20 Replies Latest reply on Jul 21, 2014 11:07 PM by Ziji Man

    Particle FX over a transparent background.

    vstyler13

      Hi, hope someone can help me..

       

      I'm using a Trapcode Particular effect preset over a background PNG.. however.. the background is loaded only as a guide for placing the particle animation..

       

      What I need is the particle animation to be rendered out over transparency, with no background showing.

       

      is this possible, and if so, can someone tell me how to achieve it.

       

      thanks

        • 1. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Hide your background layer. There is a button at the bottom of your composition window that lets you turn the checkerboard on and off to be sure you have transparency in your composition.

          Once you ensure your particles are indeed on a transparent background, simply render to a format and codec that supports transparency (such as QuickTime with the PNG codec). Make sure you set it to render RGB+Alpha.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
            Ziji Man Level 1

            Szalam, your answers are very helpful. I've struggled getting some nice particles into a logo I'm working on, do you mind if I ask you about that here?

             

            It's a 3D Cinema 4D animation, rendered as an .avi and now it's in After Effects.

             

            PROBLEM: If I add particles, they don't go "around" or behind my 3D logo in the scene. I shouldn't expect them to, of course because it's all one 2D layer.

             

            I have Realflow, Trapcode, Sapphire and Boris...lol....and I still haven't found a way to get some nice particles into my designs. Some of my 3D renders are already taking 18 hours, so the idea of adding particles before post-production is just crazy to me.

             

            Any tips would be helpful. Thanks!

            • 3. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
              Dave LaRonde Level 6

              Trapcode Particular works in 3D.  Your C4D file may 2D, but that doesn't mean you can't make it a 3D layer ans swoosh particles around it to your heart's content.  Just don't move the C4D layer or the camera.

              • 4. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                vstyler13 Level 1

                Hi, thank you, but the particle layer is ON the background layer, If I hide it, using the little eye, or by turning Opacity down in the Transform  section, then it also turns off\down the Particle effect.

                • 5. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                  Ziji Man Level 1

                  Can you make a duplicate of your background layer, with the particles? Delete the original background layer and make the copy transparent, or remove the background color from the shot, if possible.

                   

                  I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the original background layer has less options, while a duplicate "free" layer can be manipulated any way you choose.

                   

                  Hope I'm helping here.

                  • 6. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                    Dave LaRonde Level 6

                    You need to read up on the use of Particular.  It lets you use the comp camera. Then when you move the particles in 3D space, they're 3D.

                    • 7. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                      Ziji Man Level 1

                      Dave - I don't understand how 3D particles can go behind a flat, 2D object in a pre-rendered .avi or .mov

                       

                      It would be nice also to have them emit or float out from behind an object that is 2D.

                       

                      My understanding is that you have to include your particles in the program that has the 3D object in editable space, to get them to go behind your object. Am I missing something in Particular?

                      • 8. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                        vstyler13 Level 1

                        ok Ziji, i'll try that.. thanks.

                        • 9. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                          Dave LaRonde Level 6

                          Yeah, I think you are overlooking something in Particular.  Now, Red Giant Software ought to have links to Particular tutorials.  I'd take a look at them... and I think you'll like what you find.

                          • 10. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                            vstyler13 Level 1

                            I cant see any differences in a duplicated layer, when u hide the layer, it also hides the Particular effect.

                             

                            Is there no way to add an effect to a transparent layer?? Surely there is?

                            • 11. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                              Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                              I don't understand what you mean by "add an effect to a transparent layer"?  Particular applied to a solid creates particles on a transparent layer.  If you are seeing anything other than the particles you are doing something wrong.

                               

                              When you are integrating Particular into a 3D environment and need the particles to exist in front and behind another layer, you need to use two copies of the Particular layer - one above and one below your Cinema 4D layer, in this case.  You can then adjust the Visibility parameters to separate the two sets of particles so that they exist in front of or behind the C4D layer respectively.  Your front layer has the Far Vanish parameter ramped up.  Your back layer has the Near Vanish parameter ramped up.

                               

                              Particular can use an Obscuration layer (you would use your C4D layer as the obscuration layer) to obscure rear particles, but this only works in certain situations.  It can be tricky to get right.

