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Masking problems with lightswords... [ANSWER]

Posted: Thu, 11th May 2006, 11:38pm

Post 1 of 5

730 Studios

Force: 200 | Joined: 8th May 2006 | Posts: 3

EffectsLab Lite User

Gold Member

Hey, what's up everybody...I'm a brand new "film maker" living in Washington DC. (I'm a Marine stationed there.) My latest hobby is attempting to make a no shit Star Wars fan film. Anyhow, my old method was using Premiere and worked allright I guess. I really wanted to nab a copy of After Effects, but, $700 is a little much for a Marine! Ha. I found this GREAT program, and 600 dollars cheaper, and I think I'm all set. My only trouble is this:

Making the 4 point sabers are great, until I come to a shot with the saber behind the actor's head. I'VE READ ALL THE POSTS ABOUT THIS! It works great for the first frame or two or three, but later in the sequence, (like in another camera angle), I'll get a random invisible head blocking someone elses saber! I can't seem to figure this out, and it's killing me. Can anyone help?! It would be gratefully apreciated...

*great program by the way...I'm recommending it to EVERYONE I know. Why have I never heard about this little gem??!?!*
Posted: Fri, 12th May 2006, 12:26am

Post 2 of 5


Force: 13107 | Joined: 16th Sep 2004 | Posts: 848

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User MacOS User

FXhome Team Member

Firstly, welcome to FXhome and congratulations on your purchase!

If I'm understanding you correctly, you're trying to mask out the lightsaber on a few frames of the video so that it appears to go behind an actor's head, but you're finding that this mask remains on subsequent frames and hence looks silly.

Here are a couple of options for you:

1. You could animate the mask and position it outside the canvas when it's not needed. E.g. the mask would only appear on the canvas for the frames that you need it to. On all other frames, the mask would be outside the picture and be doing nothing. If necessary, you may want to read up on keyframes/animation in the Manual.

2. You could crop the Neon Light object into several portions which match up with the video that needs to be masked. E.g. you would have a Neon Light object that exactly matches the start & end of the video where the actor's head is in front of the lightsaber. Then you can add a mask to this Neon Light object, and the mask will only affect those frames.
Posted: Fri, 12th May 2006, 1:06am

Post 3 of 5


Force: 5941 | Joined: 18th Jul 2003 | Posts: 555

VisionLab User VideoWrap User FXpreset Maker Windows User


Those are two sufficient methods for correcting this issue, and should work fine for you. There is another method you may want to try as well. You can key frame the masks transparency to 100, just before the frame the mask is no longer required. Now advance one frame, and bring the transparency to a value of 0. This would affectively result in the mask not longer having an affect for the rest of its life time, until altered by you.

This method would also work if you are using the free hand neon light effect to mask your light saber. Incase you are not aware of this method, read this topic, and you should have a good idea of how it works. The only difference would be that you have to change the transparency of the free hand effect, as appose to the mask.

Welcome to the site.
Posted: Fri, 12th May 2006, 1:29am

Post 4 of 5

730 Studios

Force: 200 | Joined: 8th May 2006 | Posts: 3

EffectsLab Lite User

Gold Member

See, this is why this program is friggin awesome! I post a question, and instantly I get a two great replies from experienced users. Thank you guys so much...allright, I'm off to mess with it!
Posted: Fri, 12th May 2006, 8:29am

Post 5 of 5


Force: 16050 | Joined: 18th Jun 2002 | Posts: 674

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User FXpreset Maker Windows User MacOS User

FXhome Team Member

There's nothing I can really add to the replies, just wanted to say welcome to the site, and it might be worth checking out the latest video tutorials by Tarn, they might help you get to grips with a few basics. I know there are neon light and masking tutes on the way smile

Video tutorials
Basic Lightsword tutorial