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How can I apply a blanket mask to a section of nodes?

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Colesy

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How can I apply a blanket mask to a section of nodes?

PostMon May 18, 2020 9:04 pm

Hello, I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out how to properly apply a mask to a particle system in order to hide everything behind it, in the background. Take a look at my nodes:

Image

The bit circled in red is the particle system that I want to mask out everything else in the top section, while also being transparent itself. I've tried playing around with different mask and matte nodes, tweaking different alpha settings and node connections, but I'm just stumped at this point. This whole node system is a little confusing to me. If anyone could help me out here, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.
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brunocbreis

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Re: How can I apply a blanket mask to a section of nodes?

PostTue May 19, 2020 10:02 pm

Hi Cole!!

A quick way to be able to add a mask to anything is by merging it on top of a transparent background. Then you can just add the mask to the Merge node's mask input. Then you can merge the output of the merge node to whatever else (using... another merge node), from where you can control the "opacity" via the Blend slider.

In your case, you would create a new Background node, make it transparent, and connect it to the Background (orange) input of a Merge node. Then you connect the output of Trails1_1 to the green (foreground) input. The other input (blue) is where you would add the mask.

And as a bonus tip: So you can start getting along with the node system, it's very important to keep organized. But I know how frustrating it is to try an organize a bunch of stuff you can barely understand on their own, I've been there recently ahhaha. So I like to always think of Merge nodes as "a node that puts something over something else" and use them as the backbone of my node tree. So there's always going to be a line on the bottom composed of merge after merge after merge. Until MediaOut. I name them by whatever they're putting on top of their background, so they sort of become labels for what's above them. Take a look at my screenshot and you'll understand better. I recommend you try and do that so you can get more familiar to how nodes work!
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Colesy

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Re: How can I apply a blanket mask to a section of nodes?

PostThu May 21, 2020 7:17 pm

brunocbreis wrote:Hi Cole!!

A quick way to be able to add a mask to anything is by merging it on top of a transparent background. Then you can just add the mask to the Merge node's mask input. Then you can merge the output of the merge node to whatever else (using... another merge node), from where you can control the "opacity" via the Blend slider.

In your case, you would create a new Background node, make it transparent, and connect it to the Background (orange) input of a Merge node. Then you connect the output of Trails1_1 to the green (foreground) input. The other input (blue) is where you would add the mask.

And as a bonus tip: So you can start getting along with the node system, it's very important to keep organized. But I know how frustrating it is to try an organize a bunch of stuff you can barely understand on their own, I've been there recently ahhaha. So I like to always think of Merge nodes as "a node that puts something over something else" and use them as the backbone of my node tree. So there's always going to be a line on the bottom composed of merge after merge after merge. Until MediaOut. I name them by whatever they're putting on top of their background, so they sort of become labels for what's above them. Take a look at my screenshot and you'll understand better. I recommend you try and do that so you can get more familiar to how nodes work!


That did it, thanks for the help. By the way, is it possible to add audio to a Fusion clip/Macro? Or does that have to be done independently of your Fusion project?

The problem I have with Fusion in particular is that it just seems so needlessly complex and convoluted when compared to something like Adobe's After Effects. I feel like I have to jump through so many hoops and spend a ton more time to make something in Fusion when I could have the same thing done in After Effects in a much shorter time. Also, I've ran into so many inexplicable issues that are beyond frustrating. Text suddenly changing color, masks suddenly becoming opaque shapes, particles not spawning according to their parameters, keyframes missing, et cetera. All of these require me to either restart the program or rehook my nodes. It is all very frustrating.
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brunocbreis

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Re: How can I apply a blanket mask to a section of nodes?

PostFri May 22, 2020 7:13 pm

Ugh, I've been there. I can assure you Fusion's complexness has a reason behind it, but I myself haven't been able to fully comprehend it yet as well. The more I use it, though, the more I get used to it and start to enjoy its... peculiar ways of achieving results.
And no, you can't add audio into Fusion, at least not in the one inside Resolve. You'd have to add the comp into a timeline and start adding audio from there.

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