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Codec for exporting with alpha without gradient banding

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Andrea MariniCodec for exporting with alpha without gradient banding
by on Sep 24, 2011 at 6:39:59 pm

Hello,

I am exporting some overlay graphics with animation lossless + alpha.
Problem is, some banding shows up on ramps when imported in FCP.

I know this topic has been covered before but I haven't found any specific advice on gradients.

Which format do you suggest? And, should be better to export at 16 bit?

Another question, in AE these layer are set with blending multiply. I noticed that in FCP I have to set again again the blending mode to show it correctly, is it normal, shouldn't it be just set as multiply as I import it?

Thanks for your help
Andy


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ben g ungurenRe: Codec for exporting with alpha without gradient banding
by on Sep 24, 2011 at 7:11:36 pm

If you're exporting Animation codec and still experiencing banding, then the problem probably isn't about codecs. Option-click/alt-click the "8bpc" in the bottom of the project window and go up to 16 or 32-bit color. Rerender and see if that fixes it. If not, then add some noise to the gradient (for gradients, a little noise tends to make it look better anyway, IMO).

Ben Unguren
Motion Graphics & Editing
http://www.mostlydocumentary.com


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Codec for exporting with alpha without gradient banding
by on Sep 24, 2011 at 10:40:56 pm

I second Ben's advice. I would recommend exporting as a sequence of files (tga or tiff or png).

"Another question, in AE these layer are set with blending multiply. I noticed that in FCP I have to set again again the blending mode to show it correctly, is it normal, shouldn't it be just set as multiply as I import it?"

There's no way for FCP to know how you set your blending modes in AE - yes it's normal to set that again.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Andrea MariniRe: Codec for exporting with alpha without gradient banding
by on Sep 24, 2011 at 11:15:18 pm

Thanks, I exported a sequence of PNG at 16 bit and it worked fine. The other mistake was exporting premultiplied instead of straight, giving some thin black border around white things.

Now, another issue comes in. In my exported graphic I have a square (made semi-transparent with multiply) and a white text. Everything looks fine in after effects, but if I set "multiply" in FCP obviously the white text disappear. Should I export the 2 objects separately?

And, never happened, the colors in FCP are pale (lighter) than in AE. I have tried to turn on color management, to export in different formats, but the color is always washed out compared to what is displayed in AE. Any idea on what's happening?

Thanks!
Andy


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Walter SoykaRe: Codec for exporting with alpha without gradient banding
by on Sep 25, 2011 at 3:58:51 am

[Andrea Marini] "In my exported graphic I have a square (made semi-transparent with multiply) and a white text. Everything looks fine in after effects, but if I set "multiply" in FCP obviously the white text disappear. Should I export the 2 objects separately?"

Yes, you should separate them. You can't bake blend modes for multiple layers into a single render.

Here's why: let's say you have one layer of video in FCP (we'll call it A). You have two layers of video in AE (B, which is normal, and C which is multiplied). Before you multiply C over B and A, you must normally composite B over A. Because these operations are separate, you can't smoosh B and C into the same render.


[Andrea Marini] "And, never happened, the colors in FCP are pale (lighter) than in AE. I have tried to turn on color management, to export in different formats, but the color is always washed out compared to what is displayed in AE. Any idea on what's happening?"

PNG sequences are RGB, and FCP sometimes mishandles gamma when converting RGB to YUV. Select the item in FCP, hit Cmd-9 to pull up item properties, right-click on the gamma value (which defaults to Source) and select 2.20.

Alternately, don't use PNG sequences and render directly to ProRes 4444 from AE, RGB+Alpha, Trillions of Colors+.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Andrea MariniRe: Codec for exporting with alpha without gradient banding
by on Sep 25, 2011 at 11:20:01 am

Thanks Walter,
it worked smooth with ProRes4444, i think from now on I'll be using it when I need alpha.

For the blending mode issue, I was supposing that, I needed someone to tell me that there must be 2 different renders ;)

Thanks!
Andrea


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John GrayRe: Codec for exporting with alpha without gradient banding
by on Feb 17, 2012 at 9:11:46 pm

I have a question as to why my titles have begun to look terrible. When I load my files into the source window or timeline in FCP, they look bad. The typical workflow is to create titles in AE, export them as alpha RGB files, then import them into FCP. The export finished file. The process has worked fine up until recently. I’ve already reinstalled the FCP and AE but it has not helped. Please help.


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