FM 4 4.2 masks...

Woo-hoo!! Masks!!

I just downloaded the new 4.2 version and dove in. And already I’ve got some questions/observations/suggestions. I’m sure there will be more!

When editing a rectangular mask using the center points of a side, WHY allow BOTH sides to increase or decrease at the same time from the center? If I click on the bottom side and drag down, I DON’T WANT the upper side to go up. Same thing left and right. If I click on the right side and drag right, I ONLY WANT the right side to drag right, NOT the left side to go left at the same time.

The same thing from the corners – WHY restrict sizing from any corner “proportionally”? If I grab a corner and drag it, I want to see the two connecting sides move left/right and/or up/down with whatever movement I make of the corner – DON’T constrain movement to retain the rectangle’s proportions. I want to be able to “free-form” my rectangle to whatever size I want.

What’s with the 1:1 Square, 4:3 Portrait, and 16:9 Landscape options in the Slideshow > Mask > pop-up window (or from the Image > Mask > pop-down selections)? Clicking on them doesn’t seem to do anything. Or am I missing something?

When placing IMAGES in the frame, edges can be snapped to other images, or their center points snap to other center points, an audible click is heard, and alignment lines appear. That’s been around for a long time. It’s extremely useful!! But when adjusting masks, there is NO snapping of any kind to anything.

I tried to set up four masks in my working area to create four EXACT quadrants, but it was a nightmare. There is no “center” point to snap to, and I can’t snap any mask edge to any other mask edge. That needs to be added.

The little “Edit:” button that pops up next to the Zoom and Rotation boxes shows “Mask” and “Layer” but it seems to be a little counter-intuitive, to me anyway. It SHOWS “Mask” when I’m working on a mask, and “Layer” when I’m working on a layer, but for some reason I want to think that if I click on the word “Mask” that it would be the Mask I want to work on, but it actually “flips” to Layer instead, or vice-versa. Actually, it doesn’t matter WHICH word is displayed or where you click – the button just toggles from one side to the other, regardless.

So far, though, I’m liking it :slight_smile:

Okay, more –

I think the mask itself should be tied (or “grouped”) to the image it is masking, so that they move together – but each should have the independent ability for resizing, zooming, or panning.

I dragged a rectangular mask OFF my working area and it disappeared!! But that meant the image that was being masked disappeared from my frame as well, even though it’s within the working space – since it didn’t fall within the mask, I couldn’t see it. I had to click on the timeline to see my images, click on the one that I was trying to mask to find it, then flip to the mask layer to find THAT, and then try to align one with the other.

If you’re at all familiar with Adobe’s InDesign, there’s the ability to create a frame around an image – and there are at least TWO things that can be done. Consider the “frame” in InDesign as being the mask of an image in FM 4.2. “Fit frame to content” – this automatically sizes the frame to the exact same size as the image, without changing the image size. “Fit content to frame” – this resizes the image to fit the frame, without changing the size of the frame (although it does throw off the proportionality of the image inside the frame if the frame isn’t of the same proportion as the image).

I think the same general concept needs to be applied to masks.

More to come :slight_smile:

Would like to copy and paste the geometry of one mask to another mask, same as for photos.

Okay, I returned to this one after trying it again. You can copy and paste the geometries, but after the paste, it doesn’t immediately show the change. You have to click the mouse button, THEN the paste takes place.

Changing the size or rotation of an image shows up above the scroll wheels as the operation is being performed, and those numbers can be entered using the keyboard as well.

But changing the size or rotation of a mask is not reflected by those numbers. It should be – by either dragging or by entering the number.

Okay, returned to this one again after finding that cut and paste work on the geometries, just not “immediately.” If the size or rotation of the mask is changed, the numbers update AFTER the mouse is clicked. If a number is entered into one of the fields, it takes place after the number is entered and THEN the mouse is clicked.

If a mask is associated with a layer, there should be some indication in the time line or storyboard view that it exists. Perhaps a small icon displayed next to thumbnail in either of those views?

Also, returning to my suggestion of tying the mask to a layer – whenever you click on a layer and it has a mask, BOTH the mask AND the image in the layer should have handles on the corners and sides. If you click on a handle to adjust the image, then the image gets adjusted – if you click on a handle of the mask, then the mask gets adjusted. You can eliminate the small “Edit:” toggle switch completely.

The image should be surrounded by a white line, as it has been in FM before. The mask should be surrounded by a line of a different color (blue? green? yellow? red? USER selectable? – just any OTHER color than white).

I’ve attached a sample of how Adobe InDesign handles the issue. The image is surrounded by a brown outline and is placed inside the blue frame (which acts as the mask). As the image moves outside of the frame, the mask cuts off part of the image. By clicking on either outline the edges/corners can be adjusted.

Thanks for all your valuable feedback!

Hi Stantastic,

Thank for you feedback. A couple of the things you mention have already been fixed for 4.2.1 which will be out shortly:

  • Update bugs where changes to masks are not immediately redrawn (see jogwheels, or copy/paste mask geometry)
  • Menu items for Square, 4:3, 16:9 etc now work correctly
  • BTW, pressing the Shift key let’s you move the layer and its mask TOGETHER, which you repeatedly wanted

Your other suggestions have been noted: Snapping guidelines for masks, different selection colors for mask and layer, etc…

Thanks – you guys are working hard!! :slight_smile: