Does anyone know whether it's possible to export a finished project from PE8 with transparent background intact?
PE8 makes available some great editing tools for using transparency in layering video/images, but I haven't been able to find any way to actually export a file that retains the transparency in an alpha channel. I recall some checkboxes in the advanced settings of PE7 that made this possible, and I've seen other advice re: selecting settings like "RGB+" and "Millions of Colors+", where "+" represents the alpha channel. Trouble is, I don't see any of these alternatives in the advanced settings under PE8's Share tab.
Maybe there's a plugin out there?
Thanks in advance!
Thanks for the speedy reply. Ultimately, I need to get the project into .flv or .mp4 for use on the web, but my challenge for now seems to be exporting with an alpha channel to any format at all. I've been through the basic and advanced export settings under each of the presets and tried each of the codec choices offered, but can't seem to find the options that would yield the alpha channel.
If I can export the editing work I've done in PE8 (including the transparent background) into a format where the alpha channel is preserved, I'm hopeful I can get find a way to get that into flash...
Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!
PrPro can Export to FLV with Transparency (Alpha), but I know that earlier versions of PrE cannot. I do not know if this was added in PrE 8, but it sounds like it was not. You might want to look at Moyea, as they have plenty of FLV utilities, and might well have something, that will convert your Export (Millions of Colors +) to an FLV with Transparency.
Here's a look at FLV Export w/ Transparency from PrPro:
The location will be in Share>Advanced, but only for CODEC's that support Alpha Channels. Here is a look at the Lagarith Lossless CODEC for AVI in Export>Movie from PrE 4. Everything has been moved to Share now.
Good luck, and maybe someone has compiled a list of all formats/CODEC's that support Alpha (Millions of Colors +), but I do not recall having seen it.
In answer to your last question to Hunt, I have yet to find any Color Depth "Millions + of Color" option in Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1. Please read on.
The short version of my response is that the only fairly reliable way that I ever found to export video from Premiere Elements and maintain transparency was Premiere Elements 7.0 or 4.0, using File Menu/Export/Movie/Microsoft AVI with compression “None” and “Color Depth” = “Millions + of colors”, NOT “Millions of colors”.
In Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1, this route is gone and I have not found a replacement for it or a new feature to take its place. Depending on the circumstances, if I had to export a video with transparency for another project, I would export that video with a solid color where I wanted the transparency when it was imported into another Premiere Elements project. And, when that video was imported into the new project, the Chroma Key or Videomerge would be used to create the wanted transparency in those solid colored areas.
Ways to Export Video and Maintain Transparency
Premiere Elements 7
a. Adobe Flash Video. Video Codec = On2VP6 with “Encode Alpha Channel” checked and with FLV choice selected. Problematic route, worked sometimes.
b. File Menu/Export/Movie/Microsoft AVI with compression “None” and “Color Depth” at “Millions + of colors”. Typically the successful route.
c. Share/Personal Computer/QuickTime with preset = Cable Modem DSL and, under the Advance Button, use of the Apple Animation video codec. Never got that to work with either Color Depth = 24 bit color or “Million +”. The "Million +" inclusion would typically result in the “Invalid Argument” error.
Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1
Routes a and b are gone.
And route c still does not work for me for exporting video and maintaining transparency.
Back in the days when Premiere Elements 8.0 was released and I wrote of my First Impression of this version of the software, I said:
“in Premiere Elements 7 Share/Personal Computer/Adobe Flash Video, if you wanted to maintain a transparency in the video, you used the Video On2VP6 with “Encode Alpha Channel” checked (or at least you tried to) with FLV choice selected. The end result was often an error message saying “Invalid Argument”. Most of the time, you had to go with the export with the “Encode Alpha Channel” unchecked to avoid the error message. If you tried to do this with F4V checked, there was no option available for “Encode Alpha Channel”. Now in Premiere Elements 8, the “Encode Alpha Channel” option is gone altogether (FLV or F4V).
A usually successful alternative to exporting video and maintaining the transparency was via File Menu/Export/Movie/Microsoft AVI with compression “None” and “Color Depth at “Millions + of colors”. This route is no longer available in Premiere Elements 8 now that all AVI export is now consolidated in Share/Personal Computer/AVI (what used to be Share/Personal Computer/DV AVI in version 7). That Microsoft AVI in the new location in Premiere Elements 8 does not have a Color Depth option. So, defining the procedure for maintaining transparency in a Premiere Elements 8 export needs to be done (work in progress)”.
In all this time since that was written, I do not see where anyone, including myself, has come up with a way to address this issue in Premiere Elements 8.0.1.
If have a friend with Premiere Elements 4.0 or 7.0, you might want to explore and experiment in one of those versions with
a. Share/Personal Computer/Adobe Flash Video to determine if you can squeeze toward your goal with or without "Encode Alpha Channel" checked.
b. In Edit Mode, File Menu/Export/Movie with the settings described above for an .avi export.
I am hoping that maybe someone has devised a way to do this in Premiere Elements 8.0.1 and just has not had the time to share it with the rest of us.
