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Compositing animations with live footage

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Murray HewittCompositing animations with live footage
by on Sep 1, 2009 at 10:08:51 am

Hi Guys, I'm really sorry to be putting such a basic question out there but I've been trying to figure this out for days and it's just not happening. The programs I'm using are 3ds max 2010 and premiere 6.0.

Basically all I'm trying to do is composite an animation of a jet flying with an outdoor scene. I know how to do this using chroma key but I want to do it using an alpha channel.

I've created my animation and from what I've figured out I need to render it as a quicktime .mov file and set the next option to PNG. I then render the animations and end up with jet flying on a black background. When I try to composite this into my other footage I open the background footage in premiere as video 1 overlay the jet animation as video 2 and select alpha channel under the transparency option.

It doesn't work.

Is there any test I can do to ensure the animation rendered correctly with an alpha channel so I can figure out if my issue is with 3ds max or Premiere?

Any advice as to where I might be going wrong would be awesome!
Cheers


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Murray HewittRe: Compositing animations with live footage
by on Sep 1, 2009 at 11:48:15 pm

Hi guys, just to narrow it down I downloaded some footage from detonationfilms.com which came as a .mov with an alpha channel already and had no issue compositing it in premiere so it looks as though my issue is definitely with 3ds max.

Cheers


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Tiago RibeiroRe: Compositing animations with live footage
by on Sep 2, 2009 at 7:12:56 pm

why don't you try rendering a png sequence instead of a mov?
i personally prefer image sequences instead of video whiles while doing production, especially when doing compositions.

image sequences give you much easier control on each frame, and especially and above all, do not require complex video codecs, just simple image formats lige bmp, tga or png, so they are more easily interchangeable between different software and environments..

try it out and see what you get.
check out premiere documentation about loading image sequences, it's probably the same as loading a full video file =)


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Murray HewittRe: Compositing animations with live footage
by on Sep 3, 2009 at 2:26:38 am

Hey, thanks for the advice.
I tried rendering as bmp files but I still can't make it happen. If the scene involves just one model moving past the camera is the black background automatically rendered as alpha channel or is there a setting I need to check?
Thanks!


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Tiago RibeiroRe: Compositing animations with live footage
by on Sep 3, 2009 at 11:36:13 am

bmp does not support alpha channel, so the background will be rendered as black =)
for alpha channel support use tga or png, whatever you prefer..
for complex color images (photography-like) i reccomend tga, for simple images (vector/cartoon-like) i recommend png (this is merely due to file size on each format)
however, if disk space is not a problem, just use png because it is lossless
be sure to check png export setup so that alpha channel is included


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Murray HewittRe: Compositing animations with live footage
by on Sep 10, 2009 at 10:12:35 am

Fantastic! Thank you so much mate. Worked really well.
I really appreciate it.
Cheers


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