Working with Masks

This article will define and explain how to work with various masks in Doodly and how to use them with the various canvas types.

What is a mask?

It is a shaped asset that is the same color as the background for which it is covering. Masks can be created in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.

When would I want to use a mask?

In order to make something disappear, fade out, or cover up a portion of an item on the canvas. Watch the first video tutorial we ever created which is Smooth Fading Made Easy. That video is entirely done using masking techniques. The video is extremely fast since we were just becoming familiar with Doodly’s capabilities and limitations.

Can I use a mask on the chalkboard or custom image canvas?

This is not easy to accomplish in Doodly because of the chalk selection. The chalkboards in Doodly require the writing medium to be chalk. When the chalk is selected, the imported images become grainy making it impossible to use a mask. We can use a custom image background as a chalkboard, choosing the chalk to provide that chalkboard effect, then when it comes time for the mask, we can export the scene with and without the desired assets. Using the None transition, we can place the first image with the asset onto the canvas for a seamless transition so we are now working with the image. In this new scene, we choose the marker so we don’t get the grainy effect on the image. We can now fade in the next image to fade away the asset, now we use the none transition again to move back to the next scene with the chalk selected.

Custom Image
As long as the chalk medium is not selected then we can use a mask. This is a little more difficult since Doodly’s shading inside the program is a little different than the exported video Therefore, it is possible to run into a slight shading issue when attempting to use a portioned mask instead of a full screen mask. It may be better to export the scene without the undesired assets, full screen it, take a screenshot, import that back into Doodly and mask the entire scene instead of just a portion of it.

Transparency Masks

These are masks that work with transparency in shapes. This allows us to remove only a portion of an asset behind another asset in Doodly. Picture having two people with the much taller person standing directly behind the other. We want to remove the person behind the first. We create a transparency mask and it uses transparency where we want to keep the assets on the canvas while we match the canvas background behind the asset.

What are the best masks?

Solid color masks are the easiest and best masks to use. Keeping in mind, Doodly’s constrained proportion resizing method makes solid shape masks the easiest to work with but if we know we need to mask out a table then we would want a 16:9 ratio of a mask but if we know we need to mask out a box then we may want a 4:3 mask instead.