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Export from AE to Final Cut with alpha channel

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Vladislav GomzyakovExport from AE to Final Cut with alpha channel
by on Apr 23, 2010 at 3:22:52 pm

Hello.
So for some reason I cant find anywhere a tutorial on how to actually make an alpha channel. What I have is an animation synchronized with a video, and it needs to be exported as a separate MOV file so it all can be assembled in Final Cut.
I tried just including alpha channel in rendering settings, but in that case the quality of the video diminishes and some of the frames skip. Is there a specific codec I should use? For non alpha channel videos I used HDV 760p I believe and it was fine.
Thank you!


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Dave LaRondeRe: Export from AE to Final Cut with alpha channel
by on Apr 23, 2010 at 5:16:14 pm

Why is it that most FCP people forget that AE is a FAR better compositing application that FCP, which is only an editing application with mere DELUSIONS that it can do a good composite?

Why don't you do the ENTIRE SHOT -- foreground and background -- in AE? You will have much more control over the final look of the shot.

And the response, "Well, I want to have as many editing options as possible," is probably the lamest excuse I can think of. That's the response of a person who can't make up his stinkin' mind.

You're doing effects work, for heaven's sake! You have to know what you're doing BEFOREHAND when you do effects work. So decide on your background, do the shot in AE, and get on with life!

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


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Vladislav GomzyakovRe: Export from AE to Final Cut with alpha channel
by on Apr 23, 2010 at 6:46:08 pm

Lol I have no problems with rendering the whole thing in AE, its just the client asked for a separate file, so they can use it by themselves to compose the whole picture. That's why I was looking for that way. But I guess Ill just have to tell them that it is better to render the whole thing in AE)


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Dave LaRondeRe: Export from AE to Final Cut with alpha channel
by on Apr 23, 2010 at 8:33:05 pm

Sorry to rant at you, it's just that all too many people think FCP is sooooo cool at doing sooooo many things that they ignore the superior tool in their hands.

Even though it certainly IS best to do the whole shot in AE, if the client wants an alpha channel you'd better do it. Here's how:
  • Add the comp to the Render Queue -- don't export. Use either the Make Movie or Add To Render Queue commands.
  • In the Output Module settings select either the PNG or Animation codecs, RBG+Alpha, Millions of Colors+. PNG makes slightly smaller files. Animation is good for lower-third animated supers. Then Render.

Depending on the client's system, he/she may need either a Straight or Premultiplied alpha channel. To get it right the first time, use the Add Output Module command. You can then tell AE to render two files at the same time -- one with a straight alpha channel, and one with a premultiplied alpha channel. That way, you don't have to do it over again.

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


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Vladislav GomzyakovRe: Export from AE to Final Cut with alpha channel
by on Apr 23, 2010 at 10:56:00 pm

Hehe no problem. I dont personally deal with FCP, so Im good)

Ok looks like your way works for easy animations. But there is always but lol. Im using trapcode particular to create something like a cloud of dust. When I render that with alpha channel and import into FCP it looks like feces. Have you ever had to deal with that?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Export from AE to Final Cut with alpha channel
by on Apr 24, 2010 at 5:02:36 pm

I think you made the wrong kind of alpha channel. As I wrote earlier, there are two: Premultiplied or Straight. I think you made the wrong kind for your application. Try rerendering, and changing the setting.

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


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