Mask on a effect - possible?

Trommlertom Posts: 25 Just Starting Out*
Hi there,
is it possibel to use a mask on a effect?
I am doing a green screen project but on some parts of the material I do not want the effect. Because sadly there is some green color on the object that i want to separate from the background.
Now my ide is to mask out the green screen effect on that particulaar area. Is this possible? if so, how?
Thanks for your help!


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,189 Power User

    You cannot mask effects on media layers. Effects are calculated after masks.

    You CAN mask effects on grade layers where masks are calculated AFTER effects. This would work for what you want to do, but does mean you need to prep your greenscreen element in its own comp shot.

  • Trommlertom
    Trommlertom Posts: 25 Just Starting Out*
    Thanks for your post. Unfortuantely I am a newby on Hitfilm. So I did not understand the difference between media Layer and a com shot.
    Do you have a recommodation for a tutorial video on this? Thanks so much.. Thomas
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,189 Power User


    Hitfilm uses an Editor Timeline for program assembly and Composite Shots to set up complex animations. @FilmSensei put together this video discussing the differences.

    A "media layer" would be a photo, video, text, plane, 3D model or particle sim layer. Things you see in your video.

    A Grade Layer (called "Adjustment Layer" in other software) forces everything under itself to render then passes to the Effects engine. Basically a Grade Layer lets you "add effects to every layer under it at the same time." (That's not strictly true - the Grade Layer adds effects to itself after it renders all layers below it to itself, but it's LIKE adding effects to all layers under itself. There are a couple of other things you can do with Grade Layers, but that's a discussion for later.)

    Media layers cannot mask effects because the effects are added after the mask is added. Some effects (glows, lightning, etc) actually create pixel data, so on a media layer you don't want to mask effects.

    Grade Layers do masks after the effects and this is specifically so you CAN mask out part of a glow or other effect.

    So, in your specific case you're looking at adding your greenscreen video to a Comp then putting a Grade Layer over the video and masking out the section the key is removing you want to keep. Then you would drag this Comp into another Comp or your Editor (placing a Comp into another Comp or on your Editor is called "nesting," "pre-comping/pre-compositing," or "embedding.). This embedded Comp will be treated like a video layer with a transparent background.

    You might have to animate the mask. Animating a mask is also called "roto/rotoscoping" This is the last full video FX home did on masking.

    Masking changed a bit in Hitfilm 15, so the controls at the up left of the Viewer are different from this video, but all the stuff about blend modes and animation is accurate. This video should show how the viewer controls changed in Hitfilm 15, and cover the new polygonal masks added in 15. Between those two videos, you should be up to speed.

    Note I'm recommending masking a Grade Layer. There's another option, which is using two copies of the the video footage. You'd turn off the top layer, key the bottom layer then roto the top layer to bring back the "hole" in the greenscreen. Either way you need two layers and roto. Use whichever method (roto the Grade or roto a copy of the video) makes more sense to how you think. Both are "correct." As you get more advanced with the software you'll learn that Hitfilm either can't do a thing at all, or there are a half dozen ways to do the same thing.

  • Trommlertom
    Trommlertom Posts: 25 Just Starting Out*
    edited June 2021

    Hey man...

    Thanks so much! Very much appreciated!

    i will check out those videos during the weekend and learn how to "work" with Hitfilm (I am used to work with other software).

    Am I allowed to ask you one more thing?

    Can you give me a recommendation for a PC configuration that will give me the chance to have a "smooth" workflow but would be affordable?

    I already checked out the Minimum requirements but I know that the Minimum system requirements is the bottom line to get things working but not enough to have "fun" and an "up to date" workflow.

    I do not need a "Pro" computer but my 10-year-old I5 2500 is definitely to weak...

    I will use Hitfilm mainly for cutting and Green screening. No intensive CGI FX work. ;-)

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Have a great day! Cheers from Germany!


  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,796 Ambassador

    @HitFilmer88896 Basically you need a mid-range to high end gaming system to really get the best performance out of HF. HF relies heavily on the GPU for effects and the CPU for dealing with video files. So you will want to put your money in those areas. Also you would be best served with starting out with 32 GB of ram so you have enough overhead to run other graphics programs, such as Photoshop, etc. while HF is running.

    If you are technically inclined, you can save some money (thus having more to spend on components) by building your own system. Check out There you can putz around building a virtual system online and save the config to come back and edit or change later, compare prices, read reviews, etc.

    Also, whether you build or buy, keep an eye on the power supply. You want one that is over the wattage requirements of your components to build in a power buffer for more cards or an upgraded GPU down the line. PCPartPicker is handy because it will tell you if your components are compatible, what they cost and whether they will fit in the case you choose. I tend to lean toward Intel for CPU, NVidia for GPU and EVGA for the power supply, but to each his own. Expect to pay $1500 to $2000 for a proper system for video editing. You'll want an SSD for the OS and at least a 2 TB SSD or HD for your video files/projects.

  • Trommlertom
    Trommlertom Posts: 25 Just Starting Out*

    Thanks to everybody for your input!

  • Trommlertom
    Trommlertom Posts: 25 Just Starting Out*

    Will 4 GB on the graphic gard be ok?

    I will not do CGI effects or 3D stuff...

    Only Masking, Text, Colour grading , Green Screening and such. Regular editing for Music Videos

    Or is 6 GB/8GB a must?



  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,189 Power User

    4GB is fine. More than 4GB is most useful for 3D models/particles or for higher than 4k timelines (Pro only). More is always helpful, but, for what you're describing 4GB gives you plenty of memory.