GMask Tracer Global Softness

Something has puzzled me for a while…

When you create a gMask in tracer, and add ‘global softness’, not ‘free softness’, half the time it adds one control point with a softness of 100 and the Offset field is grayed out, you have to edit it dragging the control point. The other half, you actually get a global softness and can adjust it via the offset field (which is my preference). Any idea why it does it one way or the other? Bug?

Isn’t part of the purpose of global softness that you don’t have to worry about control points but just have this offset field?

Screenshot 2024-01-10 at 6.03.41 PM

Even though there’s only one point it still wants you to ‘select’ that point and then this field will become active. Been a minor annoyance for me.


Hmm, even if I select it, that field doesn’t become active for me. Will have to do some more testing…

Works for me, even without selecting it.

And on the subject of the tracer, just noodling around features I’ve never used, what is cluster track? Doesn’t seem to be any different to a 2 point track, unless I’m missing something.

Slightly different, though I’ve only played with it, not used it extensively.

You can pick ‘Each Vertex’ and get a drop down of one tracker per vertex. Flexible but time consuming.
You can pick ‘Planar’ and the tracker will create his own tracking points. Fast, not always accurate.
You can pick ‘Cluster’ - you will get one or two tracker squares, depending if scale/rotation was selected. Tracker 1 represents all the selected vertices, while Tracker 2 is one additional point just for the purpose of scale & rotation. So while tracker 1 only shows one of the verices, it also tracks the other selected ones, except not with separate trackers, and no visible UI.

Trying to think of a use case… Something where you do want to control the points (i.e. not a planar track), but you want to track more than two vertices but not necessarily individually. Maybe because it would improve accuracy? Having multiple tracking points averaged in a controlled fashion. Maybe someone else on the forum who uses them more frequently can describe a good use case?

Feels like a feature someone here requested years ago, it got implemented, and now it’s unclear what the use case was. I did search the feature request list to see if there was one for it, but didn’t see anything pertinent. Flame is full of these obscure features that most certainly make sense to someone, but at the surface are a head scratcher without further explanation.

The Global Softness was put in place to mimic the behaviour of the legacy GMask node. Yes, the idea is to have only one control point and that’s it. That being said, you shouldn’t be in a situation where it is greyed out if you do not have a vertex selected. Please contact the support team if you have steps to reproduce that issue.

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Thanks @fredwarren. Will do, still narrowing down the exact parameters that make it fail predictably.

@fredwarren As luck would have it, just decoded the problem scenario. It’s an interlock with the EditBox mode.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Draw a mask
  2. Enable edit box and make an adjustment
  3. Click on an individual vertex, edit box UI disappears, but edit box mode remains enabled. You may not realize it’s still on, as the UI is no longer displayed.
  4. Add global softness. It’s added, and you can adjust the control point. But the offset field is grayed out and inaccessible
  5. Disable edit box mode, offset field becomes available

Should that be an enhancement request or a defect?

I assume there’s a reason engineers decided to disable offset in edit box mode, but not clear. Relates to what I just wrote here: Today I learned… - #191 by allklier