How to perfectly align mask?

New Here ,
Jul 14, 2019 Jul 14, 2019

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For example if I were to make a shape and use the align tool bar to position it perfectly in the middle, it works. But if I try to align the mask itself when I click on it the align tool bar does not work or if I click the layer in where the mask is it positions the entire layer when I only want to position the mask perfectly in the middle.

Is there any way to position ONLY the mask directly in the middle without having to second guess using my eyes?

Thank you!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Advisor , Jul 15, 2019 Jul 15, 2019
This is a frustrating 'lack of feature' - but there are a few workarounds. here's a quick and dirty option -  but generally acceptable:At the bottom left of the composition window, just to the right of the magification popup, is an incon / popup - select 'Title / Action safe'. This has crosshairs to mark the centre of the composition.If you then twirl down your timeline and select your 'Mask Path', and then hit Cmd or Ctrl T on the keyboard you'll get a bounding box (a transform box) around your...

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Advisor ,
Jul 15, 2019 Jul 15, 2019

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This is a frustrating 'lack of feature' - but there are a few workarounds. here's a quick and dirty option -  but generally acceptable:

At the bottom left of the composition window, just to the right of the magification popup, is an incon / popup - select 'Title / Action safe'. This has crosshairs to mark the centre of the composition.

If you then twirl down your timeline and select your 'Mask Path', and then hit Cmd or Ctrl T on the keyboard you'll get a bounding box (a transform box) around your mask. This includes a visual centre point. You can then zoom in and manually align that centre point to the title/action safe crosshairs. Double click inside the mask to exit the transform mode. it's crude - but at maximum magnification it should do.

A second option:

If the layer you are masking has a source (ie: it appears in the Project panel), you can use this tip: Add your layer to the Comp and have it selected. Then, rather than drawing the mask shape, simply double click the appropriate mask shape in the toolbox (eg: double click on the rectangle). This will give you a mask shape that exactly fits your layer - and is centred on that layer.

You can then select the mask and hit Cmd / Ctrl T to bring up the transform box. Start to drag a corner handle and then hold the Ctrl key - this will scale the mask shape around it's centre point. Double click inside the mask to exit the transform mode.

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New Here ,
Jul 15, 2019 Jul 15, 2019

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Thank you very much!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 15, 2019 Jul 15, 2019

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The center of a Mask Path will likely be impossible to define if the path is organic. So, you'll have to decide where you want a mask path's center to be. Additionally, a vertex on a Mask Path snaps to Comp Guides - ensure View>Snap to Guides is enabled.

Once, you've identified the center of your mask, add a mask vertex to this center. Then click on the Mask Path label/property to select the entire Mask Path. Then, use the Selection Tool to select the temp center vertex and move it to the center of the Comp. TIP - first, create a vertical and horizontal guides to define the center of the comp - the recent version of AE allows you to specifiy specific values for these guides.

Once the vertex is centered, you can select this temp vertex and delete it.

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2022 Feb 01, 2022

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Blender can find the center of a 3D object that is organic, so why can't after effects determine the center of a mask---inorganic or organic--and align it with the click of a button like you can do for shapes?

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2022 Feb 01, 2022

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Why can't the the align tool be made to work with masks? So simple and much needed.

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2022 Feb 01, 2022

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I literally want to make a circular mask that is centered in the comp at the click of a button.

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