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Rotomasks Just Got BetterRE:Vision FX Introduces PVFeather for After Effects
With RE:Vision FX's introduction of their new plugin for Adobe's After Effects, rotoscopers and mask makers everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief. Finally "Per Vertex" feathering comes to AE splines in a very easy to use plugin. The plugin adds an advanced set of functionality to masking tools that has been long awaited.
At NAB, Pierre Jasmin gave us a sneak preview of the new plugin from RE:Vision FX. While some people remarked that they wanted more video of the brief video with Pierre, it really demonstrates how easy and quick it is to get a completely new level of control for masking.
click here for the quick video interview (from NAB 2007)
After you create your original mask shape (see fig. 1) to define the "inside mask", you can create an additional mask to use as the "outside mask". If you've already defined an "inside mask" you can use the "Action" feature within the plugin to create a cloned offset (with either expanded or contracted values).
By using the Action feature, PV Feather will automatically create a new mask shape based on the "inside mask" then use that new mask as the definition for the "outside mask".
All of the points in both masks can be animated exactly like any traditional mask path. PVFeather draws a gradient alpha channel between each of the correlating vertices in the pair or masks assigned to the plugin.
The inside mask defines a hard 100% white alpha channel, while the outside produces a 100% black alpha channel. The plugin creates the ramp between the two, following the coordinates of each of the vertices in the two paths.
The paths don't have to be the same shape, or even contain the same number of vertices in order for PVFeather to work. (Although in order to work well, you may need to turn off the "Match Vertices" option if your two masks don't share the same number of points).
The plugin doesn't even require the defining elements to be closed mask paths. PVFeather creates the alpha between the two masks
While this plugin will find a home with EVERY Adobe After Effects rotoscoper, there may be some additional ways to use the plugin with the other "path shapes" in Adobe After Effects CS3.
PVFeather is now available for purchase or demo from the RE:Vision FX website: http://www.revisionfx.com
While the Full Version is only going to set you back $69.95 per seat, the "render-only" licenses are only about $14 for processing the plugin from Watch Folders (although you'll need a full version to actually create and modify the mask blends).
Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles. In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design. When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
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