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Thread: Using scrolling text as a matte fror a focus effect

  1. #1

    Default Using scrolling text as a matte fror a focus effect

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to the forum and fairly new to After Effects too. I looked for tutorials online before coming here but couldn't quite find an explanantion for an effect I am trying to reproduce.

    The effect is as follows. A video opens with a clear picture of a person's face occupying the whole screen (it doesn't matter if it is a static pic or a video). Then, text scrools in from the side. The picture fades to blurred.THen larde bold transparent text scrolls in from the side and everything under the text is back in focus while everything outside it remains blurred.

    I am pretty sure the effect is fairly easy to reproduce but I don't know where to start (yes, I am that new). I would really appreciate some pointers. I am not so much looking for a ready-made solution as to understand how to do this from sctach and use it as my first AE project. I hope you can help me get started.

    Thank you for you assistance.


  2. #2


    I beleive this can be done using a "Track Matte". Consider three layers.
    At the top is a Text layer, set to non-visible.
    At the bottom is the the complete focused image, set to visible.
    In the middle is a the complete out of focus image, set to visible, and configured to be a Track Matte which uses the "Luma inverted" matte from the Text layer.

    The result is that the focused part of the image only occurs where the 'text' would appear. The text layer itself is not shown, it only exists to set which parts of the middle layer to display.

  3. #3



    That's brilliant. Thank you so much for your explanation. I'll give it a try.


    EDIT: For those who are as new as I am - and thanks to Tim for pointing me in the right direction - here is an Adobe video on track matte and luma.
    Last edited by remibi; 11-27-2013 at 12:13 PM. Reason: Addition of link

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    I'd like to do fancy effects but have to align a small budget with SVMS, which does 95% of all the effects one person needs most of the time.

    This looks like an interesting effect, but I'm not clear how much of the underlying image is sharp?
    When I use Text, I normally apply drop-shadow and maybe lower the brightness of the underlying video - this makes the TEXT stand out clearly - so, I'm a bit confused by the effect Op is after which appears to be the opposite.

    Have I misunderstood? -OR- is the underlying image actually more important?
    - e.g. the Text is ancient script and we are seeing the story acted-out...
    (this might be a visual short-cut to using a VO reading the ancient/foreign text in English, - as a modern translation ).
    Last edited by vidmanners; 11-28-2013 at 01:42 PM.

  5. #5


    I am not sure. I think the best thing for me to do is to cut a clip and post it back here to show what I wanted to emulate. Give me a bit of time and I will post

    EDIT: Added short video clip in zip format, no password, Didn't manage a very clear upload sign: link is actually inline (
    Last edited by remibi; 11-28-2013 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Adding file

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