                               

                              You can also render a Z Buffer pass out of C4D to do the same kind of thing, but that's a little more complex.  Go visit the help section on Trapcode/Red Giant websites if you want to pursue it.

                              There are plenty of Tutorials around that explain all three of these processes. 

                              • 12. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                                vstyler13 Level 1

                                No no... Im not working in 3D.. thats the other guy who's asking something here..

                                 

                                All i am trying to do is add a particular effect to a background (which in this case is a mockup of a GUI I am working on)

                                 

                                Then I want to render out the particular effect..without.. the background layer, so that all i have is the particular animation over a trans. background.

                                 

                                When i apply aprticular to either my mockup background (PNG) or to a black solid.. and then turn off those layers, then it also turns off the Particular animation effect.

                                 

                                How do I get JUST the effect, over transparency.. no background?

                                • 13. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                                  Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                  You're either misunderstanding AE or the nature of digital video.

                                   

                                  If you mean that you just want to "see" the transparency in AE, turn on the transparency grid in the main viewer window.

                                   

                                  Screenshot 2014-07-22 10.53.14.png

                                   

                                  If you mean you want to render an output file with transparency, you need to understand that there is no such thing as a transparent pixel.  Digital files that show transparency have an alpha channel, which is a black and white sub-layer (or channel) that defines which pixels are transparent.  You need to render your file in a format that supports alpha channels, such as Quicktime Animation codec, Quicktime PNG, ProRes 4444 etc. You can also render still formats like PNG, TIFF or PSD.  Make sure your Output Module is rendering "RGB + Alpha".

                                   

                                  Playing a file with an alpha channel in a normal video player usually doesn't show any evidence of transparency - you just see a black or white background.  You need to use the file in an application that can properly interpret the alpha channel information - like Cinema 4D, After Effects or Premiere Pro does.

                                   

                                  alpha_rebus.jpg

                                  • 14. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                                    vstyler13 Level 1

                                    ok, then  maybe I don't understand.. Are you saying it is impossible to render out an effect, any effect in AE, over a transparency?

                                     

                                    Because the last project I did i rendered out a smoke animation, JUST smoke.. over transparency.. as in.. no black, no background etc.. using RGB + Alpha.

                                     

                                    i was then able to use this smoke animation in a software plugin, overlaid over the background.

                                     

                                    Unfortunately, I don't remember how I did it.,

                                     

                                    I know about the transparency button I had to use it last time..

                                     

                                    All i want to accomplish right now is.. see the Particular over the transparency grid.. with no background.. JUST the effect \ animation.

                                    • 15. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                                      vstyler13 Level 1

                                      Ill add, this isn't for video.. I will be making a vertical PNG strip animation with the rendered frames.

                                      • 16. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                                        vstyler13 Level 1

                                        Heres the project... I have the background and along the bottom, an animation FX preset.

                                         

                                        My goal... to have the same FX ...without... the bacAE.jpgkground.

                                         

                                        I want to render only.. the Particular FX frames.. without the background.... in other words.... with a transparent background.

                                        • 17. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                                          Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          If you want a layer 3-D particles passing behind 2-D layers then you have to generate a hold out matte. Simple as that. You have to set up your particle generator so that the particles that are behind the 2-D  layer are matted out. This is easy to do if you're 2d layer has an alpha channel. If I get a chance later this evening I'll throw together a sample. It's not really hard.

                                          • 18. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                                            vstyler13 Level 1

                                            Thank you Rick, this is driving me crazy..

                                            • 19. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                                              vstyler13 Level 1

                                              Actually, thanks for everyone's suggestions.. i have figured it out for myself... just change Rendering > Transfer Mode to 'None' = Instant transparency , the background disappears.

                                               

                                              Exactly what I was looking for...

                                               

                                              Trial and error is sometimes as important as air in our lungs.. lol.

                                              • 20. Re: Particle FX over a transparent background.
                                                Ziji Man Level 1

                                                Vstyler - Sometimes the answer is within us all along. Sorry to split your thread into 2 questions, but I learned a lot here.

                                                 

                                                Rick - Sample would be great!!! I can't wait to get those particles going! Just finishing up an 18 hour render of an animation, so I'm excited to try out that particle trick on this video!