10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 3, 2016 1:04 PM by Rick Gerard

    set white background with black text - preview ok - but only black when linked

    williamd59504155

      Hi - sorry, I am a complete newbie to AE.  I just got Adobe Creative Cloud the full package and it's the best xmas present ever!

       

      So have used Premiere in the past but never really made any progress with AE... I can see now that it is truly awesome and I seriously need to do some online training videos.  I got started with one showing how to do typewriter text and it worked well - I did it on a black text layer with white text, but I a really looking for a title like the old spy movies with the teletype typing out the titles black courier font on white paper effect.  So I change my background to white and the font to black, and it looks fine in the preview, but when I link it my PP project, it is now all black, seems like the background hasn't really changed to white, even though it looks it in the preview.  I rendered it and I get the same, all black, so I am guess I have done something wrong in AE and not PP.  Again, I would normally try and figure this out myself, but haven't had much luck so could use a push if anyone cares to help.

      Thanks

      Bill

        • 1. Re: set white background with black text - preview ok - but only black when linked
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Without knowing anything about your exact settings, nobody can tell you much. It seems you are simply using an output preset with transparency, but not correctly interpreting the result in premiere. By definition in such situations the AE comp background is treated as transparent, hence you end up with black on black.

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: set white background with black text - preview ok - but only black when linked
            dissidently Level 1

            You are going to eat your words, and possibly end up reconsidering your relationship with whoever gave you this "present".

             

            The background of an AE project is not a background of any sort, other than for preview purposes in AE. It doesn't actually exist, even though you see it as a defined colour.

             

            What you need to do, in order to render out black text on a white background, is to create a "background" of the colour of your choice.

             

            Create a new layer that's a solid, and be sure to colour it as you like, as you create it. It's ridiculous the processes of changing it later, so you want to get this right as you create it.

             

            Then place your text layer above this layer in the timeline. And render out. That should give you what you're trying to achieve.

            • 3. Re: set white background with black text - preview ok - but only black when linked
              williamd59504155 Level 1

              Hey thanks, both answers were right, but thanks for telling me to put a solid layer in, that did the trick... wasn't exactly obvious to a newbie like myself.

               

              Yes, I imagine there will be a great deal of pain :-)  I worked pretty extensively with Premier about 10 yrs, maybe more, ago - capturing footage from tapes - it was pretty buggy - at least I am working on a Mac with plenty of power now and SSDs so that performing a workflow actually "works!"

               

              Thanks again.

               

              Bill

              • 4. Re: set white background with black text - preview ok - but only black when linked
                dissidently Level 1

                AE 2015 on a Mac is in an alpha state. There's so many bugs you're not going to know when you're failing and when it is.

                 

                Premiere has improved (somewhat) since you last used it. But for pure speed of footage handling, Fusion eats AE alive, and Final Cut Pro X (despite its many quirks) is far faster than Premiere.

                • 5. Re: set white background with black text - preview ok - but only black when linked
                  dissidently Level 1

                  And yes, what you've just discovered in terms of things be less than obvious is a trait of AE that's hung around since its invention. Adobe deliberately ignore all other user conventions from all other software and all OS design, development and refinement from the last 20+ years.

                   

                  They're obstinate, in the extreme.

                   

                  So when you can't find something or how to do something, you have two searches and one mission:

                   

                  1. Learn the names of what you're looking for

                  2. Learn the terms of the functions you're looking for

                  3. Patiently wade through piles of nonsense to find out how the function is supposed to be used, with what.

                   

                  Good luck.

                   

                  I suggest you concurrently learn to use Fusion 8. It's free, as its in beta. Which means its further along in development than AE 2015.

                  • 6. Re: set white background with black text - preview ok - but only black when linked
                    Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Absolutely the only reason to change the background color of a comp is premultiply the Alpha channel to a specific color. In more than 20 years I have never done this because virtually all editing and compositing apps work better with Straight Alpha's unless you have specifically set up and planned for a pre-multiplied background on your alpha channels. IOW, if you want to have a new background color then add a solid on the bottom layer. If you want to render a comp with transparency then choose Straight Alpha as the color option. Setting the comp background to white and then rendering a file with a transparent background pre-multiplied to white will give you light colored edges when you bring that file into Premiere Pro for layering. They will just not look as good.

                     

                    NOTE: the default output module template for lossless with Alpha uses pre-multiplied Alpha's. The very first thing I check and change is this setting. I suggest that you set it to Straight Alpha....

                    • 7. Re: set white background with black text - preview ok - but only black when linked
                      dissidently Level 1

                      Rick, I know a reasonable amount about compositing and video editing.

                       

                      But, even for me, most of what you're saying is French.

                       

                      Surely there's a better way to describe what you're attempting to impart. Whatever it is.

                      • 8. Re: set white background with black text - preview ok - but only black when linked
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Maybe this will help. After Effects assumes  transparency. The background color has absolutely nothing to do with transparency. Changing the background color of a composition two red or green or black will not fill any empty space in the composition with that color.  All media players (QuickTime, windows movie, any mobile device) will deliver a black background where there is transparency if you render to a format that supports transparency (Alpha channel) and all codecs that do not support transparency will render black pixels where an alpha channel says things should be transparent.

                         

                        That should clear up any confusion and about why changing the background color of a composition always results in a black background. If you want a red one or a green one or a blue one you must add that color to your composition as a layer.

                         

                        Here's a quick explanation of straight Alpha versus pre-multiplied, the unfortunate default in After Effects. Transparency is controlled by the value of the Alpha Channel.  There is no color information in an alpha channel. Only grayscale. 50% gray equals 50% opacity. It is as simple as that.  If you were to set your composition background to red or green and choose pre-multiplied  as the color option then the anti-aliased edges of the alpha channel would be used to calculate and render a color shift only on the edge pixels next to the transparency in the RGB channels of the video shifting them towards red or green.   Only the edges of the color with partial transparency are shifted. 99.99997% of the time you don't want a color shift on the edge of your transparency. That is why you should always, unless you specifically desire to shift the color of only the edge pixels,  choose straight alpha when rendering to a format that supports alpha channels.

                         

                        Leaving the background black  and rendering pre-multiplied will darken the edge, setting the background to white and rendering pre-multiplied will lighten the edges. Neither of those situations is ideal for compositing.

                         

                        I hope this clears things up.

                        • 9. Re: set white background with black text - preview ok - but only black when linked
                          williamd59504155 Level 1

                          wow, thanks for all the info, I understand the transparent is default, fair enough...  probably lots of other ways to achieve what I was trying, but I have crudely got there in the end.  Rick, I will have a look at Fusion - I don't think my budget is going to extend to Final Cut though :-(  this is pretty much just for fun that I'm doing this Dog and Skiing videos mostly for myself and friends.  But thanks again for the advice, I need to revisit alpha channels, as it's been so long I have a vague idea of what they were/are!

                          • 10. Re: set white background with black text - preview ok - but only black when linked
                            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Basically you can't go wrong with Straight Alpha channels. You can get into trouble with Pre-multiplied Alpha Channels because of the color fringing on the edges.