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FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444

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Michael Angelo
FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 12:56:21 am

FCPX is ignoring the transparency of the embedded alpha channel in my Quicktime 4444 video files exported form After Effects v15, clip works in other programs including Autodesk Flame but in FCPX the transparent portions of the image are black. Here's what I have tried:

- Checked FCPX inspector info settings alpha handling is straight or premultiplied
- Changed blend mode of clip attempting to key in timeline to "Alpha Add" among other blend modes
- Brought clip into Quicktime 7 and reexported then brought back into FCPX
- Restarted FCPX and computer

I noticed others have had this problem in the past in previous versions of FCPX:

2015 Post
https://forums.creativecow.net/docs/forums/post.php?forumid=344&postid=3714...
2012 Post
https://forums.creativecow.net/docs/forums/post.php?forumid=344&postid=1231...

Any ideas out there on how to solve this? Many thanks in advance.

MA

Harvest the compromises...


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Tony Badea
Re: FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 1:48:03 am

Hey Michael,

Try this workaround:

select the clip with the Alpha channel in the FCPX timeline, go to the Inspector panel, go to the Compositing section at the top, go to Blend Mode and select Add Alpha. That should do it.

Tony Badea
Video Editor | Motion Graphic Artist
http://www.tonybadea.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 2:02:18 am

Do you have background rendering on? If so, and the clip is rendered and your timeline is set to regular ProRes (not 444) perhaps the movie is flattened.

If rendering is not on, try rendering the clip in the timeline (render selection).

Trash your prefs

If none of those work, update to 10.4.3.


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Michael Angelo
Re: FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 2:25:58 am

Wow trashing preferences worked!

I thought about going that but second guessed myself that I was doing something wrong, back to the basics thank you

MA

Harvest the compromises...


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Michael Angelo
Re: FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 2:52:38 am

False alarm, trashing preferences KINDA worked...

It keys in optimized mode but we work 90% of the time in proxy and doesn't work in proxy, is that just the deal it won't work in proxy? Never tried a QT 4444 in FCPX before so no idea. Unfortunately I've already upgraded to 10.4.3 and doesn't key in proxy, so appreciate other ideas.

Such a shame if we can't make this work but there are other ways to key like exporting against blue, works but less than ideal with quality. I've exported image and matte, married them in FCPX before but found retiming with this method is so buggy never been worth the hassle.

Thanks in advance for any solutions

MA

Harvest the compromises...


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 3:12:51 am

Yeah, no alpha in proxy mode.

You’d have to matte it, but once you do, compound the two clips to form a single clip and then retime.


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Robert Olding
Re: FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 3:17:02 pm

We shoot quite a bit of product video and 99% of the time we rotoscope the product using After Effects. From AE, we export a ProRes 4444 file with an Alpha channel. We'll double check that the Alpha channel is working correctly by importing it into FCPX.

We put a generated white solid on the timeline and put the product video directly above it as a connected clip. If we make changes, which are typically color related, we just disable the white solid in the timeline (keystroke is v) and export a new ProRes 4444 file from FCPX. FCPX exports a file which includes the Alpha channel.

I'm not sure what you're attempting to do with your file but wouldn't a file with an Alpha channel typically be place in an FCPX project as a connected or compound clip that is above the timeline (above what you want to see through it)?





Robert Olding

Studio Eight | Director of Photography
http://www.studioeightmn.com
Minneapolis, MN


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 4:05:57 pm

[Robert Olding] "I'm not sure what you're attempting to do with your file but wouldn't a file with an Alpha channel typically be place in an FCPX project as a connected or compound clip that is above the timeline (above what you want to see through it)?
"


Working in Proxy mode of FCPX gets rid of alpha channels. This is the issue Michael is facing. There is a trick where you can replace the Proxy media in the Proxy folder with the full res movie, and it will work, but it's a pain.

Apple should add an alpha to the ProRes Proxy codec and this issue would go away.

Make a request here: https://www.apple.com/feedback/finalcutpro.html


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Michael Angelo
Re: FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 4:49:22 pm

Thanks everyone!

Jeremy so when you say you have to "matte it" I'm assuming you mean exporting a separate foreground and matte as 2 clips from After Effects then doing this:

1 - Command 5 to access Effects/Masks/Image Mask add this effect to FG clip
2 - Add the matte clip as the source to Image Mask effect in inspector
3 - Choose luma in Image Mask effect in inspector to use matte clip to key FG clip
4 - Create a compound clip from effected clip then retime and edit compound clip as needed

This works though there are no matte controls and the edges are less than great, the QT 4444 edges were perfect. I've searched online and in all the manuals have yet to find a good explanation of keying video using a separate matte element. Also I've experimented plus searched manuals and online regarding Blend Mode Alpha Add that folks are mentioning on this thread but all I've come up with is that is effects edging operations:

https://www.rippletraining.com/articles/free-final-cut-pro-video-tutorials/...

I'm sure I'm missing something in all this, just looking for a good key from the perfect mattes I have painstakingly created in After Effects and the ability to reproduce that work in FCPX plus be able to work in proxy mode.

Great thread, hope once we solved this it helps someone else avoid the pain of figuring things out 😉

Cheers

MA

PS Per usual I sent a feature request to Apple to have proxy mode keying using QT 4444 clips

Harvest the compromises...


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Michael Angelo
Re: FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 5:09:44 pm

PS using the image mask method is buggy per one of my comments in this thread, as I move the effected clip around with the "image mask" effect the 2 elements fall out of sync, ugh.

Harvest the compromises...


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 5:53:39 pm

[Michael Angelo] "Jeremy so when you say you have to "matte it" I'm assuming you mean exporting a separate foreground and matte as 2 clips from After Effects then doing this:
"


Essentially, yes. It's a huge PIA.

Have you tried replacing the generated proxy clip with the full res render yet?

This works too, you just have to remember to do it.

Wherever your proxy media is stored, you can replace the FCPX generated proxy clip with the full res 4444 clip.

Jeremy


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Michael Angelo
Re: FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 7:13:03 pm

The proxy swap for a QT 444 @ 960x540 worked, less than elegant and makes collaboration with remote editors a little funky but it's a great short term work around thank you!

Much gratitude to Creative Cow and everyone including Jeremy that chimed in, cheers.

MA

Harvest the compromises...


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: FCPX 10.4.2 not recognizing transparency in ProRes 4444
on Aug 21, 2018 at 7:16:28 pm

[Michael Angelo] "The proxy swap for a QT 444 @ 960x540 worked, less than elegant and makes collaboration with remote editors a little funky but it's a great short term work around thank you!"

You don't have to change the resolution if you don't want to. you can just keep the native resolution.

I usually copy (option-drag) the files from my normal directory to the proxy directory. This will cut down on media duplication.

If you are trying to save file size, then yes, a 960x540 444 movie will work too.

Jeremy


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