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RED 5.4 no alpha for Lens Flares?

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Steve Pankow
RED 5.4 no alpha for Lens Flares?
on Mar 31, 2014 at 10:48:23 pm

Am I missing something? I want to generate a flare in Red and export with a transparent background, yet I see no way of doing so.


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Jon Kozenko
Re: RED 5.4 no alpha for Lens Flares?
on Apr 1, 2014 at 9:20:10 pm

Hello Steve.

I presume that you are just using RED as a stand-alone program? Are you exporting to a program like After Effects after RED's export? Also, are you using Mac or PC?

I'm actually currently looking into this, but there are two things that might be able to help. First, primarily, if you uncheck the "Use 'Lens Flare BackGround Map Layer' Track (Set in Timeline)" checkbox in the Controls for either the Lens Flare or Lens Flare ADV, you will get the flare over a black background. If you were to export a clip like this with a PreMultiplied Black alpha channel, you might be able to get your importing host to recognize this particular alpha.

The other option, although this one is a bit tricky, would be to first uncheck the "Use 'Lens Flare BackGround Map Layer' Track (Set in Timeline)" again and then, above the Lens Flare, apply the BCC Make Alpha Key. When I did this, my Lens Flare was put over an alpha, although the flare itself was greatly crushed. I'll take another pass tomorrow, but hopefully this can help you.

Thanks,

Jon


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Steve Pankow
Re: RED 5.4 no alpha for Lens Flares?
on Apr 1, 2014 at 9:36:06 pm

Hi Jon,

Yes, it's standalone with the resulting file going into FCP 7 on 10.6.8. All tracks and map layers are off. I tried changing the alpha option from straight to precomp black on the export menu, but it always seems to come out as straight, at least according to FCP. Or, it reverts to straight once the render is complete, but I doubt that's it. FCP composite modes make no difference. You can partially get there with Screen, but there's a video level "bump" for the duration of the clip when it's placed over another track of video. Just surprised to not see the good old checkerboard for this effect.



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Jon Kozenko
Re: RED 5.4 no alpha for Lens Flares?
on Apr 2, 2014 at 8:50:53 pm

Steve,

Unfortunately, due to the OpenGL nature of the Lens Flare effects, the Flare has to display over a background, even if a background is not currently in place. The only way around this would be to key out the background by using either the Make Alpha Key effect, or a Linear Color Key/Chroma Key effect. If you replace the black background with a different color, like a deep green, the Chroma Key options might give better results, but it would be better to use RED directly in FCP7. Are you using the stand-alone because you want the Lens Flare to animate over multiple cuts? If so, I'd suggest Nesting these clips in a separate Sequence and applying RED to this Nested Sequence - then, apply the Lens Flare over the V1, which would consist of all of the cuts.

Thanks,

Jon


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Steve Pankow
Re: RED 5.4 no alpha for Lens Flares?
on Apr 2, 2014 at 8:56:49 pm

Yep, I like to have stuff rendered out so I can use them in future projects. So far I've had some bad luck with using Red on the timeline resulting in corrupted projects, so I tend to avoid it.



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Jon Kozenko
Re: RED 5.4 no alpha for Lens Flares?
on Apr 7, 2014 at 3:56:30 pm

Steve,

What kind of corruptions to your FCP projects does RED seem to create? You say the type of corruption you see is consistent?

Thanks,

Jon


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Steve Pankow
Re: RED 5.4 no alpha for Lens Flares?
on Apr 7, 2014 at 4:17:36 pm

All I can say is that I used RED on a FCP timeline once and while everything appeared to work fine, the next time I attempted to open the FCP project file it refused. I was able to open an older pre-RED backup from the vault, but working through and reapplying the same plug resulted in the same corruption. From that point on I gave up on using RED as a timeline plugin as I can't afford that kind of time loss and there's nobody here that can diagnose what's going on. From that point on, I've never had that kind of problem so I think it's more than a coincidence.



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