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Feather a shape layer

Participant ,
Sep 21, 2012 Sep 21, 2012

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This has to be possible. Right?

I am trying to create a mask for an animated layer. The animated layer is increasing in scale while changing its position to move off the bottom of the composition. I can create a perfect MASK for that layer, but it moves with the layer. If I could lock the mask, that would be great.

So, instead, I am trying to create a TRACK MATTE. The problem is, I can create the right ellipse to MATTE the animating layer underneath. But, I can't soften it's edges. I've tried adding a glow effect, but it's not enough.

I know this is simple. I've spent 45 minutes trying to do it myself and looking for similar questions/posts... but nothing has helped.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Participant , Sep 21, 2012 Sep 21, 2012

UPDATE:

Okay, I still don't know if I can feather a Shape Layer.

But, I did finally solve my problem. I don't know if it's the most elegant solution—but, I added a SOLID layer. Created my feather MASK on that layer, and then used the ALPHA TRACK MATTE on my animated layer.

Still curious about feathering shapes....

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Participant ,
Sep 21, 2012 Sep 21, 2012

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UPDATE:

Okay, I still don't know if I can feather a Shape Layer.

But, I did finally solve my problem. I don't know if it's the most elegant solution—but, I added a SOLID layer. Created my feather MASK on that layer, and then used the ALPHA TRACK MATTE on my animated layer.

Still curious about feathering shapes....

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Explorer ,
Apr 09, 2018 Apr 09, 2018

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Compound Blur works rather well

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New Here ,
Dec 25, 2019 Dec 25, 2019

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Thanks Man Saved me some time 🙂

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New Here ,
Jan 27, 2021 Jan 27, 2021

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Thanks, great solution

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New Here ,
Mar 16, 2021 Mar 16, 2021

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9 years later and this is still the best solution I found.

Unless there's something else I've missed.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 13, 2021 Jul 13, 2021

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yeah it's crazy they don't have a dedicated feather tool yet 😞 the radial blur tool is also a pretty good work around for round shapes

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Community Expert ,
Sep 22, 2012 Sep 22, 2012

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Shape layers cannot be fethered and that is that. Though e.g. applying a Matte Choker effect would give the functionality to some degree...

Mylenium

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Community Expert ,
Sep 22, 2012 Sep 22, 2012

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If your shape is a solid just add a blur.

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Participant ,
Sep 22, 2012 Sep 22, 2012

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Ah, that's interesting. I had "thought" down that road with the "Glow" effect, but a blur might be more successful. I wish AE could approach vectors with the same effects that Illustrator can (eg, feather).

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Community Expert ,
Sep 22, 2012 Sep 22, 2012

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Feathering in Illustrator adds a blur that's limited to the boundary of the layer. It also is a raster effect. If you bring an Illustrator layer into AE and push in and expect it to behave like a vector with CR turned on, it won't because Feather changes the layer from a vector to a bitmap.

 

If you really need a shape layer and a fully controllable feathered edge, create a rectangle shape layer, add a mask to the shape layer, then use the Mask Feather tool to control the feathering. You'll end up with far more control than you can get in Illustrator or with a blur, and the layer will still continuously rasterize.

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Participant ,
Sep 22, 2012 Sep 22, 2012

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Not familiar with Matte Choker. I'll check it out. Thanks for the final confirmation on the Shape Layer limitation. Knowing is half the battle and all that...

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 12, 2016 Dec 12, 2016

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You can blur a shape by using Filter > Blur > Shape Blur. Oddly, you can use any shape in your library to create the blur, but you can find one similar to the shape you're using and it works really well. Just adjust the radius to get the degree of feathering.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 12, 2016 Dec 12, 2016

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You can blur a shape by using Filter > Blur > Shape Blur.

I believe Op wanted a workflow to blur a shape in Ae, not Photoshop.

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New Here ,
Nov 23, 2017 Nov 23, 2017

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that is very helpful thankyou

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Guest
Aug 08, 2017 Aug 08, 2017

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Yeah just add a Gaussian Blur from the Effects panel to your Shape Layer and it works perfectly! You can adjust what would the "feather" with the "blurriness" slider instead.

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New Here ,
Dec 05, 2021 Dec 05, 2021

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Thank you for your reply. It saved me college end term project.😁

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2017 Nov 30, 2017

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For anyone like me that arrived here looking for "how to feather a 3D shape layer"

Blur won't work, that was my first instinct, but the shape just simply disappears. I've only tried the most common blurs, but I'll do some more tests. I was able to figure out a few workarounds for now (not gonna type them all out since this doesn't seem to be an issue for anyone but me at the moment), but I'm trying to start using more shape layers in place of solids so I'm sure I'll need a better solution.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 02, 2018 Feb 02, 2018

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but the shape just simply disappears

can you show an example? I don't see how a blur is different from a feather. they both do the same thing and at a certain amount in both cases the layer will disappear.

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Explorer ,
Mar 29, 2018 Mar 29, 2018

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Use Roughen Edges and bring down the edge sharpness to 0.

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2018 Aug 22, 2018

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Here's the best solution!  I use a solid layer above the layer of the graphic I want to mask, draw my mask with my pen tool, then twirl open the "Masks" and increase the "Mask Feather" to the desired feather amount, then back on the layer of the graphic I'm masking: under "TrkMat" (to the right of mode), I change "None" to "Alpha Matte (to your solid layer). Done!

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Community Expert ,
Dec 25, 2019 Dec 25, 2019

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Another option:

Screenshot_2019-12-25 10.13.40_EfigtJ.png

Create any shape layer, if it is parametric, convert to a bezier path, change the pen tool to create a mask, click anywhere, pickwhip and expression from the new mask path to the shape layer mask so that it matches, add an additional expression to the mask expansion that subtracts from one of the values for mask feather and divides by 2. Everything on one layer and the shape layer and the feather can be aniamted.

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Enthusiast ,
Mar 27, 2022 Mar 27, 2022

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@Rick Gerard can't believe I didn't know you could pickwhip a mask path to a shape path. my life is forever changed. thanks. 

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New Here ,
Nov 03, 2020 Nov 03, 2020

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Create a shape in illustrator. then bring that into afteffects. put a mask on that, which you can then feather the mask. 

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Explorer ,
Dec 22, 2020 Dec 22, 2020

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I'd love to know if this is a feature too. Unfortunately, I believe it's not. As I understand, you must feather a shape layer by adding a mask to the shape layer and feathering the mask. Another option that I use frequently is blurring the shape layer with a Blur Effect (Box blur, Gaussian, etc).

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