As you can judge, it is risky business trying to figure this out on a Premiere Elements version model other than Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1 where the export options of interest here have undergone marked changes compared to the two prior versions.
Interesting and enlightening observations.
I only have PrE 4, so the changes up through PrE 7 & 8 are not something that I can even check. Interesting that FLV w/ Alpha was inserted into PrE7, though your experience was that it did not work. Those same settings work fine in PrPro. Perhaps because of the issues, it was removed in PrE 8.
The screen-cap that I did with the Lagarith Lossless CODEC (a free favorite of mine), showed Transparency w/ Millions of Colors +, but as you note, that was back when things AVI were located in File>Export>Movie. As you state that the MS AVI does not allow Millions + now, I wonder what would happen with the Lagarith. As we know, Transparency is CODEC-dependent. If you have a moment, I'd be interested to hear if Transparency is functional with it. At the very worst, you would end up with a great, lossless CODEC to Export intermediate files.
Thank you for the in depth information.
As always, appreciated,
I pulled out your October 2009 thread here which went into use of the Lagarith Codec in another context. Interesting.
I see that you installed it on your Premiere Elements 4.0. Given that Premiere Elements 4.0 can give us the sought over export with transparency maintained via File Menu/Export/Movie with Microsoft AVI, None for compression, and that Color Depth = Millions + of colors, but, in Premiere Elements 4.0, did you ever try to get the export with transparency maintained with Microsoft AVI using the Lagarith Codec with or without any help from Color Depth = "Millions + of colors" if this became an option with the Lagarith Codec installed and in use here?
I have Premiere Elements 4.0, 7.0, and 8.0.1 all installed on the same computer, so all I would have to do is download and install the Lagarith Codec and try it. But, I need to see how adventurous I am tomorrow. But, you know that curiosity is one of my major vices.
To be continued.....
I have experimented with Lagarith Lossless and Transparency, and it Exports fine from PrE 4.0. I mainly use it from PrPro 2.0, where it also functions perfectly. Many PrPro CS3, CS4 & CS5 users use it for all of their intermediate files, though with each version of PrPro, the Adobe Dynamic Link has been strengthened and improved, so intermediates are used a bit less often.
My interest is in knowing it something else is disabled in PrE 8, to keep even Lagarith Lossless from Exporting/Sharing with Transparency.
As you report, FLV Export with Transparency was allowed in PrE 7, but was not allowed in PrE 8. That causes me to worry that all Alpha/Transparency, regardless of the CODEC, has been eliminated with PrE 8.
If you have a moment, please report,
When you did your work with the Lagarith Codec and Premiere Elements 4.0, what did you download from the link that you provided in an earlier post here:
c. Source Code
d. all of above
f. only Codec
g. some other combination
I downloaded and installed Lagarith_1316.zip. That is still the version that I have on all of my computers. The file was the Installer. That file is dated 2008. I see that the CODEC is up to 1320.
Hope that helps,
This morning I downloaded and installed the Lagarith Lossless Video Codec 1.3.20.
Bottom line: It does not appear to be an answer to trying to export video, maintaining that video's original transparency when using Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1.The key to getting Largarith to function in this regard is Largarith plus the availability of the specific Color Depth option = "Millions + of colors" and not "Millions of colors". And, that Color Depth option = "Millions + of colors" or equivalent is just not present in Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1 (at least I have not found it).
After installation of Largarith to the computer, in Premiere Elements 4.0 and 7.0, it shows up in the list of codecs for Microsoft AVI (See route Edit Mode/File Menu/Export/Movie and, with Microsoft AVI selected, the choice for using the Lagarith Codec appears.) With the Lagarith Codec selected, only two Color Depth options are available:
a. Millions of Color
b. Millions + of Colors
Summing it up, In version 4.0 and 7.0, I have found that Largarith compression setting supports export of an .avi video and maintains that video's original transparency ONLY when the Millions + of Colors option is selected.
When you get to Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1, the Lagarith Codec does appear in the list of codecs for Microsoft AVI (See route Share/Personal Computer/AVI/Microsoft AVI) Under the Advance Button, settings specific to the Lagarith Codec are:
a. Enable Null Frames
b. Always Sugggest RGB Output
c. Use Multithreading
d. Prevent Upsampling When Decoding
And in that special codec setting area for this codec are Mode choices:
a. RGB (Default)
e. Reduced Resolution
In the general settings under the Video Tab for Microsoft AVI, we see
a. a check off for Render at Maximum Depth
b. Depth settings for 24 bit or 32 bit
None of the variations on the above has yielded an export of an .avi video where the original video's transparency was maintained.
So far, all this has appeared to advance the cause only to the extent of offering two choices for export of an .avi video, maintaining that .avi's original transparency for Premiere Elements 4.0 and 7.0, not 8.0/8.0.1
a. File Menu/Export/Movie
Microsoft AVI, compression NONE, Color Depth = Millions + of colors
b. File Menu/Export/Movie
Microsoft AVI, compression Lagarith Codec 1.3.20, Color Depth = Millions + of colors.
I will pause now for any suggestions and/or comments.
Thank you for your time in testing and reporting.
