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Video Cartoon Character with Alpha Channel

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Will Heine
Video Cartoon Character with Alpha Channel
on Dec 8, 2010 at 4:18:30 am

I saw in a tutorial a discussion on using video with an alpha channel in After Effects relative to the way that the movie is exported. I have a video of a little flying cartoon dragon that I purchased from IStock. In the footage he just flaps his wings. I want to move him toward my model, who makes eye contact with the dragon, and then have things happen to the dragon via After Effects special effects. Then I need to export the movie out to be used on a website. I heard that the H-264 codec was really good for the web but doesn't support alpha channels. So I have two questions:

1. If I am going to precompose everything anyway, then make a movie using the H264 codec, does it matter that 264 doesn't support alpha channels?

2. My tendency is to output this to a swf. How would you recommend I utilized the dragon with an alpha channel, unfortunately at the back end of the footage, and then what settings do you recommend for best use on the web?

Any thoughts are much appreciated!

Will H.

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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Video Cartoon Character with Alpha Channel
on Dec 8, 2010 at 7:18:11 am

From what I understand you will export a final piece for the web, thus it does not matter if the final format supports alpha channels (unless you want your animation to overlap some other stuff on a website). Best format for web video- I prefer .f4v or.flv. Render out from AE in a lossless format (QT Animation mov)then use Adobe Media Encoder to compress.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior Compositor/VFX Artist

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