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AE Straight Unmatted TIFF in Photoshop... huh?

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Alex KuzelickiAE Straight Unmatted TIFF in Photoshop... huh?
by on Mar 10, 2010 at 2:46:54 pm

Hi all,

I just have a question that's been bugging me for a very long time. Can't stand 'not knowing' any longer :)

If I make TIFF's from After Effects, rendered out as Straight Unmatted and then - for whatever reason - I want to bring one of those TIFF's into Photoshop, how do I tell Photoshop that it's Straight Unmatted?

Photoshop doesn't seem able to guess the interpretation ie. it displays the TIFF's Alpha Channel with'chunky bits'.

Side note: I find it interesting that Mac's humble Preview seems to have no trouble at all displaying the same TIFF correctly.

Anyway, I know that there's an Interpret Footage command in the Layer menu but it's grayed out when I bring just a single TIFF into Photoshop.

Anyone know what to do?

Thanks in advance,

ALEX KUZELICKI


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Darby EdelenRe: AE Straight Unmatted TIFF in Photoshop... huh?
by on Mar 11, 2010 at 12:39:16 am

Photoshop doesn't use alpha channels to define transparency. Instead it treats them like 'bonus' channels that can be used for any number of purposes. If you've ever used the Select > Save Selection... menu item, that creates an alpha channel that defines the selection you had, which may or may not have anything to do with transparency. You can create any number of alpha channels in Photoshop.

In the case of a render from AE you are specifically interested in using the alpha channel as transparency, but Photoshop doesn't know that. It's leaving you with options :)

The way I've always accomplished this in Photoshop is to create a selection from the alpha channel (Go to Channels and cmd-click on the Alpha Channel, or ctrl-click on a PC) then go back to the Layers, drag the 'lock' icon on the Background layer to the Trash icon in the layer panel, then select your Background and use Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection.

Let me know if you have any more questions about this.

Darby Edelen


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Alex KuzelickiRe: AE Straight Unmatted TIFF in Photoshop... huh?
by on Mar 11, 2010 at 1:51:19 am

Hi Darby,

Thanks so much for your very clear and detailed answer. I'll definitely be taking your advice.

I followed the steps you outlined, and it works, but I get a 'black fringe' around subjects. I guess this is akin to After Effects interpreting the Straight Unmatted clip as Premultiplied.

I wonder if there's a way to get around this?

Regardless, your help is much appreciated.

Cheers,

ALEX



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Darby EdelenRe: AE Straight Unmatted TIFF in Photoshop... huh?
by on Mar 11, 2010 at 2:11:47 am

You shouldn't see any fringing if it's a straight alpha.

You can try to fix this with the Layer > Matting > Remove Black Matte command, but it only works on layers that have transparency without a layer mask.

Try duplicating your layer, turning the visibility of the lower one off then right clicking the layer mask on the top layer and using Apply Layer Mask. Then with that layer selected use Layer > Matting > Remove Black Matte. Your mileage may vary :)

Again, you really shouldn't see any fringing if you rendered with a straight alpha. You should only see fringing if you rendered with a premultiplied alpha.

Darby Edelen


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Alex KuzelickiRe: AE Straight Unmatted TIFF in Photoshop... huh?
by on Mar 11, 2010 at 3:09:53 pm

Hi again,

Yeah, you're right, I shouldn't be seeing black fringing with a Straight Unmatted TIFF. I'm just going to double-check my source files, in case it's just not my stupid mistake.

Will still give your other methods a run-through. Thanks for your excellent advice. I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers,

ALEX





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Michael SzalapskiRe: AE Straight Unmatted TIFF in Photoshop... huh?
by on Mar 11, 2010 at 3:59:54 pm

Glad you're here, Darby. :)

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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