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A common problem that is apparently really uncommon. At my wits end, and have tried almost everything.

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Andrew Ronholm
A common problem that is apparently really uncommon. At my wits end, and have tried almost everything.
on Mar 12, 2011 at 3:10:02 am

Hi there, I'm fairly new to After Effects, and I've been having a problem that I've done a lot of research on and still have found no answer to.

Ok....

I'm just trying to make a video or a image sequence with the background transparent. Now I've done quite a bit of research and I keep getting the same answers. Check the box or boxes "Alpha Channel" and "Straight Alpha Channel". Render it in QT, Tiff, or PNG. Now I tried both check boxes with all three formats, and imported them into after effects. I still get that black background, and when I key it out-which is what I had to do in one of my videos. Which you can see in my work at http://www.enigmaticstudios.net/ you can see a black halo around pieces in the video. I've checked the footage, it is millions of colours +, it does prompt me to choose in AE when I import it, and of course I choose premultiplied with colour black. But it still shows a black bg when I drag it on to my comp.

Now I think I've tried every type of format possible, and I'd like to think I've tried everything but I'm really not sure cause I'm still learning. I just want to be able to composite properly without having to make my own green or blue screen in C4D for the render. I've even imported one of the PNG images from the sequence into photoshop where it should've been transparent and it was stil black.

Please I'm at the end of my wits here, I feel I've tried everything, and this is seriously holding back my learning process. I mean I do enjoy a challenge, but life would be much easier without having to key it out.


PLEASE HELP ME, and I pray I get a quick response, cause I'm dieing to make my next comp!


Thanks Extile.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: A common problem that is apparently really uncommon. At my wits end, and have tried almost everything.
on Mar 12, 2011 at 9:19:14 am

Be a bit more specific in your questions: are you trying to export a sequence with Alpha from AE or C4D? From your post it's not clear. If you are trying to do that from AE just make sure that you do not have a background layer (like a black solid). You can always preview your Alpha channel by selecting to preview that in your comp window (where the three RGB discs are at the bottom- click on that and select Alpha). If you have an alpha channel you will see a black and white image, if not then just white.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Chris Buttacoli
Re: A common problem that is apparently really uncommon. At my wits end, and have tried almost everything.
on Mar 12, 2011 at 6:25:39 pm

You will NEVER make a video with a transparent bkg. You will make a video with an ALPHA channel, that you can then use to make the bkg transparent in some other application. And you probably already did that while exporting your footage, or so it sounds like.

For example, you bring in footage for greenscreen keying. The footage has a Red, Green, and Blue channel.{RGB} You key out the green using the AE toolset, and render out a QT (or png, or targa or whatever you prefer) as a video with RGBA. The A stands for the new alpha channel. This new footage file can then be imported into something like Premiere Pro and because it has access to the alpha channel it can generate a transparent bkg.


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Andrew Ronholm
Re: A common problem that is apparently really uncommon. At my wits end, and have tried almost everything.
on Mar 12, 2011 at 7:02:58 pm

I hope you read my reply to the person that replied before you did.

Yes I am saving it with an alpha channel, in AE it says millions of colors +. When I import the footage it asks how I'd like to interpret the footage and I choose "premultiplied with the color Black". Still the BG shows, and it is not transparent. I then re imported it and used the same option but this time I used the eye dropper tool and click on the bg and it still didn't make it transparent.

Now I've been trying to find an answer to this for 3 days now, and I keep getting the same answers. Make sure you check the box, or boxes under the save tab in the render options. [boxes are Alpha, and Straight Alpha] Now I've also tried 4 of the formats that everyone claims will save the alpha channel, which are TIFF, TARGE, QT, and PNG. Still I get no transparent BG.

So I'm really confused, I'm pretty sure I'm saving it properly for AE, and I'm pretty sure I'm importing it properly, but it's still not transparent.

I really hope I'm missing something and it's not the software, cause that would suck.

Lately I've been making my own greenscreen by making a big bright green plane behind the 3d object in C4d, so when I render and import it I can then just key it out. But still it's not 100% transparent, like I see in other peoples videos.

I hope I explained this properly, I also hope that there is something I am missing, cause this is driving me crazy!


