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Special-Purpose Layers

Most layers you'll create can be used for nearly any content or purpose, as mentioned at the beginning of the chapter. These are known as normal layers. But there are other layers, specifically mask layers and motion guide layers, that are reserved for specific uses. These layer types are different from normal layers in that they don't contain just any kind of content like normal layers do, and they always work in conjunction with at least one normal layer to which they are linked. In other words, by themselves these special layers do nothing. Once linked to at least one normal layer, they affect the content of that linked-normal layer in a unique way, as you'll soon learn.

Mask Layers

Mask layers add a wealth of possibilities to the seemingly endless array of effects that can be achieved with this wonderful animation tool. You can think of a mask layer as a stencil. When you place a stencil over a surface and spray paint over that stencil, paint is applied only to those areas not covered by the stencil; the rest of the surface is blocked off, or masked, from the paint.


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