Action Gmasks / Tracer hurt. Physically

Just sitting here rotoing a shot with Gmask Tracer…and the results I am getting are pretty consistent. A massive pain in the arm + hand. These masks are physically harmful, as opposed to the good old standard Gmasks. Everyone I speak to says the same - people avoid them like the plague. They feel heavy and slow. Ouch.

Any thoughts?

They definitely have their uses but i can’t use them for intricate stuff.

I love Tracer for their superb tracking, and especially having them live in a 3D comp environment in Action, affecting multiple layers, lighting effects, etc.

But the gradients still are not good at all. Nonetheless, I haven’t pulled up a legacy gmask since tracer came out.


I love the “new” gmasks. You can customize the softness gradient in multiple ways, add softness variations at any location, and use the “edit box” to alter multiple points at once.

And you can copy/paste then between Action, Image, and Gmask Tracer.

Other than it getting cranky as it rotates towards the horizon, I’ve got no complaints.

What makes them hurt so much?

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Turn off the “show all vertices” toggle in display under the node prefs in the tracer node and it’s blazing fast, no matter how many masks you have in there.

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I haven’t gone deep into the new softness features, which look promising. But still the gradients get weird spikes and are hard to control as well as the legacy gmask gradients.

Seeing as this has come up twice in as many weeks and the community seems relatively split, seems to me that this is great fodder for the next Renderdome.

Legacy Gmask, a legend from the past, takes on its upstart younger sibling, Gmask Tracer, in a battle for the ages. Who will win?

(spoiler alert - it doesn’t matter because legacy gmask will always be better)

Now if only we could find two brave souls willing to sacrifice their elbows to venture into the dome and do battle.


Rotoing for free sounds like a blast.


I think we just outsource it and call it a day?

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We could have a render dome with outsourced roto vendors competing live. The goal and challenge of course being “provide us real-time roto.”


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I will say that I don’t like using gmasks in action. It’s more of a general workflow thing for me. But it also feels like it really bogs it down in there and can become unwieldy pretty quickly without some discretion.

I can say that my workflow has been better doing tracks in batch tracer, then copying them into action as needed. There’s less overhead so it’s faster, and I’ve found that it gets better tracks sometimes (this shouldn’t be the case, but multiple people have noted the same.)

A wonderful idea. I will gladly join Team GmaskTracer.

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Yeah that’s the way I track as well. But if I can avoid having actual gmasks in action and just do them outside in a tracer node, I do.

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I’ve found this while grading (I’m guessing the masks in Image are the same as tracer) and what I do to smoothen the gradient is to turn up the blur. Then I get really smooth gradients.

Yeah softness can help. But my problem is how the points in the gradients do weird spikey things and are hard to control…

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Sometimes adding an inner gradient near the outer spikey can fix that.

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