31 Replies Latest reply on Feb 24, 2010 8:17 PM by the_wine_snob

    Exporting Alphas

    mentalcase129 Level 1

      So I'm doing various effects on several layers of animation in Premiere Pro CS3...I've got a bunch of characters with shadows and reflections at their feet but I want to then export the characters and composite them over a background so so that I can do some fancy multiplaining backgrounds...only problem is I can't seem to preserve my transparencies...it exports a black background behind it.  I can't just make a green screen and chroma key it either because my shadows and reflections are semi transparent.  There must be a way to export from premiere and preserve the transparency/alpha...is it a setting that I need to consider or is it just dependant on which file type I choose.

      Any suggestions?

      Thanks

        • 1. Re: Exporting Alphas
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          What format/CODEC are you Exporting to?

           

          In many, you would just need to choose Million + Colors, where the + is the Alpha Channel. In a few (FLV comes to mind), you would check Export with Transparency, or similar syntax.

           

          Hope this helps,

           

          Hunt

          • 2. Re: Exporting Alphas
            shooternz Level 6

            Take the layers into AEFX and export with alpha or millions+

             

            AFAIK - there is no way to export alpha in PPRO (except  flv Flash)

             

            Re read:

            I assume the animations werent created in PPRO and you are adding fx  there.

            Maybe AEFX is beeter for the entire task.

            • 3. Re: Exporting Alphas
              mentalcase129 Level 1

              Unfortunately I don't have After Effects...FLV would probably work for my purposes but it's not coming up as an option for export.  Does it only work with certain project settings or something?  It comes up in the help menu as a supported export but I can't seem to find it.

              • 4. Re: Exporting Alphas
                shooternz Level 6

                First thing to solve:

                 

                I am not sure how you are going to create the transparency of the characters / objects / shadows etc  without keying them.

                 

                Where did they come from in the first instance?  I assume from outside PPRO?

                • 5. Re: Exporting Alphas
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  You'll want to choose one of the higher bit-rate options, and the On2 VP6 CODEC. In the Advanced Options dialog, you can choose Encode Alpha Channel. It is right below the Video section (in PrPro 2.0, and probably in similar for CS3 & CS4).

                   

                  FLV_Alpha_Channel.jpg

                   

                  Good luck,

                   

                  Hunt

                  • 6. Re: Exporting Alphas
                    shooternz Level 6
                    FLV would probably work for my purposes but it's not coming up as an option for export.

                     

                     

                    It there in CS3 somewhere because there is another post about it down the page

                    • 7. Re: Exporting Alphas
                      mentalcase129 Level 1

                      Okay I found the FLV setting and I'm trying that now.

                       

                      The characters were animated in Flash...but they are part of a bigger kinda convoluted scene.  So the characters have some lighting effects done on them in premiere, the shadows were also animated in flash and rendered to a different layer so that I could blur them and drop the opacity in premiere as well, then below the shadow is a vertically flipped version of the character which has some ripple effects on it as well as a blur and a dropped opacity.  Needed to be done this way in order to lock all the layers together properly so that when i composite it all together with other characters done the same way I can move around through them freely.  It's a rediculously complicated shot...the animation alone has a been a major pain.

                      • 8. Re: Exporting Alphas
                        shooternz Level 6

                        I am still wondering where Flash is going to get the transparency to produce the alpha channel from?

                        • 9. Re: Exporting Alphas
                          mentalcase129 Level 1

                          Flash doesn't need to do the transparency...I'm only using it for character animation for this scene...all the effects being done in Premiere and then all the layers are being imported into another premiere file for compositing.

                           

                          The FLV didn't work by the way...it might have gotten the transparencies that I wanted but I wasn't able to import back into Premiere.  I was able to get it working with a quicktime movie though...with the millions+

                          • 10. Re: Exporting Alphas
                            Dag Norum Level 2

                            Craig,

                             

                            AFAIK - there is no way to export alpha in PPRO (except  flv Flash)

                             

                            "You can't teach an old dog to bark", but let me try...

                             

                            In CS3 (I don't have CS4) you can for example:

                             

                            1. Export Movie (CS3 still can), select a format/codec with alpha support, for example QT animation or uncompressed Video for Windows, and make sure to select the "Million + colors"

                             

                            2. Export AME, and there do the same as 1. but QT (except for FLV) seems to be the best alternative.

                             

                            Anyway, Hunt sort of said it, so credit to him.

