copy composition and tiffs with alpha
and i should say it's a big post for me because untill this time i kept as a rule to search for all the answers and sometimes just formulating the question for google lead me to the solution. And another foreword -
thank you very much, all the people here on CreativeCow, i've spent a lot of time here, in the tutorials section and on forums, and it always was tremendous help.
So now i'm working with a hand-drawn animation project. I've got a composed scene of several compositions of scanned drawings with the blending mode set to multiply. One of them is the composition of tiffs picturing the character. These tiffs are one on a each layer, the layers have different length and are sequenced, and there are 300 of them (and more to come in other scenes). And i've got the same number of other tiffs the same size with masked image of paper. The latter should be under the character to make it none-transparent. So i need to organize them in the exact same composition as the character's one. I'm trying to copy the whole project, delete everything except that composition, close it, rename the folder with original tiffs, and replace them with those with mask. It works, but the alpha channel is gone. I made the alpha following the advice of Kevin Camp in http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/972697 and AE understands it when i import these images and chose "Premultiplied" in the Interpret Footage window. But when i do the reload procedure this dialog doesn't appear and the Alpha part of Interpret Footage item from right-click on the already reloaded footage is greyed out.
After two days of searching and trying on this problem that seemed so simple at first, i understand that it would be faster to do the whole thing manually reloading every TIFF with a PSD or adjust length of every layer with properly imported TIFF, but now it's a matter of principle for me to understand how it could be done more automatically.
The post is big indeed.. I apologize for that. And thanks in advance for any input on this.
If AE does not give you the alpha option on import is because AE does not recognize that you have an alpha channel. So, you either do not have an alpha or there's something weird going on. Try a new project and import the images that are supposed to have an alpha- see if AE sees the alpha there. If not, you have a problem with those images.
I would set up a workflow that starts from PSD- layering the parts in a psd file and importing that as a comp in AE (comp size). Then I would edit each layer in PSD replacing it with the image with alpha and AE will automatically see that, or create a separate psd file (same size) with all the layers cut out and replace that in AE.
Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior Compositor/VFX Artist
Thank you for the answer, Tudor
There is no problem with alpha when i import the tiffs, the window with blending options appears and in composition every image is with transparency where i need it. So i came to a conclusion that the files are ok. The problem appears when i'm replacing the original tiffs with those with alpha, in that case transparency doesn't appear, neither do any options to interpret the files.
I've tried to make a single psd with some 15 images as layers in it. But AE doesn't want to replace all 15 of them. So as far as i understand it's not faster than alt+drag each file.
Or do you mean that it would work if those images with character were all layers in PSD from the beginning? But unfortunately all the scenes are composed from separate TIFFs already and rearranging that would take a lot of time. But i would keep you advice for future projects. Thanks