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Exporting for Compositing in AE

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scrambledpotatoes
Exporting for Compositing in AE
on Dec 6, 2005 at 4:53:23 pm

Hey guys,

Firstly, I have tried searching for my problem, but so far I haven't gotten anywhere. So here it is:

I need to render out a movie from Maya 6.5 with an alpha channel to plug into AE 6.5 to be composited. When I render it out as a single tiff image, the alpha carries over (saying it's unlabled, but i let AE guess), and it comes out perfect, the right parts are transparent, etc.

But when I render it out as an AVI, the alpha won't work. There's a dialogue box that opens in AE saying that it's an unlabled alpha channel, and even though I try every possible interpritation of that, I get nowhere. It either shows a completely black movie the whole time, or nothing comes up at all.

To be completely honest, this is my first time trying to plug Maya into AE to do some compositing (lower thirds, trans graphics), and I feel frustrated.

Is there anyway I can get Maya to let me do this? Some simple step I'm missing here?

Thanks for any help,
Harrison


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Pyro
Re: Exporting for Compositing in AE
by
on Dec 6, 2005 at 7:29:03 pm

Just render your animation to a sequence of files. AE can natively import IFF SGI TIF PCT PSD or TGA with alpha channels. If sequenced files irk you, render them to quicktimes or AVI from AE and re-import, but this step is obviously not required.

Also, ofcourse, make sure you are outputting alpha channels in your Render Globals dialoge.

HTH


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scrambledpotatoes
Re: Exporting for Compositing in AE
on Dec 6, 2005 at 7:36:58 pm

I thought about that, but shouldn't the alpha channel in the avi still carry over? I'm afraid this is a sign of worse things to come.


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Jason Brummett
Re: Exporting for Compositing in AE
on Dec 7, 2005 at 5:03:13 am

This is open to opinion obviously but 1 should render to a sequence 99% of the time. Other 1 percent is just to get a small simple and short movie out of Maya for something very minor. But since it's inception and 3D applications in general as well; it wasn't designed to create simple little avi's and movie files and so doesn't do this very well. In fact OSX maya and Win Maya output movies to different formats etc.

Basically you SHOULD always render to a sequence....

Jason Brummett
Studio Z Inc.


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scrambledpotatoes
Re: Exporting for Compositing in AE
on Dec 7, 2005 at 2:12:29 pm

Do you know of a good compiling program for when I do render out to a sequence of files?


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John Ward
Re: Exporting for Compositing in AE
on Dec 7, 2005 at 2:16:42 pm

After Effects.

Click 'import,' find the first file in the sequence and then
check the box that says "_ Sequence" where '_' is the file
format you output to. I have found 32-bit targas work well
on a PC system.

good luck

John Ward
---------
Editor / Animator,
Synergetic Productions

john@synergeticproductions.com
315.437.7533


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scrambledpotatoes
Re: Exporting for Compositing in AE
on Dec 7, 2005 at 2:22:35 pm

32 bit Targas, eh?

Thanks guys, I really appreciate the help.


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mYthprod
Re: Exporting for Compositing in AE
on Dec 8, 2005 at 3:32:33 am

Actually I use .iff for images coming in to maya (file textures) as well as image sequences going out to AE. AE takes iff sequences natively and it supports alpha like tif, tga, png, et al. Also, fcheck can convert them to tga files later if you need them in an app that doesn't like .iff files. Most especially for file textures, I find making them in photoshop and saving out as iff (alias offers a free plug for photoshop so you can save iff files) saves me grief as Maya just doesn't "get" alpha from certain other file formats (or is very picky).

I used .avi files as video file textures when I first started using maya but they take a lot more memory for the render as the file needs to be loaded (instead of just the frame) and my renders would intermittently black out, I would have to render several times before it worked.

Learn to love image sequences, they are your friend when you get used to them. Also get a decent image sequence manager (handles renaming and batch converting files among other things). For non .iff image sequences I use "Irfanview" because it's good and free.



- mYthprod
(John David Hutton)

* Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how * :
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835


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Jason Brummett
Re: Exporting for Compositing in AE
on Dec 8, 2005 at 6:32:04 am

Also thought since on topic that I'd point out that unfortunately MR maya Iff files aren't working at the moment in AE. Something is wrong with the header file in MR output that AE doesn't like. Jill Ramsey is trying to solve this at the moment.

Jason Brummett
Studio Z Inc.


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mYthprod
Re: Exporting for Compositing in AE
on Dec 8, 2005 at 3:33:55 am

As an aside they must've fixed the camera import into AE because it seems like it's easier now to pull this off (from maya 6 to AE 6.5 anyway). I had the fortune of using it successfully yesterday and it was easy.



- mYthprod
(John David Hutton)

* Build Your Own VelocityQ. See how * :
http://www.customflix.com/Store/ShowTtl.jsp?id=205835


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eroc
Re: Exporting for Compositing in AE
by
on Jan 24, 2006 at 7:45:10 pm

I have a similar question.
I check the "Alpha Channel (Mask)" box in the Render Global Settings, but my sequence
always renders with the background color. It seems that I should be able to render sequences
from the Render Global Settings, but instead have to go to Window/Rendering Editors/Hardware
Render Buffer/Render/ Render Sequence (!?). Am I missing something? For now, I'm just making
the background green and keying it out in AE, but it would be nice (and useful) to know how to render
a targa (or any other sq. AE will recognize) with Alpha.

Also, bringing in the sequence at .03 per image for a 29.97 fps output. Am I right?


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eroc
Re: Exporting for Compositing in AE
by
on Jan 24, 2006 at 7:52:11 pm

I have a similar question.
I check the "Alpha Channel (Mask)" box in the Render Global Settings, but my sequence
always renders with the background color. It seems that I should be able to render sequences
from the Render Global Settings, but instead have to go to Window/Rendering Editors/Hardware
Render Buffer/Render/ Render Sequence (!?).
Also, in the "defaultHardwareRenderGlobals" dialogue, I selected Alpha Source: Hardware Alpha.
Am I missing something? For now, I'm just making the background green and keying it out in AE, but it would be nice (and useful) to know how to rendera targa (or any other sq. AE will recognize) with Alpha.

Also, bringing in the sequence at .03 per image for a 29.97 fps output. Am I right?


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