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alpha'ed image from maya not correct when imported to AE

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Pete Steffanalpha'ed image from maya not correct when imported to AE
by on Jan 6, 2010 at 6:13:45 pm

Hello everyone,

I seem to be running into an issue with my alpha channel images not showing up correctly in After Effects compared to how they look in Maya's render view window, or when viewed with Fcheck. The original "glowy" effect in my image looks bright and gradient shaded perfectly, but when I import the same image to AE the transparency works, but the glow shows up dull, less transparent, not as bright, nor does it have the correct gradient. This problem persists, though differently, regardless of which alpha interpretation mode I use.

I'm rendering with Mental Ray and have the "Pass custom alpha channel" selected in the options, exported as both .iff and .png with alpha channel enabled, same result.


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Dave LaRondeRe: alpha'ed image from maya not correct when imported to AE
by on Jan 6, 2010 at 7:19:45 pm

Break your Maya stuff out into different passes: base pass, glow pass, grunge pass, etc. Then composite all those passes to create the final shot in AE. It's what it does best!

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Pete SteffanRe: alpha'ed image from maya not correct when imported to AE
by on Jan 6, 2010 at 8:09:14 pm

While I often do just that with render passes, this is a case where I'm removing the source geometry in Maya for a very specific look, so essentially I'm really only getting a glow layer as it is, and that glow is showing up too dull and dark no matter what I do.

Regardless of what the image is, I've always noticed that alpha doesn't display correctly when dealing with semi-transparent objects and the like from Maya renders in AE as compared to how they look in the render view and fcheck. Is there something I'm doing wrong or a framebuffer setting that needs to be checked for AE to properly read these images?

I've read that the only way to get a proper alpha composite in Photoshop is to use the alpha channel as a black matte backdrop and comp your image with alpha over it using the Add transfer mode. Is there a similar process necessary in AE to get the proper brightness on anti-aliased edges and blurs?


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Dave LaRondeRe: alpha'ed image from maya not correct when imported to AE
by on Jan 6, 2010 at 9:59:07 pm

[Pete Steffan] "s there a similar process necessary in AE to get the proper brightness on anti-aliased edges and blurs?"

Sure is. Once you've confirmed that the footage indeed has an alpha channel and that AE is interpreting the alpha channel correctly, just duplicate the layer in the comp and use the Add blend mode. To tweak it to your satisfaction, you repeat the process, use feathered masks on certain layers, mess with opacity, etc.

If there's an alpha channel present and AE is interpreting it properly (Straight/Premultiplied), you need do nothing else.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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tony mackRe: alpha'ed image from maya not correct when imported to AE
by on Jan 22, 2010 at 11:26:31 am

http://www.molecularmovies.com/images/pdf_tutorials/AEbasics.pdf

This explains the maya to AE workflow with an alpha pass spec. for AE compositing.


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