rd: Shapes to Masks

This script creates masks outlines for the selected shape layer’s paths, which can be helpful if you have converted a text layer to outlines (using the Layer > Create Outlines menu command), but prefer mask paths instead.

This version of the script will create a white solid with the created masks on them. Other current issues:

  • This script assumes you have just used the Create Outlines menu command, so any shape filters or restructuring of the shape layer’s Contents will either be ignored or cause problems.
  • Only the transforms at the current time are copied over; keyframes and expressions on them are not used.

...and probably other issues I don’t know yet. :-/

Note: This script requires After Effects CS3 or later.

Originally requested by Rob Birnholz and Trish Meyer.
Enhancements suggested by nab.

See this script in action in the following DVD by Aharon Rabinowitz: After Effects: The Next Level, vol, 2: CS 3 Tips and Techniques.

revision history

v1.121-jun-2013Should handle shape-level position and anchor point adjustments better.
v1.011-may-2013Moved out of labs. Cleaned up some code.
v0.9121-feb-2013Open shapes are now converted to open mask paths.
v0.913-dec-2012Fixed bug that would cause masks for multiple shape groups to appear on top of each other. Mask positions should be more accurate now. [hat tip: Adam Nielson]
v0.824-feb-2008Now using Difference mask mode, which seems to be working well. [hat tip: nab]
v0.7125-sep-2007Fixed small problem that would affect long layer names. [hat tip: nab] Also, mask layer now appears immediately above shape layer.
v0.724-sep-2007Initial pre-release. Requires AE CS3.