ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS: Forum Expressions Tutorials Creative Cloud

gif transparency and other cartoon animation problems

COW Forums : Adobe After Effects

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
John Graves
gif transparency and other cartoon animation problems
on Jul 8, 2010 at 9:11:44 pm

Hello ~

My client wants to import GIF with transparency into AE to work over a background. As reported in so many other postings in this group over the years, once imported into AE, the transparent area becomes white or some other background color. I am looking for a solution to this problem.

in one of the posts I saw, the solution was to employ the "T" button to preserve transparency, but I haven't figured out how that works.

Another proposed solution is to bring the GIFS into photoshop and convert them to PSD layers, and I successfully imported them as PSD layers and got the foreground transparency. However, a big problem with that is that the character layer, once brought into AE, doesn't remain anchored at the bottom of the frame as it should, and starts floating around in the frame arbitrarily. So registration is lost and the conversion accomplished nothing.

This is frustrating and I thought someone might have a solution. What I have heard is that GIF is the industry standard for doing cell-type animation, so is AE the wrong program for this work??

You could help me if you could tell me a) how to preserve transparency in a GIF B) How to get a transparent import in a PSD file to maintain it's position in the frame, and C) it would also help if there was a way to import a merged PSD and split it into layers once it is in AE. Stranegly, you can do that in Final Cut and you can even split up a PSD in Livemotion, but AE seems unable to do this.

help!

John





"Life is good, as long as it doesn't take up too much of my time."

-anonymous gamer


Return to posts index

cowcowcowcowcow
Dave LaRonde
Re: gif transparency and other cartoon animation problems
on Jul 8, 2010 at 9:58:04 pm

[John Graves] "...once imported into AE, the transparent area becomes white or some other background color. I am looking for a solution to this problem. "

There really isn't one. The reason: GIFs don't support alpha channels. Instead, their file structure assigns a certain color value to be read as totally transparent. There aren't any degrees of transparency as you find in graphics formats that do support alpha channels.

To use an animated gif in AE, you'd first have to create the areas of transparency, then convert the series of images into a graphics format that supports alpha channels, and there are a bunch: PICT, TIFF, TARGA or PNG, to name a few.






[John Graves] "What I have heard is that GIF is the industry standard for doing cell-type animation..."

You might be right, but I'd think it would be an extremely limited format: no degrees of transparency, which means there would be no really effective motion blur.



[John Graves] "...the character layer, once brought into AE, doesn't remain anchored at the bottom of the frame as it should, and starts floating around in the frame arbitrarily"

It's not really arbitrary. When an image sequence is added to an AE comp, its center point -- and all images in the sequence need to have the same horizontal & vertical dimensions -- is the point at which rotation and position changes take place. It's known as the Anchor Point. You can simply reposition the image sequence to the bottom of the comp window, or you can change the location of the anchor point to the bottom edge of the image sequence.



[John Graves] "it would also help if there was a way to import a merged PSD and split it into layers once it is in AE"


Don't merge it in Photoshop. For what you wish to accomplish, there's no need to merge layers. And frankly, I have no clue how those other applications would un-merge them.


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


Return to posts index

John Graves
Re: gif transparency and other cartoon animation problems
on Jul 9, 2010 at 6:36:04 am

Alright thanks. I'll try to grab the image sequence and move it altogether, although I am unacquainted with how to do that.

John

"Life is good, as long as it doesn't take up too much of my time."

-anonymous gamer


Return to posts index


Dave LaRonde
Re: gif transparency and other cartoon animation problems
on Jul 9, 2010 at 1:01:42 pm

This ought to help:
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/AfterEffects/9.0/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103906...

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


Return to posts index

John Graves
Re: gif transparency and other cartoon animation problems
on Jul 9, 2010 at 2:51:36 pm

Sorry Dave, that link didn't lead anywhere. Syntax issue?

I appreciate your detailed response.

My client has responded with this:

"We have found some success by taking gif images, loading them into Adobe Photoshop, turning them into RGB (and not indexed) and then saving them with the extension .psd

It seems that AfterEffects _will_ take gifs with transparency provided you turn them into an Adobe-like product. AfterEffects does not allow transparency with any images which end with the .gif extension. We suspect that this might be a deliberate corporate decision."

-John

"Life is good, as long as it doesn't take up too much of my time."

-anonymous gamer


Return to posts index

Dave LaRonde
Re: gif transparency and other cartoon animation problems
on Jul 9, 2010 at 3:11:48 pm

[John Graves] "Sorry Dave, that link didn't lead anywhere. Syntax issue? "

Nope. Site's temporarily down. It happens, and it happens RARELY. Try again later: you'll be reading about Preparing and importing still images into AE.



[John Graves] "We suspect that this might be a deliberate corporate decision."

Bad suspicion. After Affects works with ALPHA CHANNELS, and GIFs don't have 'em. Plain 'n simple.

As I wrote earlier, you have to convert animated GIFS -- a series of still images -- into a series of images in graphics format that supports alpha channels, and a Photoshop document would be one of them. I also mentioned other graphics formats that work, none invented by Adobe.

Go tell your client to stop looking for Commies under the bedsheets.

Then tell him/her that there was NO shooter behind the fence on the Grassy Knoll, FDR did NOT withhold information essential for the defense of Pearl Harbor, Apollo astronauts really did land on the moon, and hats made out of aluminum foil are more of a fashion statement than they are protection from alien electromagnetic emissions.

I'm no apologist for Adobe. To get you to buy their products, Adobe marketing weasels tell half-truths just like any other software maker's marketing weasels do. But your client didn't stumble over a grand conspiracy. Sorry.

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


Return to posts index


John Graves
Re: gif transparency and other cartoon animation problems
on Jul 11, 2010 at 6:20:04 pm

Thanks, Dave. I think your advice is right on target.

~ J

"Life is good, as long as it doesn't take up too much of my time."

-anonymous gamer


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]