                             

                            you would just need to choose Million + Colors

                             

                            To Hunt:

                             

                            I got the best one. But, you know, since you weren't there, you'll never know

                             

                            Dag

                             

                            EDIT: Slow typing (me), but just saw that mentalcase (hopefully less than me) found the solution on his own, I'm happy for that.

                            • 11. Re: Exporting Alphas
                              the_wine_snob Level 9
                              I was able to get it working with a quicktime movie though...with the millions+

                              I am glad that you got it working with QT and Millions +.

                               

                              Good luck, and hope that the rest of the Project goes smoothly.

                               

                              Hunt

                              • 12. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                Dag,

                                 

                                We need to get the wives together to discuss that. However, they will both probably agree that each could have done better than us...

                                 

                                Stay warm,

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 13. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                  Dag Norum Level 2
                                  We need to get the wives together to discuss that


                                  I got a better idea:

                                   

                                  We need to get the WINES together, and you and me discussing that (who's best).

                                   

                                  And, my god how much wine we would need to "taste" before we agree

                                   

                                  Dag

                                   

                                  PS! I'll better stop now before Jeff starts "mod-ing"

                                  • 14. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                    shooternz Level 6

                                    Throw an old dog a bone will ya Dag  ( a screen shot would be good as well)

                                     

                                    Where do I find the Export alpha check box  in any of the examples you mentioned in PPRO (AME)  ?

                                    • 15. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                      mentalcase129 Level 1

                                      You have to export using the mpeg encoder...I used Quicktime PNG's


                                      • 16. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                        shooternz Level 6

                                        I usually want  uncompressed media ...how then.  Hopefully Dag will learn me how.

                                        • 17. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                          Dag Norum Level 2

                                          Hopefully I can tech you...

                                           

                                          Here:

                                           

                                          Using Export Movie (CS3), Video for Windows, compressor set to none:

                                          vfwu.jpg

                                          Still Export Movie, QT animasjon:

                                          qta.jpg

                                          AME, QT animasjon (cropped screen-shot):

                                          ameqt.jpg

                                           

                                          I hope this will do it for now (bedtime here).

                                           

                                          Dag

                                           

                                          EDIT: Please disregard none important settings for this quickly made "lesson", like frame size and the recompress thing and so on.  Point is Millons +.

                                          • 18. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                                            Dag,

                                             

                                            You got a deal!!! Much of the world's problems could be easily solved if folk would just sit down with a nice wine - IMHO anyway.

                                             

                                            Yes, I think that I have been on Jeff's "radar screen," and he does a daily search of this forum for "wine," knowing that I'll be involved.

                                             

                                            Instead of our twice-yearly trip to the UK/Europe, we're doing the April meeting via conference call. Maybe next October, I can get a Eurail pass and we can all gather for a few glasses and a proper handshake. I've managed to do a few pubs with some UK members (Londoners mostly), but have never really had the time get too far from Mayfair and the Chancery District. Gotta' get out more, when I'm so danged close. I think that either Harm owes me a nice 1er Cru Chablis, or maybe I owe him one????

                                             

                                            Hunt

                                            • 19. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                              shooternz Level 6

                                              Thanx Dag but it aint the same in CS4 as far as I can see /find.

                                               

                                              Maybe some will  give me the steer for CS4

                                               

                                              I do have CS3 in my suites but I have always gone to AEFX for this anyway.

                                               

                                              Just might have been handy.

                                              • 20. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                Craig,

                                                 

                                                Here's Lagarith w/ Alpha. Remember, I am on PrPro 2.0, so your dialog screen will differ:

                                                 

                                                Lagarith_Alpha_01.jpg

                                                 

                                                I do not recall ever seeing a complete list of all of the possible formats/CODEC's, that support Alpha Channels, but there are quite a few of 'em.

                                                 

                                                Good luck,

                                                 

                                                Hunt

                                                • 21. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                                  shooternz Level 6

                                                  As before Bill in my post to Dag

                                                   

                                                  Its kind of all different in CS4 and I am wondering if its a complete oversight or if I am being stoooopid in not finding the option in AME .

                                                   

                                                  Thanx

                                                  • 22. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                    Bill,

                                                     

                                                    When you come over to this area, I think Dag and I can organize (at your own expense) a nice trip around Europe. Of course you are most welcome here in Rotterdam, but apart from Dag's suggestions, a short visit at my daughter's place at the foot of the Eiger Nordwand in Wengen may be nice. Depending on when you intend to come, I can arrange for my daughter to give you some ski/snowboard/golf/tennis/wakeboard lessons as well and then afterwards enjoy a nice bottle of wine. That would be fun and if your wife comes along even better.

