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Adjusting the Layers and Creating a Track Matte in Adobe After Effects CC

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Learn how to precompose layers, create the track matte, and add motion blur in Adobe After Effects CC.

Note: This excerpt does not include the lesson files. The lesson files are available with purchase of the book.

From the book

To solve the problem of the sun, birds, and clouds overlapping the window frame, you must first adjust the hierarchy of the layers within the composition. Then you’ll use an alpha track matte to allow the outside scenery to show through the window, but not appear to be inside the room.

Precomposing layers

You’ll start by precomposing the Sun, Birds, and Clouds layers into one composition.

  1. Shift-click to select the Sun, Birds, and Clouds layers in the Timeline panel.
  2. Choose Layer > Pre-compose.
  3. In the Pre-compose dialog box, name the new composition Window Contents. Make sure the Move All Attributes Into The New Composition option is selected, and select Open New Composition. Then click OK.
  4. A new Timeline panel named Window Contents appears. It contains the Sun, Birds, and Clouds layers you selected in step 1 above. The Window Contents composition also appears in the Composition window.

  5. Click the sunrise Timeline panel to see the contents of the main composition. Notice that the Sun, Birds, and Clouds layers have been replaced by the Window Contents layer, which refers to the Window Contents composition.
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