Simple Mask – Instructions and Tutorials

The Simple Mask effect allows to create a mask on the source clip and composite it with already present alpha channel. Both rectangular and elliptical shapes are supported. They can be repositioned and rotated.


The plugin can be found in the effects group “Creative Impatience”, and is called “CI Simple Mask”. To apply it, drag it over the layer, to the effects panel, or in CS6 double click.


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

Window type allows you to choose between rectangular and circular shapes.

Composite mode allows you to choose in what way the mask will interact with the alpha channel. By default it is set to Create, which means it will create its own alpha channel and ignore anything present. It is best suited as the first mask. Add, Subtract and Intersect will interact according to their names.

Point of origindetermines the center of the shape.

Width and Height set the width and the height of the bounding box. In case of elliptical shape they determine its both radium.

Angleallows you to rotate your shape around the point of origin.

Feather determines the amount of feather in pixels that will be applied to the inside of the shape.

Opacity sets the opacity of the mask, from 0% (totally transparent) to 100% (opaque).

Invert will toggle what is considered the inside and the outside of the shape.

Alpha falloff lets you choose between various types of feathering. Gaussianis the best, although it is also most computationally expensive. Linear is the fastest, and works reasonably well on most clips.

Graphical UI

After clicking on the effect name, both in Premiere Pro, and in After Effects, custom controls will appear in the comp/layer window or program monitor.

The outside rectangle and rectangular handles control width and height parameters.

If an elliptical shape is chosen, the ellipse will be displayed to show the outer extent of the shape. For rectangular shape only the rectangle is shown.

Four round handles in the middle of the rectangle sides control the feather parameter. Drag any of them to the inside to modify it. Right now they might behave a bit erratically when the vignette is rotated, and also there is no limit on the feather size.

The point handle in the middle moves the vignette’s point of origin.

The slider to the left of the center is the mix slider going from 1 (100%) at the top, to 0 (0%) at the bottom.

The round handle with the line connecting it to the point of origin is used to set the shape’s rotation.

Creative applications

Did you find a creative application for this plugin that was not envisioned? Share the idea with the rest of us!

13 Responses to Simple Mask – Instructions and Tutorials

  1. Denis says:

    This plugin seems like it’s exactly what I need at the moment, but I’m unable to downlod the Simple Mask plug-in using Firefox as my browser. My browser is set to always prompt me for the download destination, but I dont receive that prompt when I attempt a dowload.

    Has it been disabled somehow?

  2. Denis says:

    I got the download. Please ignore my prior comment.

  3. Heather says:

    Why doesn’t the mosaic feature work when I add another mask type? Is it a layering issue?

  4. dreamer says:

    Do you have a video to demonstrate how this works? Thanks!

    • BartW says:

      Interestingly, I don’t. The general interface is the same as with Vignette/Power Window filters.

  5. Brad says:

    Can a user change the color of the mask?

    • BartW says:

      No, it only masks the alpha channel. If you want to manipulate color, use my other plug-in – Vignette.

  6. Is there a way to create a rounded rectangle without drawing it from scratch? I need a rectangular matte with rounded corners

  7. Is there a way to easily round the corners of the rectangular mask ( I don’t mean the vignetting option you have with the round point in the middle of the sides but actually rounding the corners to get a rounded rectangal) with out having to draw a shape from scratch with the bezier tool.

    Also I have an issue that when I first drop the effect on it automatically gives me the ellipse/rectangle. What if I don’t want that and just want a custom shape? I can’t seem to remove that first mask that comes up automatically.

    Thanks for the great work on this pull-in its amazing!

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