                                                    • 23. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                                      Dag Norum Level 2

                                                      Craig,

                                                       

                                                      Maybe you just made me more happy about not going for CS4.

                                                       

                                                      Anyway, "use the tool that makes your job done" is my saying.

                                                       

                                                      Hunt,

                                                       

                                                      It's 2AM here, till next time (bed is screaming my name)

                                                       

                                                      Dag

                                                      • 24. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                        Harm,

                                                         

                                                        I've always wanted to dine at Restaurant Parkheuvel, so maybe that would be a great opportunity.

                                                         

                                                        We'll see what October brings.

                                                         

                                                        Hunt

                                                        • 25. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                          Dag,

                                                           

                                                          Get some sleep man! Craig is a day ahead of me, so he's lounging at the beach, while you should be sleeping - tomorrow!

                                                           

                                                          Hunt

                                                          • 26. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                            Bill,

                                                             

                                                            You disappoint me!. I never thought you the type to want to dine there. It has a rather shady reputation and is called "Ketsheuvel" in the local jargon, which indicates that this joint is frequented by people who take their mistresses out on a date, hoping for some action afterwards. The local jargon is probably best translated from 'Parkhill' into 'Fu**ing Hill' to reflect this custom. If you want really good food and wine, try to reserve a table in 'De Librije' in Zwolle, but you may be too late already if you want to come over in October. Jon and Theresa Boer are the owners, and they organized the whole catering in New York for the 400-th anniversary of New York. http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/09/08/2009-09-08_dutch_royal_family_visits_new_yo rk_to_kick_off_400year_anniversary_of_henry_huds.html

                                                            • 27. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                              Interesting. Since Restaurant Parkheuvel has been getting great reviews in several respected international dining and travel mags for years and has garnered 2 Michelin stars, I had expected much more. Well, I guess that one cannot put much faith in reviews, when they do not personally know the reviewers.

                                                               

                                                              I'll now put De Librije on my radar screen and see what I can do. I've had to call favors to get the French Laundry and Per Se (this side of the Pond), and several for seatings in London and Paris, so I am not above doing so in Holland.

                                                               

                                                              We'll see,

                                                               

                                                              Hunt

                                                               

                                                              PS - dining in the library of an ancient monastery sounds like great fun!

                                                              • 28. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                                                shooternz Level 6

                                                                What is wrong with the shady options that Harm is suggesting?

                                                                 

                                                                BTW - I am not at the beach but I wish.  I am labouring in the heat and humidity over two hot computers (plus this one) editing and encoding stuff for clients on a deadline.

                                                                 

                                                                Will sneak a beer or two soon though.

                                                                 

                                                                Time you guys caught up to CS4 though....How can I get help otherwise.

                                                                • 29. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                                                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                                  Graig,

                                                                   

                                                                  I've been on CS4 since the beginning, Bill is the one missing all the fun, but he can compensate by booking 'De Librije', one of the few 3 star Michelin restaurants here. My youngest brother had them arrange the catering for his 50-th anniversary (I'm lifting the veil on my own age now) and it really was superb for 50 guests in his dining room.

                                                                  • 30. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                                                    the_wine_snob Level 9
                                                                    How can I get help otherwise?

                                                                     

                                                                    Now, Harm is on CS4, and is probably a beta-tester for CS5, or should be. BTW - you seem to manage well as it is - except for that AE preoccupation. Now, Colin always chastises me for my reliance on Track Mate Keying. He even did a t-shirt for me...

                                                                     

                                                                    Well, if you're not at the beach, then my hat's off to you. Summer is the time for the beach.

                                                                     

                                                                    Enjoy that beer,

                                                                     

                                                                    Hunt

                                                                    • 31. Re: Exporting Alphas
                                                                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                                      Three stars! I am impressed. I have only 4 3-star restaurants under my belt, and I agree with each of those awards.

                                                                       

                                                                      Now, I do wonder a tad, since Michelin has crossed the Pond, and started to star-rate some restaurants in various US cities. Not sure if things have become diluted now. OTOH, the other US rating services, Mobile and AAA, have left rather a lot to be desired. Maybe it will perk up some chefs and owners here, and they WILL "kick it up a notch," or two. Not sure how things sort out now, but about five years ago, we'd dined at 9 of the top-10 US restaurants.

                                                                       

                                                                      Thanks for the rec., and now the ball is in my court on those reservations. Gotta's see if any of my "strings" reach to Holland.

                                                                       

                                                                      Hunt