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Using mask


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What I'm looking to do is add a overlay to a background  . I can do this using crop, but being square. it doesn't conform to the shape very wellleaving a lot of the background still there .
Have been experimenting with mask, but still cant find a away to mask something off, and remove everything not in the mask
Have tried green screening it but it still removes everything in and outside of the mask .

am I being too optimistic


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Create the mask, then UNcheck the "mask inside" box.  Add the TRANSPARENCY effect and adjust the slider  Place this clip over the background.

Example:  the nose is the masked area of a face.  The rest is transparent, so the background shows through.  Is this what you have in mind?



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The basics are as Borate describes...

In a nutshell

  • Place your background image/video on the main track.
  • Place your overlay on Track 2
  • Go into Clip Preview
  • Click the FX button at the left end of Track 2 (The overlay) and then click the button to the right of the green cross. (Add effect Mask) This places a red dotted rectangle mask on the image.
  • Grab  any point of the line and drag it to the edge of the area you want to mask off. Do this as many times as required to produce a reasonably smooth masked off area.
  • If you want this area to be a "hole" in the overlay then Check "Mask Inside"
  • If you want the mask area to the the "Object" then uncheck "Mask Inside"
  • Feather the edge a little to smooth the border.
  • Click the green cross and select the Transparency effect.
  • Slide Opacity to zero .
  • Depending on your option "Mask inside" your overlay will either show  as an object on the Track 1 background or the Track 1 background will show through a "hole" in the overlay.

Here is an example of Flying saucer over the moon...

First the "object" from Video Track 2......


......and masked out with multiple points dragged to the outline.....


Now with the edge smoothed by feathering and the background made transparent ...



Overlaid  onto a Moon background clip (Video Track 1) ....


You can use the Position effect to set the object where you wish and if you want it to move with or over the background then use keyframes  with the Position settings...

Hope this helps


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9 hours ago, Nationalsolo said:

If you want this area to be a "hole" in the overlay then Check "Mask Inside"

hi thanks for everybody who has replied. Have managed to do most of it.

The bit that is causing the problem is check “Mask Inside” . cannot find that control anywhere , have a background box, but not a inside /outside tick box?

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Not sure whether I'm going stupid or that maybe I have a older copy of the program , have had for couple of years but I assumed that it would update. I will add that I have the free copy as want to see if it will do what I want before purchasing, and that Im running on a emulator  from a mac, which can slow thing down a bit , but not enough to miss check boxes

have enclosed a screen vidio of what I do to bring up a mask ,and can see nowhere to uncheck a box

(or would have done if I could see where to save att. On clicking insert other media ,it tells me I dont have any existing , or asks for a http)


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Right that's solved it , looking at the web site noticed that there is a mac system which I down loaded, to find that the version I've got on windows is outdated , so now have downloaded latest window version, to find that there is a check box under mask !

Thanks for everybody ,who helped and will now use the mac version as it will help on memory

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Whilst looking at this I have found that whilst I can create the detailed mask shape which I mentioned in my reply above, and animate any of the points. I haven't found a way animating the "object" that it cuts out when Transparency (or other effect) has been set to isolate the "object". (Irrespective of the setting for the "Mask Inside" box.)

Perhaps I am missing something here but can VP be enhanced to........

  1. Allow the user to move the mask as a whole as well as  point by point with keyframes.
  2. Permit the Transparency effect to be used correctly with a mask and Position with keyframes.

As an example... My reply above showed how to create a variable shaped mask, in this case of a flying saucer. When I came to animate this object...e.g. to make it move in from the right, hover and then "fly" down to the moon's surface (background Track 1 clip) by using  Scale, Position and Rotate. I couldn't.  Transparency seemed to be the stumbling block. But without Transparency there was no longer a flying saucer to fly!^_^  None of the effects would work with the mask.

The work around was to create the object with the transparent border (masked from the image) and then export this. Load the exported clip back with now a black background and then use the green screen to render this black area transparent (assuming there was no black in the object itself).

As the imported image/clip was now in effect  independant   the above mentioned effects could be made to work but then of course it's shape could not be altered as there was no longer a mask.

Any way of resolving this?...(Hope its clear.)


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If you want to move / animate an object that has been isolated using the mask effect using "Mask Inside" and a transparency effect, you then need to apply a "Clear Mask" effect (the button next to "Add mask" with a red x), and you can then use the position, rotate, motion, whatever effect as you wish.

You can also move all points in the mask at once by drag-selecting all the points (click down, drag rectangle over points, release mouse button).

Note that you can also add masks after a clear mask effect, or use a new mask effect without clearing to change the shape of the mask.

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".....you then need to apply a "Clear Mask" effect ....."

Yes!  Thanks for revealing this step. Useful to know as well and it answers my query. 

Using "Clear effect mask" works and an isolated object cut out using the mask with the "mask inside" box unticked can be animated and have other effects applied to it now. (e.g. The flying saucer can be rendered in B&W)  But it's not that intuitive as having created a mask it doesn't seem very logical to use "Clear effect mask" as it implies you would simply remove the mask you created leaving the original clip...a bit like clicking the x in the effects window. The Help page is no clearer on this either.


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  • 10 months later...

When clicking on points on a mask to move them around, I invariably will inadvertently create new points no matter how careful I am to click the already existing point. Over a period of time of working with a mask, doing key frames every couple of seconds or so, I can end up with a bunch of unneeded points. Is there a way to delete these extra points? I tried highlighting one and clicking delete, but that deleted the whole clip!

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  • 5 months later...
  • 3 months later...


Might have been better to start a new topic.  -_- By "layer" I presume you mean a Track?

However your problem doesn't seem to occur here with VP 10.17 (Example steps) 

  • First set up Dual Displays in Options/Display/Dual Previews
  • Place a clip on timeline and move it to Video Track 2
  • Click FX  for the clip and select Add effect mask. Mask appears in Clip Preview image as a red rectangle
  • Drag the mask edges and points to create the desired shape. i.e. Roughly around the cat
  • As this is going to be either a "hole" in the clip or an isolated "object" from the clip select  or leave the Mask inside box e.g. for an object leave the box unticked.
  • Click the green + and add a Transparency effect making it 100%. You now have your "object" on a transparent background......Here is the rough mask...
  • zz.jpg
  • Now place a background clip on Video track 1  The Sequence preview image (right) shows the combined effect at the cursor position........
  • zzz.jpg
  • Now.... If I want to adjust the mask shape... 
  • Click the FX for the masked  clip (Track 2)
  • The masked clip appears in the Clip Preview  window (left) and the result in the  Sequence preview at the cursor position (right) and the mask can be altered  e.g. turned into a star and the effect can be monitored in the sequence preview....
  • zzzz.jpg

Nothing disappears as you are monitoring the mask in the top clip and this appears on the left..the CLIP preview. If you want to see the background either inside the mask (hole) or around the mask (object) you must set up Dual Preview Displays (as here) in Options Display.


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  • 6 months later...


On 2/16/2018 at 9:22 AM, NotADevWinkWink said:

If you want to move / animate an object that has been isolated using the mask effect using "Mask Inside" and a transparency effect, you then need to apply a "Clear Mask" effect (the button next to "Add mask" with a red x), and you can then use the position, rotate, motion, whatever effect as you wish.


Thanks so much for this tip!  It was a godsend for me!

created this using your tip :)



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