Simple Mask

This plugin allows to create a simple alpha mask on the source clip and composite it with the existing alpha channel by adding, subtracting or intersecting. Both rectangular and elliptical shapes are supported. They can be repositioned and rotated.

Premiere Pro version supports 8 and 32 bits (Maximum Bit Depth). In After Effects only 8 and 16 bit depth is supported so far.

Simple Mask interface with 4 separate masks added to a clip.

Supported software

  • Adobe After Effects CS5, CS5.5, CS6, CC
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, CS5.5, CS6, CC

Supported OS

  • Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8
  • Mac OS X 10.6.x, 10.7.x, 10.8.x


The plugin comes without an installer. Please unpack the downloaded file and copy it to Adobe’s Media Core folder, so that both applications will see them.

The folder can be found on Windows here:

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Common\Plug-ins\CS6\MediaCore

and on OS X here:

MacHD/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Common/Plug-ins/CS6/MediaCore

Substitute CS6 for your current version or 7.0 for Creative Cloud. If you have multiple versions installed, simply copy the plugin to each of the folders.

The plugin will show up as “CI Simple Mask” under “Creative Impatience” group of effects.

If you keep getting error messages on Windows platform, or the plugin fails to show up, you might need to install Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable package, available from the Microsoft website:

Download the plugin here.

How to use it?

The plugin is a bit more sophisticated, than the others, and the detailed instructions and tutorials can be found here: Simple Mask – Instructions and Tutorials.

Known issues

  • Feather handles will behave a bit erratically if the shape is heavily rotated.

Road map

Below are the proposed features that could be added to this plugin in the future. If you are interested in further development, please donate. Feel free to propose additional features in the comments. The change log is also available.


  • 32-bit and smart rendering in After Effects

25 Responses to Simple Mask

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  2. Joel says:

    I believe there is a bug using your plugins where if they are installed, I cannot double click project files to open them anymore. If i do that, Premiere hangs. But I can open premiere first and then open the project files and then they open. This does not happen if I disable your plugins.

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  4. Javi says:

    I can’t believe Adobe haven’t implemented mask in Premiere yet. This plugin is really useful and I love the way feather is represented. Great work!
    Any chance of implementing splines for freeform shapes?
    I’m also programmer and I’ve worked with bezier bicubic and quadratic formulas, if you are creating the circle from scratch, there wouldn’t be so much work to do that. But I’m not familiar with Premiere & AE SDK and maybe you’re using an existing circle function.

    Do you plan to make your code open source? Would be great to learn from it and to help you if you need.


    • BartW says:

      Yes, masking seems to be one of the more requested features. But implementing it is not trivial, and implementing it properly is not an easy task, I believe.

      As far as going open source, I believe it’s unfortunately impossible, because part of the code comes from Adobe examples and is copyrighted.

      I’ve been investigating the possibility of developing the spline mask plugin but it’s not as simple due to the data structure allowed by the sdk, not so much by the algorithms required for drawing the splines Image buffer can be filled with standard os painting functions which have the spline drawing tools. The problem is that to animate them you have to create a control for each point and turn on the keyframes. Which is cumbersome to the end user to say the least and puts a lot of limits on how it can be used.

      • Javi says:

        Thanks for your quick response and for the info, I think I’ll download the SDK and play with it to try to find a workaround for this keyframe issue.

        An idea that comes to my mind (but I don’t know if possible) is:
        to receive the event of a single point, store an array/vector with all the point positions and update the state of the (single) control. This way the keyframes of this control would act as an index of an array of arrays.
        Do you think is possible something like this or the SDK doesn’t let you create “abstract” or “null” controls pointing to something different than predefined classes?
        And one last question, what SDK did you use tocreate this plugin, Premiere or AE?

        Thank you very muchand keep your amazing work!

        • BartW says:

          Yes, the sdk allows for arbitrary data structure but there is no way to animate it in time. That’s the main problem. Take a look at RGB Curves, it uses the arbitrary data and control.

          By all means download the sdk and give it a go. I used the AE effects SDK. And if you have any questions don’t hesitate to send me an email.

  5. Steven Brame says:

    Am I missing something? It seems that only one instance of Simple Mask can be applied to a clip. If I add a 2nd mask, it wont work until I turn the first one off.

  6. Erik says:

    will this work on premiere elements 9? i know its not listed but just wondering

  7. rizkybijaks says:

    thankkyou verymuch

  8. DonP says:

    Hi Bart. Does Simple Mask work with CC2014 v8.1 and 10.9.5? Hope so. Thanks!

    • BartW says:

      Should work, but I’d rather suggest to use native masks in CC2014 – just add them to the intrinsic Opacity effect.

  9. DonP says:

    Thanks Bart

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  11. JuanAlana93 says:

    When I click the download link it just takes me back to the main page. Any suggestion?

  12. Adam says:


    I copied the .aex file to C:\Program Files\Adobe\Common\Plug-ins\CS5.5\MediaCore and restarted Premiere Pro afterwards, but I cannot find the CI simple mask in “Creative Impatience” as “CI Simple Mask”. No clue which effect group “Creative Impatience” exactly is in the german version, but I looked at all the effects of Premiere Pro CS 5.5 in the lower left effects window and couldn’t find an entry named “CI Simple Mask” at all.

    Can you please give me a hint?

    Thanks and best regards,


    • BartW says:

      Did you download the CS5/5.5 version? The only thing that comes to mind is that you downloaded the CS6/CC version. As far as German version is concerned, I did not localise the plug-ins, so the group should still be “Creative Impatience”, as this is the name of the company.

      • Adam says:

        Hello Bart,
        thanks for your response. I downloaded it from this link for CS 5 / 5.5. Nevertheless I’ll try it again to ensure I made no mistake, as soon as I use my pc again tomorrow. Good to know, that it’s also located in the Creative Impatience group for the german version.
        Kind regards,

        • BartW says:

          Hi Adam,

          You might need to download Microsoft’s Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package, if you haven’t done that:

          • Adam says:

            Hello Bart,
            you were right, I forgot to install the Visual C++ 2010 RP. After doing os, I couldn’t see it either. I’m always looking in the lower left window (where I also see the drives of my computer) in the “Effects” tab. There I checked everything but couldn’t find a “Creative Patience” folder or a “Simple Mask” effect. Am I looking at the wrong place?
            Thanks and kind regards, Adam

          • BartW says:

            Hmm, in that case I don’t really know how to help you, because you are looking in a correct place and if you put the plug-in in the correct directory (and it looks like you did), it should be visible. You can try downloading other plugins and see if any of them appear. Maybe there’s something peculiar to German version that I missed when I was creating the plugins. I haven’t had access to CS5.5 for many years and I can’t really troubleshoot it – I’m sorry.

  13. Adam says:

    Hello Bart, thank you. I’ll follow your suggestion and download another plugin and test it. I just ensured again, that everything in the description above meets my installation: the windows folder containing the extracted .aex file, visual c++ 2010 is installed, my computer and Premiere Pro were restarted after installation.
    Thanks and kind regards, Adam

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