Dave LaRonde, Senior Promotion Producer, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
Learning to use track mattes can be a valuable weapon in your After Effects arsenal.They're extremely versatile, and knowing how to use them can save you the time and expense of researching and buying yet another plug-in.
A Creative Cow visitor wrote, "I want to do a grid of small boxes that dissolve one row at a time, from bottom to top. What would be the fastest way to it?"A perfect opportunity to use track mattes! In this article, Dave LaRonde demonstrates the technique step by step.
Want to follow along at home?Download the project files above (This includes the grid jpeg and an AE 4.1 project file).
Make a comp, and put your grid on the bottom layer.
Make a solid that's as wide as the comp, and a bit taller than one grid row. Call it Track Matte 1.
Position Track Matte 1 over the bottom row of the grid.Here's what it looks like:
Duplicate Track Matte 1 and rename it Track Matte 2. Reposition it to obscure the next row up. Repeat this step as many times as necessary.
Figure out how much time you want between dissolves. Let's say it's a second. Put Track Matte 1 at 1 second, Track Matte 2 at 2 seconds, and so on. Precomp all the Track Matte layers. Call it Dissolve Precomp.
Figure out how long you want the dissolves to last. Open Dissolve Precomp. Go to the in point of the bottom layer, Track Matte 1. Set an Opacity keyframe of 0% at the in point, and a 100% Opacity keyframe at the end of the dissolve. Copy these two opacity keyframes.
Go to in point on the next layer up, Track Matte 2. Set any old opacity keyframe. Paste in the Opacity keyframes from Track Matte 1. Repeat this step for all of your layers..When you're done, your precomp will look like this:
Go back to the original comp. Go to your grid layer. Set the layer up so that it uses an Alpha Inverted Matte of the layer above it, which is Dissolve Precomp.
Do a Ram Preview and watch with satisfaction.Here's what it will look like:
When most people hear the words "alpha channels", they think "transparency", but that's not exactly accurate. The truth is more complex, and a quite bit more interesting! Join longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell for Part 3 of the best look behind the technology of compositing that you've ever seen, packed with practical advice for applying the secrets of alpha channels that's simply not possible before understanding these underlying principles. No matter which applications you're using for editing, compositing, or visual effects, this one is a must-see!
Whether you're a full-time compositor and VFX artist, an editor working in one of the many NLEs that supports Blend Modes (including Adobe Premiere, Apple FCP and FCPX, Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Rsolve, and VEGAS Pro), or whether you just want the additional graphics power that comes with insight into the secret world of pixels, this is the tutorial for you! Join longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell for Part 2 of the best look behind the technology of blend modes that you've ever seen, with some practical steps you can start taking today to make your work look better than ever.
Join longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell for the best look behind the technology of blend modes that you've ever seen. This isn't just for graphics and VFX, but for video editors too -- anyone who puts anything together, and wants to learn more about HOW images combine at the most basic level, in a way that applies to every application you might use, whether Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple FCPX, Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve, VEGAS Pro, and yes, graphics and VFX programs like After Effects, Motion, Fusion, Nuke, Scratch, and many more.
Join VFX guru Tobias Gleissenberger of Surfaced Studio for a classically energetic Adobe After Effects tutorial combining difference mattes, displacement maps, edge glows, and compositing tricks to dissolve (or explode!) one element in your frame while leaving the rest alone.
Problems with Adobe After Effects? Can't import or export QuickTime videos? Exports too big? Missing codecs? AE guru and VFX whiz Tobias Gleissenberger of Surfaced Studio has the answers you're looking for to make every project come to completion more smoothly, including a comparison of exported file sizes for common codecs.
Follow along as VFX guru Tobias Gleissenberger shows you how how to quickly create professional-looking animated text elements using the free presets that are included with Adobe After Effects, customizing them to suit your needs. Tobias will also show you how to apply masks to your text layers to have them appear from behind other elements.
Learn how to remove a person from a moving video using the Remove module of the Mocha Pro plug-in for Adobe After Effects! In one of his most epic tutorial's yet, Surfaced Studio's Tobias Gleissenberger then adds a bonus Beam Up effect using some of the great filters from the Boris Continuum and Sapphire collections.
Join VFX guru Tobias Gleissenberger for a fun, high-energy look at how to create all sorts of digital noise, glitch, and other disturbing video effects with any version of Adobe After Effects, without using any plug-ins!
In his latest high-energy Adobe After Effects tutorial, VFX guru Tobias Gleissenberger of Surfaced Studio combines a variety of effects to create the pulsating energy ball, composited with motion tracking, optical flares, and more.