Create layers of masks

The mask control section replaces the color tool controls within the main part of the layers editing panel. It also adds a palette of mask tools that overlay the Final Cut Pro viewer. You can apply a mask either by clicking the plus symbol (+) at the bottom of the Masks section of the panel. Alternatively, you can click one of the mask options in the viewer overlay and use the mouse to apply that mask over the image. Mask types include Rectangle, Ellipse, Polyline Path, B-Spline Path, Bezier Path, Edge (gradient), and Image Mask. The Image Mask is only available through the plus (+) selection and not via the on-screen buttons.

The viewer overlay also includes control tools for opacity and feathering, positioning, and the adjustment of spline points. More than one shape mask can be applied to the same layer within this control panel and any shape or edge mask can be removed by selecting the mask layer in the Masks section and clicking the minus symbol (-).

The main section of the masks control panel includes numerical parameters for feathering, opacity, position, scale, and rotation. A mask’s action can be reversed by clicking the Inverted button. When inverted, the color correction of that layer occurs outside of the mask area. Enable Show Mask to display the masked area in black-and-white, which is useful for adjusting Image Masks.

Mode in the Masks section controls how overlapping masks act. Add combines the two shapes into a single mask action. Subtract will use the second mask to remove a section of the first mask. Intersect means that only the overlap will become the active mask area.

When you apply a mask, the default is All Frames, meaning that shape will be used for the entire clip. Use Current Frame to animate the mask. As an example; if you want the mask to grow in size over the length of the clip, set the initial mask parameters in All Frames. This becomes the starting position for the move. Then, advance the clip to the ending point for this size change. Switch to Current Frame and adjust the mask. Now, the mask will change size during playback between these points.

Last modified July 14, 2021