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Keeping an Alpha on a Tiff

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Heath AlseikeKeeping an Alpha on a Tiff
by on Feb 11, 2010 at 6:11:29 pm

Ok this seems like an easy problem to solve but I can't seem to figure it out. In photoshop I have rotoed out a bunch of people in photos cut out the back ground so it is only them. I am trying to save these as tiff's or tga's with an alpha but when I import them into AE the background is solid withe. When I open them in photoshop the back ground is gone and all is good. The second I import them into AE it just seems to loose the alpha info. I have worked with tga's and tiffs before and never had this problem. I tried saving it as a psd and that works just fine. However I need them as a tiff or tga. Can any one help me out here?


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Kevin CampRe: Keeping an Alpha on a Tiff
by on Feb 11, 2010 at 6:28:54 pm

it sounds like you are not creating an actual alpha channel in you file.

open the file in photoshop and click on the channels tab (usually under the layers tab, but you can choose window>channels too).

you should see 5 channels, rgb, red, green, blue, and alpha. if you don't see alpha, you'll need to create one (layer transparency does not show up as an alpha channel in tiff or tga, only psd and png), or just save as a psd or png and use those in ae. there's nothing wrong with that.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Kevin CampRe: Keeping an Alpha on a Tiff
by on Feb 11, 2010 at 6:39:00 pm

sorry, you mentioned that you needed tif or tga.

an easy way to create an alpha channel from layer transparency in photoshop is to drag the layer with transparency onto the layer mask icon in the layers panel.

with that layer selected, switch to the channels tab and drag the layer's layer mask to the new channel icon (looks like a new layer icon) and name the channel 'alpha'

then you can delete the layer mask.

there is also an action script that you can load in the actions panel that will create an alpha from visible layers, which is handy for psds that have multiple layers with transparency that you need to create an alpha channel from.

if you import the file into ae and you see a halo or fringe (often white or black) around the image, use the interpret footage settings in ae to flag it as premultiplied and then pick the background color to remove. this interpretation can then be applied to any other files that were imported with the same problem. you could also use the remove color matting effect on a per case basis.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Liyi ZhangRe: Keeping an Alpha on a Tiff
by on Oct 30, 2012 at 7:52:03 pm

Dear Kevin Camp,

I've come across the same problem as Heath Alseike, and I've worked through your solution.

Everything goes according to plan until I import to After Effects. For some reason when I ask After Effects to "interpret Footage" the settings for the alpha is greyed out, so I can't select "premultiplied" sticking me with a .tiff file that has the halo of black/white that you mentioned.

Is there something I've missed? Perhaps something in the preferences? It's quite frustrating that I'm so close, yet I bet it's some trivial detail that's keeping me from finally getting transparency lol. I'm running After Effects CS5.5 if that helps at all.


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Liyi ZhangRe: Keeping an Alpha on a Tiff
by on Oct 30, 2012 at 8:52:16 pm



Here's a screenshot of the problem I've encountered. I'm desperately trying to keep all the images as a TIFF because I'm afraid of losing the work I put into animating them. The transparency is so that backgrounds will show up, and in my current position, they won't show up until I've worked out what it is that's stopping me from adjusting the alpha channel of that TIFF file through "interpret footage"


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Heath AlseikeRe: Keeping an Alpha on a Tiff
by on Feb 11, 2010 at 6:41:13 pm

Wow I must be tired. I cant believe I didn't think of checking the channels. Thank YOU.


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Alexander RobertsRe: Keeping an Alpha on a Tiff
by on Dec 19, 2012 at 5:15:27 pm

I'm having the same problem with ae recognizing the tiff alpha channel. I have a channel for alpha in photoshop (img 1), but no mater how I save it, AE doesn't see it(img 2). I ended up resaving them all as psd, which works fine. But for the future, how do I get ae to read the alpha?





Alex


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Alexander RobertsRe: Keeping an Alpha on a Tiff
by on Dec 19, 2012 at 5:21:36 pm

Correction. I have a bunch of tiff, all of which have an alpha layer in photoshop when opened. SOME of them interpret into AE with alpha, and some don't. I can't figure out the difference between them or how they got saved.

Any help as to why some wouldn't interpret even with an alpha channel present?

Alex


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