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Old 05-14-2013, 06:03 PM   #16
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Per-Anders Edwards
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Are you making sure to apply the mask to a solid color layer and not to you original ao layer?
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:33 PM   #17
Graphic Artist 2D-3D
Boucherville, Canada
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 163
Crap yeah, that does the trick indeed! Thanks! (You're right, I was using the original AO layer)
Now I'm cracking my brain trying to figure out WHY it works this way…

When I pick my selection from the combined RGB channel it's no good, but picking it from any of the other single RGB channels seems to work fine…? (probably obvious, but anyway)

Anyhow, it works fine, add create an action for it and it should be an easy + quick way to do this.

Old 05-15-2013, 06:41 AM   #18
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Nigel Upchurch
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 60
You might be interested in this shadow matte catcher, similar to the shadowcatcher plugin, but it uses a tweeked Sketch&Toon cell shader in the alpha channel.
**Edit, I can't seem to get it to work with area shadows, and I don't think it catches AO

Last edited by Greasemonkey : 05-15-2013 at 06:54 AM.
Old 05-15-2013, 10:39 AM   #19
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Thomas Otto
at˛ GmbH
Nuremberg, Germany
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Posts: 37
A similar way to convert your b/w-Alpha mask (mostly Shadow / AO / Object Passes) is:
  • Insert your b/w alpha layer onto your project (white areas will be transparent at the end)
  • Select all (STRG+A) and copy this layer to clipboard (STRG+C)
  • Create new layer and fill it completely black. Your "select all"-Selection should still be there, so you just fill with default black (ALT+DEL). Another neat shortcut would be (D) here to reset your colors to the original black / white
  • Enter quick-mask-mode (Q)
  • Paste your b/w-mask from Clipboard (STRG+V)
  • Quit quick-mask-mode (Q)
  • Hit DEL to reduce your solid-black layer to your alpha mask
This sounds like a long way, but either you make a macro for it or you'll get the hang of these keyboard shortcuts and you'll soon be able to convert your b/w mask to alpha masks within mere seconds.

Have fun!
Old 05-16-2013, 12:10 AM   #20
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Fernando Velarde
Branding Strategy & Design
Monterrey, Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 192
Thanks everybody for the responses.

The layer mask derived form the AO and shadow passes did the trick.
I was doing it a little bit wrong but good enough for what I needed.

Your method worked better. Appreciate the workflow suggestion.
How I wished I could use the plugins that were mentioned before and do it all in one simple click.. ja

Fernando J. Velarde
Old 05-16-2013, 12:10 AM   #21
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