What do you do when you only want to apply an effect only to a masked area while animating in Adobe After Effects. Make an effect mask, of course, it's easy and fast.

"Masks are a fundamental After Effects feature that allows you to cut out and combine different elements together, build quick & easy transitions, and are the basis of visual effects and compositing work in motion design." Take a look here for further reading. https://www.schoolofmotion.com/blog/how-to-use-masks-in-after-effects

Masks can be changed at any time, are inherently non-destructive and in After Effects they are animatable as well. So you can keyframe the mask over time and the effect will follow. And if you duplicate your layer you can offset that animation for a stacked effect with a leading edge. I usually like to stack it three times so there is a range of intensity to my effects. From strong to mid to light. Here's out to start making you base effect layer.

  1. Make a mask on your layer.
  2. Add an effect.
  3. Twirl down the effect to reveal the Compositing Options in the timeline (does not reveal in the Effect Control panel).
  4. Hit the plus button to make a Mask Reference.
  5. Select your mask.
  6. The effect will only be applied to the masked area.
  7. You can change the modes on the mask and the feather it and have the effect opacity.

apply an effect only to a masked area

Hope you found this useful, we'll be doing some more of these quick and easy After Effects Tips in the future. Looking for some design finishing tips? Check here: https://attackmotiondesign.com/motion-design-boards-finishing-tips