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Masks

Although hand-created and animated for the most part, masks open up all kinds of possibilities in After Effects. Masks are the principal method for defining transparency regions in a clip without regard to actual pixels, because they are vector shapes. This section lays down the basics for smart use of masks.

Typical Mask Workflow

There are three tools for creating masks: two shape tools and the Pen. To activate the Rectangular Mask tool, use thekeyboard shortcut Q; press Q again to toggle the tool to the Elliptical Mask tool. If your mask doesn't conform well to a rectangle or an ellipse, you can draw it point by point with the Pen tool (G).


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