a nice way to get your type to come on and just appear here on the page rather than slide off from the outside, which we did in that one. The next step is, we're going to have a look at something called a Track Matte. We'll do it in the next video, and I'll show you why we need Track Mattes. It's a fancy name for just a different way of masking.

The big problem now is, I can animate the mask, perfectly fine, as long as this guy doesn't move. Say I want to move the type and the logo. Say I want the mask to stay where it is, and I want the type to slide in from the side. The problem is, this mask is joined to the layer here. So if you want to kind of start the thing over here, and if I keep the mask over in this spot, it won't. Mask is attached, I can't shake it off. So I want the mask to stay there, and you go to there, and I want it to slide in, but it won't. So we're going to have to do a Track Matte. Let's do that in the next video. So that's it for basic masking.