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Tutorial: Masking in Vegas
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dayln03
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:01 am    Post subject: Tutorial: Masking in Vegas Reply with quote

Alright ya'll, I've never done a tutorial before, I don't know how in-depth or vague I'm supposed to be, and I'm not a very good explainer. But I've had a few people now ask me questions about masking, so I figured it was high-time to try and put together a tutorial about it. There's even pretty pictures along the way to guide you so you don't get bored! Ready? Set..GO!

Step: 001: Choose your victim
What do you want to mask? Masking is a very useful tool for everything from placing a person into a different scene to making Sam and Dean smooch (which is what I'm sure all of you are going to go out and mask after this riiiiiiight? )
For this particular tutorial I'm going to mask by cutting out a piece of one clip and replacing it with another (Putting people in mirrors, picture frames, things like that)
We're going to use this clip of Dean from 2.02 - 'Everybody Loves a Clown'

AND
This clip of Jo from 2.14 - 'Born Under a Bad Sign'


Step: 002: Putting clips on the timeline
The first thing you're going to do is create two video tracks and place the clips, one on top of the other, into the timeline - just like you would if you were creating a normal split screen.

TIP: One important difference when you're masking is which clip you put on top and which clip you put on the bottom. In this case we want the clip of Dean to be on top and the clip of Jo to be on the bottom. We're going to be cutting out the car windshield in the clip of Dean - there will be just black space there, so you want the clip of Jo to be on the bottom so it fills up that black space. With the masking tool you're creating just what it says - a mask. So the clip of Dean will work as a mask that goes OVER the clip of Jo, so you want it to be on top!

Step: 003: Event/Pan Crop
Now that you have the clips on the timeline, you're going to right click on the clip of Dean (because that's the clip that is going to have the actual mask itself) and click 'Video even/pan crop...' This will bring up a new preview box to work in.


Step: 004: Make sure you are indeed masking
In that new preview box toward the bottom left hand side, there is going to be a little box that says 'mask'. Make sure that little box is checked/ticked, otherwise....nothing is going to happen


Step: 005: Anchor tool
Another thing that you need to make sure you have checked is the right tool. There is a column on the left hand side of the preview box that has a row of arrow looking tools. The tool you want to be using when you mask is called the 'Anchor Creation Tool'. It looks just like a little pen - make sure though that you click that particular pen tool, you DO NOT want to be using the pen with the minus symbol (-) next to it. That tool is used to erase your mask.


Step: 006: Begin masking!
You're going to use the Anchor Creation Tool (dude I just call it the pen tool, because that is so much easier to say AND type...so yes, the pen tool!). You use the pen tool to click and insert points onto the image in order to create an outline around part of the image. DO NOT DRAG points, simply click each point separately, the dotted line connecting points will show up all on it's own as you go along.


Step: 007: More connecting
When you are finished outlining the shape, the last thing you're going to do is click on the very first point you inserted. This will connect the shape as a whole. Again, do not drag the points. Your last point will end up being the same as your first point. You'll know you've done it correctly because the entire shape will be highlighted in yellow and the leftover will fade a little.

TIP: One very important thing to keep in mind is what exactly you want to show up. In this case, we want Jo to be where the windshield is, so we want the windshield to disappear when we add our mask. When you're masking, the shape you outline is the shape that stays visible! If we would have outlined the windshield, that would have stayed visible and the space around it become the black space. So always remember, if you want something to disappear, outline everything except it. The shape you outline is the shape that stays visible.

Step: 008: Feathering
When you're connecting points, they are automatically straight lines, which doesn't always look the most natural. When you have just straight lines, they can look very jagged and messy. So to remedy that, we're going to use the Feather tool! (Located in the left hand column under 'Path'. The 'Feather %' then is located directly under that). You have three options when you feather: In, Out, or Both. Feathering in - blurs all the points on the path inward, so in this case it will slowly make the entire image disappear. Feathering Out - blurs all the points on the path outward so that the higher the percentage the more of the original image is visible. Feathering both - blurs points both inward and outward, making the line less jagged, leaving this looking a lot smoother, this is the option that I choose most often and find the most useful.


