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Can the After Effects preview output both RGB and Alpha channel?

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Troy Poirier
Can the After Effects preview output both RGB and Alpha channel?
on Feb 3, 2017 at 4:22:45 pm

I'm trying to figure out if I can use After Effects for live broadcast as a CG (character generator) for lower thirds and other such video overlays. In other words, is the video preview in After Effects sending (or capable of sending) RGB and Alpha channel simultaneously, without the need to render.

Currently I am sending the preview to a monitor via SDI using a blackmagic card, but it is only sending the RGB channel (meaning I see transparency as black). It has to be live, so no time to render before pushing to broadcast, and text changes quickly.

For example: the names of 6 competitors in a short race, and I only know who they will 20-30 seconds before the names have to appear on the screen (on top of live video feed).

I realize that hardware plays an important role in this too, but I need to rule out if the software is even capable of this function.

Thanks for any input you can offer.


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Daniel Fowler
Re: Can the After Effects preview output both RGB and Alpha channel?
on May 26, 2017 at 3:00:51 am

Hi Troy,

Stumbled upon your post as I was hoping I could achieve this through Adobe products too. It seems it is actually easily possible (but unfortunately not using SDI key fill etc like you want), instead you will need to have a tricaster or newtek switcher in the mix.. Adobe AE or Premier will output simple baselines and premier timeline outputs over NewTeks IP (NDI) protocol - see recent video here . Having said that, if you don't have a spare Tricaster lying around, then it would be an expensive exercise to purchase a Tricaster switcher just so you could use Adobe products as a CG. We're in the position of already having an existing Tricaster in our system, so its a little easier for us to just add in a PC running an Adobe product

Dan


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Troy Poirier
Re: Can the After Effects preview output both RGB and Alpha channel?
on May 26, 2017 at 12:22:04 pm

Thanks for the response, Dan, I appreciate it. We don't have a Tricaster unfortunately, but the gig I was prepping for has come and gone anyway, so I no longer have a reason to delve into this topic. That being said, the video you shared is very interesting and I'll be sure to forward it along to my teammates who work with this kind of gear more often than I do.


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