The key to getting Largarith to function in this regard is Largarith plus the availability of the specific Color Depth option = "Millions + of colors" and not "Millions of colors". And, that Color Depth option = "Millions + of colors" or equivalent is just not present in Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1 (at least I have not found it).
This was not what I wanted to hear, but it seems that Transparency, even with an otherwise "known good" CODEC (for earlier versions) has been disabled in PrE 8/8.0.1. That is sad, and I would urge Adobe to try and restore that capability with CODEC's that otherwise support Transparency. I think that this is well-worth a Feature Request.
Transparency has many uses, from "sprites" in Flash to variations on Green Screen, elsewhere. There must be something in the code for the PrE 8 versions, that either precludes this, or maybe it was just something missed by the engineers. Either way, if not impossible to support, should be added back in PrE 9 - IMHO.
Again, I greatly appreciate your efforts and your reporting. BTW - Lagarith Lossless is still a great CODEC for intermediate, high-quality Export, even if PrE 8/8.0.1 will not support Transparency in it. You might want to play around a bit with it, when you need an intermediate file. I use it for going to/from AfterEffects, and it works beautifully for me - and for many PrPro users too. It gets tons of very good recs. on that forum, and from some "power-users."
Hunt @ ATR-
Thanks so much for looking into this transparency issue with PE8--now I know I'm not missing something (and that I'm not alone in thinking that something should be possible). Hopefully, this bit of functionality will be reintroduced. We do a bunch of green screen work for smaller businesses and it's a pity there's no way to handle it properly inside PE8 given everything else PE8 can do.
Thanks especially for all your experimentation. Well beyond my talents. I did notice you mentioned an RGBA export option in connection with the Lagarith Lossless Video Codec. That wouldn't handle the transparency in the alpha channel either? In my research wanderings, a number of folks have suggested that either millions of colors + or RGBA (where A is for alpha) would do the trick. Not so apparently?
With best regards,
With your post I went back and rechecked use of the Lagarith codec using the RGBA mode. Still no go for maintaining the transparency of an .avi export.
I will keep thinking on this and report back if I see even the smallest of promise. But, right now, not looking very promising for Premiere Elements 8.0.1 and maintaining transparency for an .avi export (or any other).
As per my last post to Karl, I rechecked the Lagarith with the RGBA mode. As I observed the first time I tried this after installing the Lagarith Codec, it did not work for the purpose of maintaining the transparency of a video export with the Lagarith Codec Mode: RGBA (instead Color Depth = Millions + of colors) for Premiere Elements 4.0 and 7.0. And, again nothing would work for this purpose in Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1.
Keep in mind my initial report was that the Lagarith Codec (with its RGB default mode) and with Color Depth = Millions + of colors did work in Premiere Elements 4.0 and 7.0 the other day.
I went back afterwards to repeat what worked initially for Premiere Elements 4.0 and 7.0, that is, Microsoft AVI/ Compression None/Color Depth = Millions + of Colors. That worked again and over and over again. HOWEVER, when I went back and substituted with Microsoft AVI/Lagarith compression/Color Depth = Millions + of Colors it would not now work in Premiere Elements 4.0 and 7.0 as it had the other day when I started this work with the Lagarith Codec. I am in the process of trying to figure out what happened then until now.
Have you run into any similar mysterious problems with use of the Lagarith in your Premiere Elements 4.0?
The problem mentioned in my last post was found to be related to the failure of the Lagarith Codec version 1.3.20 driver sometime after it was installed in my Windows XP Professional SP3 computer and used the other day. Do not have an explanation for that happening, but Hardware/Devices confirmed the driver failure. Attempts to uninstall and reinstall this 1.3.20 version and source failed.
However, donwload and install of the Lagarith Codec version 1.3.11 did the job in Premere Elements 4.0 and 7.0, and, as before, not 8.0/8.0.1. However for it to work to maintain the transparency of the video exported as .avi in versions 4.0 and 7.0 it was necessary to have:
File Menu/Export/Movie/Microsoft AVI/Lagarith Codec version 1.3.11 as compressor with the Color Depth of Millions + of colors and the Lagarith Mode = RGBA.
While these problems existed with this Lagarith Codec version 1.3.20, the good old reliable route of File Menu/Export/Movie/Microsoft AVI/None as Compressor and Color Depth = Millions + of colors worked well in versions 4.0 and 7.0. Although Lagarith Codec version 1.3.11 did work for these purposes now and end product AVI was not as good as with None for Compressor and Color Depth = Millions + of colors.
I am not sure how far to go with this since none of this applies to the current version and, for sure, Premiere Elements 9.0 will be the current version in Sept./Oct. 2010 which is not all that far away.
Please let me know how further I can help on this one.
Thank you for your testing and your reports.
Unless someone, like Chad Baker can give us some "under the hood" comments on PrE 8's handling of Transparency, I think we can just say that right now, PrE 8 cannot Export with Transparency (unless there are some obscure CODEC's needed?).
With the use of Transparency in so many places, I find this odd, but there might be a very good coding reason for the omission/deletion, but that is beyond my "pay grade... "
I appreciate your efforts, and the full reports. We'll just have to see what Sept/Oct brings.