Step: 009: The tricky part
When you are in the preview box, you can move the cursor along to view the clip. You'll notice that as it starts to get to the end of the clip the clip itself will begin to move while the shape you outlined does not! It'll look like it's being shifted up, down, left, right, little by little as the clip goes on. When you start to see this happening you're going to want an insert a key frame at that spot. From there you're going to select (from the left hand column with all the arrow looking tools) the 'Normal Edit Tool'. It looks just like a regular arrow. Scroll over the image and DO NOT click until the shape is completely highlighted in yellow - from there you can click on it and drag and drop the outline anywhere. Here, obviously, we're going to want to place it so that it again covers the image in the place you want. You're going to find that you might have to do this several time, creating several keyframes as you go along, to make sure that the outline stays in place throughout the entire clip.

TIP: Using the Normal Edit Tool this way doesn't always work so straight-forward. A lot of times you will be working with masks a lot more complex than this one - especially if you're manipping kisses. There are going to be a TON more points and moving the shape as a whole won't always line up exactly. When that happens you will need to use the Normal Edit Tool to click on individual points and move them. You will click on the individual points and drag them to re-outline the shape as you go alone to make sure it stays lined up.

When you've finished all that, keyframes and all, you're left with an a clip that will resemble this:

Now if you're placing a person into a different scene, manipping kisses, etc. This is where you stop! However when working with putting people in windows, mirrors, frames etc. I usually take it a little further. If you look at the image you can see that Jo fits perfectly in the space where the windshield once was, but that becomes part of the problem. You loose the context of the clip because it looks like she just has a border around her with a blob chilling on the left hand side of it, and that looks silly. We want it too look like Jo is a reflection in the windshield.
So...

Step: 010: Adding video tracks
I said before that when you're masking, you need to be very conscious of what is on top and what is on bottom. The clip of Dean is going to remain on the top because it is working as a mask over the rest of the clips. So when we add a track we're going to add it BELOW that clip of Dean.


Step: 011: No more mask.
You're going to right click, copy and paste that same clip of Dean onto the new video track (Because we want Jo to look like a reflection in the windshield we want the original shot of Dean to show up in the windshield as well).
Then again you're going to right click and choose 'Video Event/Pan Crop..". This time though, you're going to UNCHECK the box that says mask, so the mask disappears. You'll be able to see in the original preview window (bottom right of the screen) that it looks just like it did when you first started.


Step: 012: Opacity change.
In oder to make both Dean and Jo show up, you're going to need to lower the opacity of that track. On the left hand side of your track timeline, you'll see the track tool bars. On track #2, the middle track, you're going to move the dial to the left to lower the opacity level. This step is really more of personal preference. If you want the reflection of Jo to be less visible you leave the opacity level at a higher percentage. If you want the reflection of Jo to be more visible, you lower the opacity level to a lower percenatge - for this clip I chose about a 44%.


The only thing left to do now is is to add colors and effects to make it look pretty - And then you're all done. Yay! :cheer:
Here is my finished product:
http://www.zshare.net/video/50208734977764/

So, I really hope that this helped some of you. Even a little? I understand that what I did here was a very simple example of masking, so if in the future you want me to do one that's a little more advanced - one on manipping kisses for example - just ask and I'd be happy to whip up a tutorial that's a little more complex. For now though if you have any questions on this particular tutorial please feel free to ask!
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littleton_pace
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dayln you are a God; thank you so much for this! i have massive issues with masking; ill use this for sure
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Aislynn
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was beautifully done, Dayln! Thank you so much! I linked you into the Guide section, hope you don't mind!
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littleton_pace
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just letting you know Dayln that i used this while using mask in my kate/nick (from csi ) vid and it took me only about a half hour to work through; all ur explanations were great; i didnt get lost and understood it all. Now i understand why it never worked for me before; i never used to do those keyframes and the masked scene would move and look crappy so THANK YOU! *massive hugs*
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Belxf
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is great, Dalyn! I' wanted to make a tutorial like that, but i never found the time to do it, and yours is so much better than mine would ever be... I'm terrible explaining things!
Anyway, Great job here!
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PsychoCynic
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm SLOWLY (and believe me, I mean that!) getting the hang of masking in Vegas. But I have a problem with the changing the masking once the scene changes,person/image moves.

