How to Lock the Position of a Mask in After Effects

Posted on Sunday, 5 February 2012
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How to Lock the Position of a Mask in After Effects – A simple guide to explain how you do it

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How to “lock” position of a mask in AE

How to Lock the Position of a Mask in After Effects

You would like to move your footage layer around but the mask won’t stay “locked” in place? It’s possible to achieve and it’s very easy. To do this you can use a track matte.

Below is an explanation on how you “lock” the position of a mask in After Effects. To do this as mentioned you can use a track matte, it’s very easy once you have tried it.

First, you create a mask on a new solid layer on top of the layer you want to cut out / mask.

Here is the order for you: Arrange the layers in this order:

1) Masked Solid Layer
2) Your footage layer

Next select ‘Alpha Matte’ (the 1st option below No Track Matte) on the footage ‘TrkMat’ column Dropdown menu.

(Note: If you don’t see a TrkMat switch/modes column then press the Expand/Collapse The Layer Switches Pane icon (bottom left icon of the screen, the one with the tick symbol in the layers area).
(You may also have to toggle the Toggle Switches / Modes big wide button at the bottom of layers area to hide/show the TrkMat column).

This allows moving your footage layer around without the mask moving in your After Effects project. Nice! I hope that helps you answer your question how to “lock” the position of a mask in AE.

But what if I have more footage layers? Here is more information and help when having more footage layers

How to Lock the Position of a Mask in After Effects
For each footage layer you can have a separate masked solid layer used as Alpha Matte, see a screenshot example of this above. We hope that you found this guide helpful, feel free to visit again for more After Effects tips and tricks!

Read more: ‘Moving anchor point to center of content in After Effects CC’ »

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Anders is the Founder and Owner at Sundstedt Animation, where he creates handcrafted animated explainer videos, music videos and whiteboard videos. He lives in Glasgow, Scotland and enjoys film and photography. You can follow him on LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter.

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