Exporting Transparent Footage from FCP to AE (?)

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Exporting Transparent Footage from FCP to AE (?)

Postby JonnyPhoenyx » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:56 pm

Hi guys,
I've spent the past day and half learning to use the pen tool in photoshop and have finally finished masking every frame of my selected animation and imported into final cut pro (as .png files). I added the desire effects (making it black and white with a glow), and want to export it into After effects for an addition pieces/dissolve effect.
My question(s):
How on earth can i get my transparent files into AE? The files themselves are black in FCP, but when placed on top of a layer in the timeline, the black disappears and is replaced with the footage beneath. When trying to put this footage into AE, the background is still black instead of being transparent. I've been hunting around and I think it has something to do with adjusting an alpha channel (?). Once that problem is solved, how can I export the footage BACK to FCP and maintain a transparent background.

I'm sorry if this doesn't make too much sense. I'm very confused right now. :(
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Re: Exporting Transparent Footage from FCP to AE (?)

Postby Emotive » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:23 am

So you want to export the image from the editing program, with it remaining masked? As far as I know FC works in similar ways to Premiere Pro, thus I don't think that's possible.

Why not import the masked image file into AE directly and edit the image entirely there? It should have your black and white and your glow anyway. And after that, I'm pretty sure AE should have an option to export an image file with a transparent background, but I can't recall how and I can't look for you since I'm not on the right pute.
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Re: Exporting Transparent Footage from FCP to AE (?)

Postby Haeresis » Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:37 am

Well I've never used the FCP before but I have done the same thing in AE so I don't think that there is that much of a difference. What I did in AE, was I exported the video as a Quicktime Movie. For the video output, I set the channels to RGB+Alpha, the depth to Millions of Colors+, and the color to premultiplied and I changed the compressor to PNG because it is one of the few picture formats that can export the Alpha Channel. If that doesn't work then you can just try to do the project in AE, it's pretty easy to import all of the masked frames into AE and make them black and white with a glow and then you could go for the desired effect you want.
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Re: Exporting Transparent Footage from FCP to AE (?)

Postby Kanti13 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:10 am

Did you forget to toggle the transparency grid in AE? (just making sure)

I don't know anything about FCP, but you can import your files from Photoshop into After Effects without exporting/saving them. Just take the Photoshop project ( .psd ) with your mask and import it into AE. It will be read as the image with transparency within AE.
.psd or a transparent .png mask from photoshop should not have a black background if you put them straight into AE. You can also easily do those black and white, glow effects in AE.
I don't know how to render transparent, but I just edit my masked parts with the background I want in AE and then render and import it into the final project (I use vegas).
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Re: Exporting Transparent Footage from FCP to AE (?)

Postby RolltheStampede » Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:48 pm

JonnyPhoenyx wrote:Hi guys,
I've spent the past day and half learning to use the pen tool in photoshop and have finally finished masking every frame of my selected animation and imported into final cut pro (as .png files). I added the desire effects (making it black and white with a glow), and want to export it into After effects for an addition pieces/dissolve effect.
My question(s):
How on earth can i get my transparent files into AE? The files themselves are black in FCP, but when placed on top of a layer in the timeline, the black disappears and is replaced with the footage beneath. When trying to put this footage into AE, the background is still black instead of being transparent. I've been hunting around and I think it has something to do with adjusting an alpha channel (?). Once that problem is solved, how can I export the footage BACK to FCP and maintain a transparent background.

I'm sorry if this doesn't make too much sense. I'm very confused right now. :(



First off you should have done you pen masking directly in After effects so eliminate a step. You can do black and white and glow there as well.

But if you want to make your black transparent again just put a screen on it.on the color picker just pick the black that was transparent and it should vanish.
you may have to adjust the threshold.
screen is an effect just like green screen but yours is black not green.

If it is taking away a bunch of what you want to keep you can go into your final cut, put an exotic color as your background instead of the footage below, and when you bring it into after effects just screen the exotic color
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Re: Exporting Transparent Footage from FCP to AE (?)

Postby Bauzi » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:23 pm

Sry guys, but: JonnyPhoenyx, don't listen to them.

This is the much more effective method:
How on earth can i get my transparent files into AE? The files themselves are black in FCP, but when placed on top of a layer in the timeline, the black disappears and is replaced with the footage beneath. When trying to put this footage into AE, the background is still black instead of being transparent.

You need a lossless video codec that supports alpha channels. I'm sorry that I don't know one for Macs. I would try Apple Pro Res 4222, Pro Res 4444 or Animation. Don't forget to go into advanced codec settings. There might be something about the Alpha Channel. Oh and don't forget to export in "QuickTime Conversation".

When you're done in After Effects. Choose the same lossless (!) codec for exporting the clips. I'm pretty sure that FCP will recognize the Alpha Channel in the clips.

So you want to export the image from the editing program, with it remaining masked? As far as I know FC works in similar ways to Premiere Pro, thus I don't think that's possible.

Wrong. Use Alpha channels. In Windows Lagarith is capable of it.


But if you want to make your black transparent again just put a screen on it.on the color picker just pick the black that was transparent and it should vanish.
you may have to adjust the threshold.
screen is an effect just like green screen but yours is black not green.

This is a very bad idea. Keying it again can mess around with things like edges or areas that are not 100% transparent.
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Re: Exporting Transparent Footage from FCP to AE (?)

Postby Bauzi » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:25 pm

Ah damn it... Necroposting?

Maybe you all learn something usefull out of it :wink:

...and I bet someone now comes around with the even more effective method, making mine obsolete too xD
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