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Ultimate Guide on How to Mask in Adobe Premiere Pro

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Jun 11, 2024• Proven solutions

Masking is a great way to target a particular area of an image with effects, cut parts out from the video, or hide specific elements of the footage from the front or behind with images. You can create amazing results using Adobe Premiere Pro mask.

In this article, we will let you know how to mask in Premiere easily.

Part 1: How to Create a Mask in Premiere

Do you know how to create Mask in Premiere? The shape tools and the pen tools help to create Adobe premiere mask.

By Using Shape Tools

There are two shape masks, a square and a circle in Premiere. You can add both the shape masks to your video clip very easily with just one click.

For adding Adobe Premiere mask to a clip, once you finish editing clips in your sequence, in Effects Panel, you need to find the Crop effect. Add the crop effect to your clip for masking.

Now, when the crop effect is added in the Effects Control, you can find the drop-down to reveal the controls and choose from the rectangle and circle tool.

Click on any of the shapes, and in the Media Viewer, the Premiere Pro mask will be added to your video clip.

If you are happy with the form, the mask shape and size can be changed even within the Media Viewer. You can remove a few parts within the shot for creating the cropping effect by using the Crop Percentage in the Effects Control Panel.

If you wish to ensure where the effect was applied, is it within the mask or outside it, use the inverted checkbox for designating the effect at the right place.

By Using Pen Tools

With pen tools, you can draw complicated masks around any object you wish to. It can be of any shape. Just draw the mask with the pen tool adding straight and curved lines.

When you use the Bezier path segment, it becomes easier for you to create smoother curves that give you greater control of the mask shape.

A straight line with two vertex points is the simplest path that the pen tool can draw. When you keep clicking, the path is created with straight consecutive lines shaped from two vertexes.

If you want to mask any video clip with any shape other than circle or square, the pen tool can be of great help. Directly draw on the media player over the video clip after selecting the pen tool.

One-click on the vertex point creates a corner point which gives a sharp angle to your shape. Using the handles, click and drag the point and create the curved edges.

Part 2: How To Edit A Mask Easily

The dotted line around the mask represents feathering that blends the soft edges of the mask with the rest of the clip. Next, the Expansion mask moves or expands the individual vertex, inward, or outward when it is already lined up.

So, before feathering, you may try expansion. Though not always, you may have to expand the mask while feathering because when a mask is feathered, the overall inward mask area can be shrinked.

Adjusting mask can be in two ways – Expansion and Feathering.

Across all the Adobe tools, Opacity works similarly that changes the cropped images opacity with the addition of the mask.

Get the desired look by clicking on the Effect Panel your Mask and tweak the values. You may also click the program monitor to adjust the values there. The circle at the end of the solid blue line from mask, lies the feathering control.

The expansion control is the square that lies just next to the circle. Drag each one in and out for adjusting the settings accordingly.

Part 3: More Creative Masks in Premiere

Blur Mask

If you are in a crowded area like Times Square and wish to hide a face or logo that is distracting your video clip, now you can do it instantly. You just need to Go to Effects and click on Gaussian Blur or Effects.

Next, from drop-down select Stylize, then, Mosaic, and finally apply it to your video clip. Once you do so, you need to go back to Effects Control and click on the Opacity tool to draw the mask around the parts of the clip to hide it. Inverting the mask lets you apply the mosaic or blur effect to the entire clip outside the masked line drawn.

Use Vignette

The Lumetri Color Panel lets you create a basic vignette, but for customizing the vignette, you need to click on the clip and then the opacity tools by clicking on Effect Control.

From the opacity tool, you may draw a mask and apply it for changing size, shape, opacity, and feather as per your preferred requirements.

You may also create Premiere Pro masked vignette by creating a new black video layer. If you want it to be a separate color, you may color it matte and place it above the layer of video and then mask the layer with any choice of shapes. You can adjust the expansion and feather by inverting the mask and adjusting it accordingly.

You may note that when you click on the “circle” video effect under Effects, then click on Generate, and Circle, work when placed on your black matte/video layer.

But it is not as effective as the use of the Mask, and it adds an extra step. The colors, effects, brightness, contrast, saturation, etc. enhancement can be done with the use of the effects and filters, just like the use of mosaic and blur.

Whatever effect you wish to add, drag it on your video clip, and mask the effect to the area you want to enhance.

Part 4: Premiere Pro Mask Troubleshooting

1. Premiere Pro Mask Edges Not Showing

Are you unable the see the mask edges in Premiere Pro? If the mask works fine, you can resize, and rotate it, but just unable to see the path around, follow the steps mentioned below –

  • Create a new project in Premiere Pro CC
  • Import the project file(.Prproj) created on Premiere Pro
  • Then, import & check the mask edges

If you are still unable to solve the issue, you may try to follow the location in the machine and go the Windows, C:\Users\UserName\Documents\Adobe\Premiere Pro\11.0 (Or).

If you are a Mac user, go to Documents > Adobe > Premiere Pro > 11.0.

Then, rename the 11.0 folder to Old_11.0 and launch Premiere Pro.

Without opening any old project, create a new project in Premiere Pro and click on the Menu bar. From the drop-down, click on Windows, Workspace and then, Uncheck Import Workspace from Projects.

From the old project, you may check the Mask Edges.

2. Premiere Pro Mask Not Working

If you wish to use both the opacity mask and want them to act utterly transparent within their given shape in Premiere Pro, but unable to do so, you may duplicate the masked clip onto different tracks and delete the masks from the right-hand down corner tracks.

Now, to the same clip, add the track matte effect and reverse the matte referencing the masked clip. Below the track matte clip, you need to place the replacement clip. You also learn that if you nest one mask into the clip, you can add another mask upon the nested footage.


With Premiere Pro, you can streamline your workflow process, expand your production and editing skills, or use advanced techniques for editing. Now that you know how to mask in Adobe Premiere Pro, refine your video clips by hiding the unwanted.

author avatar
Benjamin Arango
Benjamin Arango is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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Benjamin Arango

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