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After Effects - Mask Path Animation Curved Pathway

Community Beginner ,
Sep 01, 2020

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Hi There 

 

Bit of background information: I am curently creating an animation where I have 2 logos on different layers. I am using a mask on the top layer to animate over the top and reveal the lower layer like a sneak peak as to what is underneath. 

 

My Problem: I can only seem to animate the Mask Path using straight lines which doesnt look very good as I would ideally like the path to be more curved so the result looks free flowing and adds more charachter to the movement. Is there a way I can bring in a path I have drawn so that the mask path can follow it? Or a way that I can alter the mask path I have already made so I can bend the straight lines to enable more curves? 

 

Unfortunatley I am unable to post any examples of the work I am creating because of the Client logo's being present. 

 

I hope that made sense? Any help will be much appreciated 


All the best 


Adam

 

 

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Roland Kahlenberg | Adobe Community Professional

You can run the pre-installed Script, Create Nulls from Paths and then Parent the Mask Points to another Null and then animate Transform>Position of this Parent Null.

 

1) Select Mask Path

2) Run Script from the File>Scripts menu

3) Select Create Nulls from Paths and click on the button, Points Follows Nulls. This step applies an Expression into the Mask Path property and creates one Null for each point on the path.

4) Create a new Null which will be used as the Parent for the other, newly created, Nulls

5) Drag the new Null into the center of the Mask Path - use AE's Snapping Feature to easily snap to the center of the Mask Path.

6) Select all the Nulls created when you ran the aforementioned script and use the Parent column's pickwhip feature to them to the Null you just created

7) You can now animate this Null's Transform>Position as you would any other layer with full control over its Spatial and Temporal keyframes

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After Effects - Mask Path Animation Curved Pathway

Community Beginner ,
Sep 01, 2020

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Hi There 

 

Bit of background information: I am curently creating an animation where I have 2 logos on different layers. I am using a mask on the top layer to animate over the top and reveal the lower layer like a sneak peak as to what is underneath. 

 

My Problem: I can only seem to animate the Mask Path using straight lines which doesnt look very good as I would ideally like the path to be more curved so the result looks free flowing and adds more charachter to the movement. Is there a way I can bring in a path I have drawn so that the mask path can follow it? Or a way that I can alter the mask path I have already made so I can bend the straight lines to enable more curves? 

 

Unfortunatley I am unable to post any examples of the work I am creating because of the Client logo's being present. 

 

I hope that made sense? Any help will be much appreciated 


All the best 


Adam

 

 

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Roland Kahlenberg | Adobe Community Professional

You can run the pre-installed Script, Create Nulls from Paths and then Parent the Mask Points to another Null and then animate Transform>Position of this Parent Null.

 

1) Select Mask Path

2) Run Script from the File>Scripts menu

3) Select Create Nulls from Paths and click on the button, Points Follows Nulls. This step applies an Expression into the Mask Path property and creates one Null for each point on the path.

4) Create a new Null which will be used as the Parent for the other, newly created, Nulls

5) Drag the new Null into the center of the Mask Path - use AE's Snapping Feature to easily snap to the center of the Mask Path.

6) Select all the Nulls created when you ran the aforementioned script and use the Parent column's pickwhip feature to them to the Null you just created

7) You can now animate this Null's Transform>Position as you would any other layer with full control over its Spatial and Temporal keyframes

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Sep 01, 2020 0
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Sep 01, 2020

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Long click on the pen tool and select the anchor tool (or whatever it is named) to add beziér handles to the path points.

You can also create them on the flow, if you click-drag while makeing a new path point. And when you have the pen tool selected and you press and hold Alt-key, you can also switch to the anchor tool.

 

*Martin

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Sep 01, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 01, 2020

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I'm not sure whether you're problem is with drawing the mask or animating the mask.   The process sounds simple enough and unrelated to the logo so i would imagine you could easily create an example of the issue you're having using two other layers, so we don't see your clients logo.  Would be helpful because it's not entirely clear, at leats to me, what you are describing. 

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Sep 01, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 02, 2020

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Hi There, 

 

Thanks for your response. I have recreated the animation using an image of a dog (because who doesn't love dogs) and a circle underneath. As you can see the Mask Path that the mask follows uses straight lines but I can't find a way to curve the path in anyway to add some charachter to the way it flows around the image. If you know of any way to curve the mask pathway that would be great. Thanks in advance, 

 

Adam 

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Sep 02, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 02, 2020

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Perfect.  Thanks.  So without doing a little digging myself i don't believe theres a way to animate to affect the mask path in the way your asking.  As the path, in the case of masks, refers to the shape of the mask and not the position.  As far as I know there isn't any way to directly animate the positions of masks.  What your actually doing is animaniting all of the masks vertices at the same time so it gives the illusion of changing position but what it's actually changing is the shape, not the position.

One solution would be to use a shape layer as a TrkMat instead of masking the actual layer. With a TrkMat you can animate the position which will you give access to the in and out tangents.  TrkMats can be a little unintuitive at first as it's the bottom layer that's gets set to TrkMat but the layer above it that actually serves as the mat and while that top layers visibility gets turned off it's opacity still effects the mat.  It takes some playing around with to get used to.  Keep in mind the layer set to TrkMat will always use the layer directly above it as the mat so in some cases you might need to precompose the two.

I used a new screen cap software and for some reason it didn't capture the flyout menu when I switched the layer to TrkMat.

You just click on the twirly and choose AlphInverted.

 

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Sep 02, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Sep 02, 2020

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That is Amazing! 

 

Thank you so much for your time and help. Very much appreciated 

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Sep 02, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 02, 2020

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My pleasure. 🙂

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Sep 02, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 02, 2020

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You can run the pre-installed Script, Create Nulls from Paths and then Parent the Mask Points to another Null and then animate Transform>Position of this Parent Null.

 

1) Select Mask Path

2) Run Script from the File>Scripts menu

3) Select Create Nulls from Paths and click on the button, Points Follows Nulls. This step applies an Expression into the Mask Path property and creates one Null for each point on the path.

4) Create a new Null which will be used as the Parent for the other, newly created, Nulls

5) Drag the new Null into the center of the Mask Path - use AE's Snapping Feature to easily snap to the center of the Mask Path.

6) Select all the Nulls created when you ran the aforementioned script and use the Parent column's pickwhip feature to them to the Null you just created

7) You can now animate this Null's Transform>Position as you would any other layer with full control over its Spatial and Temporal keyframes

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Sep 02, 2020 1