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Andrew Ronholm
Re: A common problem that is apparently really uncommon. At my wits end, and have tried almost everything.
on Mar 12, 2011 at 6:54:55 pm

I'm actually rendering just a 3d object so I can composite into a video in after effects. Or so I can work with it in photoshop. I'm just trying to render something and import it into other software[mainly AE] so it has a transparent background. Now I have action movie essentials, and when I import explosions and such they already have transparent backgrounds.

So to summarize I'm rendering a single animation, of a single 3d object, and I've tried 3 formats-PNG, QT, and TIFF. When I import them into AE I get the same thing every time, a black background that needs to be keyed out just to get a transparent bg. I have tried both the Alpha check box, and both Alpha and Straight Alpha at the same time for all three formats mentioned above. Still I get the black BG in AE, same with photoshop.

I've been researching this for an answer for 3 days now, cause I want to composite 3d objects onto videos in AE. Everywhere I've looked it says the same thing, check the Alpha, or both Alpha and Straight Alpha and they promise it will work, if the format is the right one. Which it is, so what am I doing wrong? When I import this animation AE asks me how to interpret the footage and I choose the bottom on, premultiplied with color black, I've even used the eye dropper tool to choose the color in the BG and still its not transparent. And yes it does say millions of colours +. So what could it be guys? It has to be something in C4D right?

Should I post this question in the C4D forum?

Anyhow, I hope I was as specific as I needed to be. Thanks guys, I really appreciate the help as well, this is driving me crazy, cause it SHOULD work.

Thanks Andrew


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Joey Foreman
Re: A common problem that is apparently really uncommon. At my wits end, and have tried almost everything.
on Mar 12, 2011 at 8:04:19 pm

Andrew, why are you repeatedly asking the same question? It has been answered.

[Andrew Ronholm] "Should I post this question in the C4D forum?"

Yes, please, because that's where your user error is occurring. You aren't properly rendering out an alpha channel from C4D.
You would do well to consult the help documentation that came with CD4 as well.
And please don't vent your frustration on this forum with multiple repeated posts.

Joey Foreman
Editor/Compositor/VFX Artist


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Andrew Ronholm
Re: A common problem that is apparently really uncommon. At my wits end, and have tried almost everything.
on Mar 12, 2011 at 8:30:20 pm

I apologize, but I didn't realize I could view the thread as a whole. I seen the Re:'s in the list and thought I had to reply to them like email [just because when I clicked the link it only showed me that single response and not the entire thread]. I didn't know it would all show on a thread like this until recently. So I do apologize, I also apologize for venting.

Thanks for the warning, it won't happen again.

Andrew

Andrew Ronholm: aka Extil3
Visual Effects, 3D Animator, Graphic & Web Design, and Writer


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Joey Foreman
Re: A common problem that is apparently really uncommon. At my wits end, and have tried almost everything.
on Mar 12, 2011 at 9:07:29 pm

No worries. I hope you're able to get your issue resolved soon. C4D has a lot of rendering options, and can be confusing. I don't know if you've tried rendering as a .tiff sequence, but that will preserve more bit depth than the animation codec. I think you still have to manually indicate that you want your video or image sequence to render as RGB + Alpha in C4D.

Joey Foreman
Editor/Compositor/VFX Artist


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Andrew Ronholm
Re: A common problem that is apparently really uncommon. At my wits end, and have tried almost everything.
on Mar 12, 2011 at 7:07:07 pm

Also I'm using Cinema 4D 11.5, and Adobe After Effects CS5. Just in case you were wondering.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: A common problem that is apparently really uncommon. At my wits end, and have tried almost everything.
on Mar 12, 2011 at 8:04:09 pm

I do not use C4D, but rendering should be similar with other 3D apps. In the apps I use you need to select the object/objects you want to have an alpha channel and specify that you want that channel to be rendered for those objects. In some apps the alpha is rendered out as a separate sequence of black and white images that needs to be taken in AE and set as alpha for the RGB render.
I have worked before with RPF files that contain Zdepth data and with that you can composite in AE pretty complicated scenes. Here's a link that explains that much better than I could:
http://www.creativemac.com/2004/01_jan/tutorials/lw2ae2.htm
Hope this helps.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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