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Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip

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Andy Hawk
Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip
on Jan 23, 2011 at 4:22:45 am

Before anyone bites my head off...I did search around a bit but couldn't seem to find and threads on exporting videos out of Mpeg Streamclip with alpha channels.

I made a lower third with alpha transparency exported it from AE as millions+ but when I try to compress it with Streamclip I can't find a codec that will support the transparency in the drop down menu.

Let me guess....it can't be done, right?

(I'm using the windows version of the program)

http://WWW.FootageNest.com


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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip
on Jan 23, 2011 at 11:48:59 pm

What did you initially compress it as?

As far as I know, you have the Animation Codec (pretty universal), the DNxHD codecs (as I recall) and ProRes 4444. That's about it.

You could play with adjusting the compression in the Animation codec, but that's a dicey thing to do.

Wow - opened up Mpeg Streamclip (Mac). I think you're SOL - none of the codecs that support alpha channels show that compatibility.

I think you'll have to pick a different tool.

Best,

Jeff G

Apple Master Trainer
Avid Cert. Instructor DS/MC
Avid & Color Videos Vasst.com
Compressor Essentials Lynda.com


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Andy Hawk
Re: Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip
on Jan 24, 2011 at 2:49:49 am

Thanks Jeff.

Just for the record it was exported out of AE at the max that you can do:
Quicktime movie (and tried video for windows)
quality=best
resolution=full
compression=none RGB+Alpha

Mpeg streamclip is the best program I have come across for massively reducing file sizes without compromising quality. Any idea of other programs to try, which could possibly compress 400Mb alpha channel movie down to the size of a mouse (5-50Mb)?

Hope the blokes at Squared5 can put alpha channel recognition into their next build :(

http://WWW.FootageNest.com


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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip
on Jan 24, 2011 at 3:13:43 am

MPEG Streamclip certainly has the right price. It's not meant for overall compression (although many use it as such.) It was a tool (open source) developed to deal/stream MPEG 1/2 files. My guess is that they consider it a pretty nearly 'finished' product.

It's clearly not set up to access the alpha channel of QuickTime files.

If you want the alpha channel to be used in your editor of choice, Animation, Millions of Colors + is what you want. You do not want any compression - as the alpha channel will be compressed and damaged, yielding a bad key effect. And you can do this in AE directly.

Best,

Jeff G

Apple Master Trainer
Avid Cert. Instructor DS/MC
Avid & Color Videos Vasst.com
Compressor Essentials Lynda.com


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Olin Padilla
Re: Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip
on Jan 25, 2011 at 6:27:32 pm

There is no logical reason to assume that any compression tool will get you better results than others. Your work flow and your codec/settings are what matters.

Honestly you're not going to get it much smaller than what you exported from AE with the Animation codec.


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Andy Hawk
Re: Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip
on Jan 25, 2011 at 11:25:30 pm

Noted.
Thanks again for all the advice. I will stick with the QT animation codec at medium res. Seems to give acceptable results with little degradation.

Cheers !

http://WWW.FootageNest.com


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john lee
Re: Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip
on May 19, 2011 at 12:01:00 am

hi similar problem.
i have a quicktime transparent animation exported from ae and want to import into fcp as a prores file for easy editing.
cant export prores from ae (on pc)
cant convert to transparent prores with quicktime 7 or mpeg streamclip...
any suggestions or help to convert this animation to a transparent prores file?
cheers


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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip
on May 19, 2011 at 2:49:47 am

Render in either Animation, 100%, millions of colors + (which means include alpha.)

Best,

Jeff G

Apple Master Trainer | Avid Cert. Instructor DS/MC | Adobe Cert. Instructor
------------
You should follow me (filmgeek) on twitter. I promise to be nice.
Come See me speak at NAB!
Compressor Essentials from Lynda.com
(older but still good) Marquee, Media Composer (3.5) and Basic/Advanced Color DVDs (1.0) from Vasst.com
Contact me through my Website


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john lee
Re: Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip
on May 19, 2011 at 5:51:43 am

the video is animation, 100%, millions of color, + alpha... yes it is transparent.
But want to convert it to prores to work with prores video sequence in fcp... when i convert with mpeg streamclip or qtime player 7 to a prores codec it loses transparency...?
how can i keep transparency?


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Jeff Greenberg
Re: Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip
on May 19, 2011 at 9:53:49 am

John,

You can't make ProRes QuickTime on a PC. You can watch it, but not create it. There is no way for you to do this, therefore you have to pick a different codec.
The animation codec works just fine in FCP (make sure your FCP user has the timeline set to Unlimited RT)

If you were on a mac, the answer would be to render into ProRes 4444 (that last 4 is the alpha channel.

Best,

Jeff G

Apple Master Trainer | Avid Cert. Instructor DS/MC | Adobe Cert. Instructor
------------
You should follow me (filmgeek) on twitter. I promise to be nice.
Come See me speak at NAB!
Compressor Essentials from Lynda.com
(older but still good) Marquee, Media Composer (3.5) and Basic/Advanced Color DVDs (1.0) from Vasst.com
Contact me through my Website


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Craig Seeman
Re: Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip
on May 19, 2011 at 11:01:27 am

Telestream Episode Engine 6.1 can now encode to AppleProRes on Windows. It's $4000 but it can do it.



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john lee
Re: Alpha channel in Mpeg streamclip
on May 19, 2011 at 12:23:32 pm

thanks guys
unlimited RT it is... better than $4000


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