How to mask multiple text layers?

mrmuzzi Posts: 7 Just Starting Out*
edited October 2021 in Post-production techniques

Hi, I need to draw a mask shared by different text layers.

I have a video where these texts have to come out from a bag so I need to hide and animate them.

I have tried to use a Set Matte on one text layer pointing to a non visible black plane and it works fine except that a plane is not the shape that I need as a mask:

I then tried drawing a mask on that black plane but the Set Matte still takes the whole plane itself and not the mask I drew:

I don't know whether the black plane or its mask should be set differently regarding blend modes etc...

I hope I explained the situation clearly šŸ˜!!!

Thanks in advance,


Best Answer

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,294 Power User
    Answer āœ“


    First, sorry for the delay. This thread accidentally got caught in the Spam Queue, and I had to release it.

    So, here's the deal - an pay attention because what we're going to discuss here applies to ANY effect in Hitfilm that uses a "Source Layer," like Set Matte.

    When Hitfilm accesses a "Source Layer," it uses the "raw state" of that layer - before any effects or masks have been added.

    In your case, the raw state of a plane layer is the shape of the full rectangular layer. Basically, Hitfilm isn't seeing the mask you've added.

    So, you have to "bake in" the mask so that Hitfilm sees it. You have two ways to do this.

    The first is the "Grade Layer Trick." A Grade Layer is described as a way to add effects to all the layers underneath itself, but this isn't strictly true... A Grade Layer forces a render of all the layers under itself, then passes the render to the Grade Layer's Effects stack. So, the "Raw State" of a Grade Layer is that render. You could stick the masked plane at the very bottom of the layer stack then put a Grade Layer directly above the masked plane. This "bakes in" the mask to the Grade Layer. Then, in your Set Matte effect, you would use the Grade Layer as your Source Layer.

    Second, you can right click your masked plane, select "Make Composite Shot" and choose to move the mask into the new Comp with the plane. This will replace the original plane layer with what the manual calls an "Embedded Composite Shot." (An Embedded Comp is also sometimes called a "Pre-Comp" - because an embedded comp in Hitfilm is the same as a pre-comp in After effects - or called a "Nested Comp," after those russian "nesting dolls." Either way, the "Raw State" of an Embedded Comp is the final render of the Embedded Comp itself. Again, this "bakes in" the mask so that the Set Matte effect will see it properly.

    Once again, this applies to any effect that uses a Source Layer. If you're ever trying something with an effect that uses a source layer and it's not working like you think it should, convert the source layer to an embedded comp and that should fix it.

    On your current shot you'll want to make that plane bigger before you mask and pre-comp it. It's not covering the bottom of the text. Still, you should be good to go!