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Which file type to use when importing an animated superimposed graphic?

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Jason Tunbridge
Which file type to use when importing an animated superimposed graphic?
on Jan 13, 2017 at 9:18:00 pm

Hi,
My client wants me to use an animated superimposed graphic (a lower third with the client's name and title), as part of an interview I'm filming with him on Monday. He has an animator who will create and provide the file - what sort of file type should I be asking for the animator to provide? The animator has previously provided .ai files which I've been unable to use. I'm using Sony Vegas 12.
Thanks in advance,
Jason
Sydney, Australia


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Paul Berk
Re: Which file type to use when importing an animated superimposed graphic?
on Jan 14, 2017 at 1:03:40 am

You need a file that preserves the Alpha channel meaning transparent background.

I had no idea how to do this with a video file from another party so I did some research. Here's how you'd do it if you were doing it in Vegas and then using it in Vegas. For example, if you rendered out a lower third from NewBlueFx for use in another Vegas project. Here's a solution from MUTTLEY on the Vegas forum.

"...if I recall I rendered to AVI but change the settings from Sony YUV Codec to "Uncompressed" and on the the bottom you then have the choice to tick on or off "Render alpha channel (uncompressed video formats only). When you bring it back into Vegas you change the Alpha channel on that avi to Straight Unmatted." ..

As I said, you need a format that will preserve the Alpha channel, otherwise the background will be black. I tried Muttley's solution and it works if you can figure out how to set the AVI or MOV file to straight unmatted.

But I'm sure there are others with a better idea of how to handle compositing from another party. I'm not expert at compositing. You'll want to have that other party send you a file to test. Likely it would be MOV or AVI


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Graham Bernard
Re: Which file type to use when importing an animated superimposed graphic?
on Jan 14, 2017 at 6:08:21 am

[Paul Berk] "You'll want to have that other party send you a file to test. Likely it would be MOV or AVI"
Paul, you're correct. I was thinking the same. However, something that the other party is not presently offering. Also, MOV and AVI can preserve the Alpha but it has to be able to. I've done the MUTTLEY thing very successfully. I've also used the LAGARITH CODEC. Within VP I've also successfully used MOV Animation too.

Now, what I would think this animator may very well be capable of providing is a series of PNGs. PNGs can preserve the ALPHA channel. These could then be imported as a series of stills into VP. Now, the other "wrinkle" that needs to be ironed-out is where in the lower third this Logo needs to be viewed. If the video format is HD 1960x1080 then the PNG needs to have the Logo positioned already in the HD plate. If it isn't, then our chum here will need to further manipulate it so that it is. Now we get onto the possible reduction of resolution, though in itself may NOT be an issue, but depending on the complexity and quality of the LOGO is worth flagging-up now.

Lots to consider here. Sharing samples and clear communications will need to be had! Oh yes ....

* Grazie

Video Content Creator and Potter
PC 7 64-bit 16gb * Intel® Core™i7-2600k Quad Core 3.40GHz * 2GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 Ti
Cameras: Canon XF300 + PowerShot SX50HS Bridge


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John Rofrano
Re: Which file type to use when importing an animated superimposed graphic?
on Jan 14, 2017 at 1:43:51 pm

[Jason Tunbridge] "He has an animator who will create and provide the file - what sort of file type should I be asking for the animator to provide?"
The animator should provide you with a QuickTime Animation codec MOV file or QuickTime PNG codec MOV file. Obviously the first one (animation codec) was specifically designed for animation and will keep the lines and colors crisp and clean while preserving the Alpha Channel. The PNG codec is very similar and as Graham pointed out, they could just send you a PNG sequence that Vegas Pro will then ingest as a video. As long as the animator renders them in 32-bit with an Alpha Channel you should be fine. Also as Graham pointed out, they should already be set in the correct frame size for your project (HD or 4K) and frame rate.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Jason Tunbridge
Re: Which file type to use when importing an animated superimposed graphic?
on Jan 15, 2017 at 10:18:30 am

Thanks all for your suggestions, much appreciated. I've actually now asked the animator for a QuickTime Animation codec MOV file and a QuickTime PNG codec MOV file. I'll let you know how I go!


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Graham Bernard
Re: Which file type to use when importing an animated superimposed graphic?
on Jan 15, 2017 at 1:00:16 pm

Good Jason! Make sure that the Logo is positioned correctly as wished. That being said, you should be home and dry.

* Grazie

Video Content Creator and Potter
PC 7 64-bit 16gb * Intel® Core™i7-2600k Quad Core 3.40GHz * 2GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 560 Ti
Cameras: Canon XF300 + PowerShot SX50HS Bridge


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Aaron Star
Re: Which file type to use when importing an animated superimposed graphic?
on Jan 16, 2017 at 7:12:09 pm

Like Graham said earlier, I would just have your animator provide a PNG sequence in a folder. For example 00001.png, 0002.png, 0003.png. That will be the most fool proof. You then just import that media in Vegas as a sequence.

Vegas supports PNG, and EXR as your most compatible Alpha capable still formats that can be imported as a sequence.

You just have your animator export to a sequence and send you a zip file. Then there are no problems with .MOV or AVI support of alpha channels.


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Jason Tunbridge
Re: Which file type to use when importing an animated superimposed graphic?
on Jan 16, 2017 at 9:36:47 pm

So the result is that both the QuickTime Animation codec MOV file and the QuickTime PNG codec MOV file worked great, though the PNG file probably had a little less clarity (at least to my eye).

Thanks to all for your suggestions, much appreciated!


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John Rofrano
Re: Which file type to use when importing an animated superimposed graphic?
on Jan 17, 2017 at 12:42:19 pm

[Jason Tunbridge] "...the PNG file probably had a little less clarity (at least to my eye). "
Yea, that's to be expected. The Animation codec is designed for keep computer animation crisp and clear. Glad it all worked out for you.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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