Quote:
Scroll over the image and DO NOT click until the shape is completely highlighted in yellow - from there you can click on it and drag and drop the outline anywhere.


I'm not getting that at all! Whenever I allow the mouse to hover over the selected part at say, 0:03 seconds into the scene when I need to accomodate to the moving image, it never highlights in yellow all the way around. And when I click on it in order to instigate it to highlight, it only highlights the particular line I clicked on. And when I drag that line, it drags in a very curved or diagonal fashion. I don't know if any of this makes sense to you, but maybe you can help.

I'd love to learn from the best, after all...
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Honey



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Tutorial: Masking in Vegas Reply with quote

Quote:

So, I really hope that this helped some of you. Even a little? I understand that what I did here was a very simple example of masking, so if in the future you want me to do one that's a little more advanced - one on manipping kisses for example - just ask and I'd be happy to whip up a tutorial that's a little more complex. For now though if you have any questions on this particular tutorial please feel free to ask!



Well yeah that helped a little But I'd reeeeally want to know how I can manipulate kisses or something like that. I used to try it with photos someone looked at but the mask always changed because the bigness' photo changed too *lol* So I got totally lost and said 'Crap, I can't do stuff like that'
Now I want to learn. So pleeeease help me =)[/quote]
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phoenix39
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. This is awesome. I'm going to make myself use this tutorial sometime during my Vegas trial.
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Freckles815
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using the Vegas 8.0 trial and when I went to Pan/Crop, the pen tool isn't there and there is no options for masking. Did it just change that much from 6.0 to 8.0 or is there something I'm completely missing?
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Aislynn
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freckles815 wrote:
I'm using the Vegas 8.0 trial and when I went to Pan/Crop, the pen tool isn't there and there is no options for masking. Did it just change that much from 6.0 to 8.0 or is there something I'm completely missing?


Is it possible that the trial is for Vegas Movie Studio 8? I use Vegas Movie Studio 6 and it doesn't have the pan/crop pen tool or the option for masking. I know that some programs limit what you can do with the trial but I've never heard of Vegas doing that.

Other than that, I'm really not sure what the problem could be, sorry!
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Freckles815
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the Sony Vegas Movie Studio 8.0 platinum 30 day trial that I'm using. I just noticed on the screencaps of the tutorial that it says 6.0 in one of the windows so I figured that maybe 6.0 had masking and then they removed it in the future versions. The only thing I have seen on my version is Mask Generator in VideoFX but it's completely different and relates to an entirely different effect.
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SassyLostie2
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't believe Movie Studios has that option. Just Sony Vegas. I could be misunderstanding, but I have Movie Studios and I made one vid with it, and it wouldn't let me do stuff like that... I dunno, sometimes you can achieve a similar effect by using the cookie cutter effect. I think MS has that, at least...
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Aislynn
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freckles815 wrote:
It's the Sony Vegas Movie Studio 8.0 platinum 30 day trial that I'm using. I just noticed on the screencaps of the tutorial that it says 6.0 in one of the windows so I figured that maybe 6.0 had masking and then they removed it in the future versions. The only thing I have seen on my version is Mask Generator in VideoFX but it's completely different and relates to an entirely different effect.


Nope, unfortunately Movie Studio just doesn't have that same masking ability as the full version that Dayln was using. But, like Sassy said, Movie Studio does have the cookie cutter, which can be used to do something similar. The main difference is that the cookie cutter only comes in pre-set shapes so you can't do a defined shape like you can with the pan/crop mask.
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Snapefan
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Old topic but solved a new problem for me! Great tutorial
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xXAngelicEvilXx
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using SV 9 Platinum and there is no mask tick box to check or the pen tool. All there is is an option in compositing mode to switch to Multiply (mask).

Was hoping I could figure this out for my October contest vid, because it's going to be tough,
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