Apply one layer to another layer?

Ok, so I'm working on the Star Trek beaming effect - the old school TOS version.
Basically I have these 5 layers in my shot:
5. New Camera
4. Sparkles effect (Comp shot)
3. Mask of me.jpg
2. Me in the room.jpg
1. Empty room.jpg
Why is it I cannot seem to apply the sparkles effect to the layer "Mask of me". I mean, I don't want everything to start sparkling when the beam out starts... only the masked me layer.
What am I missing?
Thanks.

Comments

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  • Robin
    Robin Posts: 1,669 Enthusiast
    As the Sparkles Effect is a separate layer, it isn't possible to apply it to another layer as an effect. Instead, you can drop the "Set Matte" effect onto the Sparkles Effect layer and set the source to the "Mask of me.jpg" layer, which will restrict the particle effect to it.
  • JanSkinnerup
    JanSkinnerup Posts: 12
    edited April 2012
    Thanks Robin... I actually tried the "Set Matte" and applied it to the "mask of me layer"... but that didn't work as expected :(
    However, I found that doing the masking directly in the sparkes layer work equally well as I can copy the mask to other layers if need be.
    The reason I started out with the "mask of me" layer was to avoid having to do the masking more than once if I wanted several effect layers... but with the mask copying I solved that problem that way. :)
  • Robin
    Robin Posts: 1,669 Enthusiast
    edited April 2012

    Thanks Robin... I actually tried the "Set Matte" and applied it to the "mask of me layer"... but that didn't work as expected :(
    Good to hear you found a solution, but just to clear it up if you might want to try the set Matte effect again:
    1. The Set Matte effect has to be applied to the Effects layer you want to mask (the sparkles), not the layer you want to mask it to (The masked me layer).
    2. What the layer you use as source for the Set Matte effect will pass to the Set Matte effect is its initial Alpha channel BEFORE any of the effects or masks are applied to it. Therefore, if you masked the "masked me" layer it will still pass the rectangular Alpha channel of the original picture to the Set Matte effect which will obviously not work. To make it work you have to pre-comp the masked me Layer (make it into its own composite shot) and mask it in there. This way, the Set Matte effect will receive the masked alpha channel, which should then work.
    Don't hesitate to ask if there's something you didn't understand :)
    Might be too much work for your specific project, but there might be situations where simply copying the mask won't do (for example if keying is involved).
  • Hmm... I must be doing something wrong then :)
    Yes... apply the Set Matte effect to the layer that I want to mask (the sparkles) - I got that part right :)
    Then I tried to do exactly what you suggested and I still get sparkles all over the place.
    I took the picture of me and made a new comp shot called BeamMask2.
    This new comp only contains the picture of me which I have then applied a square mask to (Yes, I am lazy as long as I am testing :)) )
    My completed beam comp shot now looks like this:
    5. New Camera
    4. Sparkles effect (comp)
    3. BeamMask2 (comp)
    2. Me in the room.jpg
    1. Empty room.jpg
    I apply the Set Matte effect to the sparkles layer and tell it to use the BeamMask2 layer as the souce layer... and I get sparkles all over the place and not just in the masked square from the BeamMask2 comp?
  • Robin
    Robin Posts: 1,669 Enthusiast
    Wait a moment, let me test this out for myself. :D
  • Robin
    Robin Posts: 1,669 Enthusiast
    Okay, so I just tried this myself. I did it just as you described, and it worked perfectly... I just had one issue which might be the source for your trouble: I first set up the Set Matte effect, and after that I pre-comped the masking layer. This caused the Set Matte effect to reset it's source to "None", so I had to set this to the layer again - did you chekc if the source is still set correctly?
  • Hehehe I found the problem... :))
    Solution was so obvious and stupid that I really need a FacePalm smiley right about now :D
    But thanks Robin, yes it works as expected now with the BeamMask2 as a comp shot :)

    (Ok, so I actually have two seperate sparkles layers.
    One with the major sparkles and one for much fainter details. I applied the Set Matte to the wrong layer... so I had obvious sparkles all over still... but the finer details were correctly only showing within the masked area. Applying the Set Matte to both sparkles layers sort of solved the problem :) )