Image Node - Roto source

I’ve been playing with the Image TL-FX and I’m curious if anyone knows how to add an external matte if you’re coming at the node through the effects tab.

If I add a selective, go to the controls, there’s a section for an Input Matte and Media selection… but no way to select an external matte. It works fine with layers in Batch,

Isn’t that done by selecting the clip in the timeline then clicking on the …damn…forgot the name…its a button on left side of the fx bar next to the tiny thumbnail image…inside that is an option to add matte. Then you pick your matte and its added to the clip.

Thanks, Adam! I think that’s how you make a container of the whole clip. Which does do the job, but the matte affects the whole clip, not the selective. I’m looking for a way to add a clip as a mask attached to a selective, so that it behaves like a gmask that’s linked to that selective.

I’m asking because I have roto for elements in that clip that I’d like to attach to individual selectives so I don’t have to fiddle with a keyer… maybe it’s a feature request. But it’s possible to achieve this in Batch and I’m curious if it can also be done in the Timeline.

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Heya Josh,

I’ve used the image node a whole lot, and to MY knowledge (maybe we’ll get someone to blows us all away) I think you’re right that you’re in feature request territory. You need to add a new layer to the image node to get that functionality, and that’s something you just can’t do in the timeline to my knowledge.

Just to brainstorm, even if we were to get that functionality, I’m struggling to come up with how that would look in practice. I’m pretty sure what’s why it isn’t even a feature right now. That and maybe the scenarios where you would have external mattes for grading aren’t all THAT common, but it does come up! I know I’ve supplied my fair share of mattes to the color department before.

Maybe the new feature would look like a new kind of “Add Matte”… maybe “Add Selective Matte” that doesn’t turn the clip into a matte container, but rather adds the matte into a virtual layer that can be assigned somehow (there’s the hard part… what does this interface for assigning / managing the layers look like and how the heck do we access it?) and then you would call that assigned layer when you go to choose the input matte.

Ahh…I understand now.


Just to confirm, it is not possible to load an external matte in Image when using it as a TimelineFX via the Effects Environment. The TimelineFX infrastructure was never build to hold external mattes ( containers wont help either).

However you can promote the TimelineFX in to BatchFX. Once you have done that with the Image, you can now load your external matte into BatchFX and connect it as an input into the Image Node. These are the recommended workflows for the current release.



Hi @Jeff, if this were ever to work this way, I think the behavior that makes the most sense to me is to “Add Matte Map” where it would either replace the selective or attach with a link as the GMT does.

Thanks so much for all your replies and confirmations that this is not yet a thing. Maybe someday. If I find that this comes up again in my work, I’ll add a feature request.

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The thing that gets me, is I’ll have a clip with an alpha. And want to adjust just the rgb of the clip with a alpha with the image node. But I can’t. (Let me know if I’m wrong). That is where I would want a matte to work in the image node. Even if it’s just one matte that travels the fx pipeline.

There’s a feature request for something similar: