Render with Alpha

When you create a title or graphic in After effects, you may want to composite the render over footage in your editing application instead of AE. To do this you need to simply export your video with the alpha/transparency information.

To render it this way, add your comp tot the render queue (be sure to have no background layer) and use QuickTime as the output format. Select a codec like Animation or PNG and be sure to change the depth to RGB + Alpha. This option is not available for all codecs.

Some editing applications like Vegas video require you to set the properties of the footage to premultiplied so that it will interpret the transparency correctly.

12 years ago
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3 years ago
Thanks for the help. I have now made a quicktime RGB plus alpha channel transparent video file but I need to find a hosting site to upload it to- one that will preserve its transparency. Any suggestions? Btw- not youtube because it hosts there BUT LOSES IT'S TRANSPARENCY the background becoming opaque black.
7 years ago
That little bit of advice on how to render with an alpha has just made me very happy.
9 years ago
what about green screen and just having your talent there with an alpha channel?
I always forget to change to unmatted. It NEVER fails.
10 years ago
Hi All :)

I'm have a HUGE issue with this, I've tried all tuts and nothing seems to be working...

This is what I'm trying to do:

Export .png files of a particle sequence composed in 3ds max 11 (this portion is working just fine)

take the sequence and compile a video using AE and import in back into 3ds max as a texture...BUT when I do this my BG color is always black.

I've tried exporting as this tut instructed, as a quicktime...I've tried lossless with alpha (as well as all the other options just to be sure) and nothing is working...

Maybe this isnt possible?? Can someone help me out? Feel free to shoot me an email -
12 years ago
Does anyone know why a QT PNG rendered in AE keeps crashing 3D Studio Max whenever it is imported into Max? I rendered it with these settings:

format: QT
format options: PNG, RGB +Alpha, Millions of colors+ Premultiplied (Matted)

It keeps crashing Max. weird!

It imports fine into Premiere, with an alpha channel. As an alternative, I rendered a PNG sequence ( you know, with each frame a separate PNG) and that seems to work. But... it's not the way Andrew taught us and i want to be like Andrew cuz he is the coolest.
12 years ago
(Slaps forehead) Exactly what I needed! Thanks
12 years ago
I'm trying to make explosions from DetonationFilms have an alpha channel for Vegas. I export and set to premultiplied and nothing happens! Help! Does it matter if I have the transparency grid turned on?
12 years ago
You can also chose -video for windows
- No compression
- RGB+Alpha
If u want to use it in Adobe Premiere...
12 years ago
Hi Andrew, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing that bit of info, you gave me the answer to the question I was trying to figure out in my head for a few days now. Rock on and many cheers to you good sir!
12 years ago
Remember: Premultiplied Matted, that gives you nice borders when you import that footage. Great tip for video editors!

12 years ago
Hi, Andrew!

What version of the QT to use with AE7?

Thank you that you there is !

_ forgive for mistakes if there is_
12 years ago
comp tot?
Rob vd Spank
12 years ago
I hope everything goes fine with Andrew? It has been quite around him the last few days?

Or he is working very hard on Twitch and the DVD and the new Tutorials!!!

Cant wait....

Greetz from The Netherlands

12 years ago
Little tid-bits of info are always nice. Gracias.

-Daniel Reynolds
12 years ago
Mxthe: Hahaha. The relentless machine gun was quite funny. Come to think of it, the acting was pretty funny too.
12 years ago
hey andrew u are a realy master for me, n i wanna know if u can put a tutorial who show more moviments of the camera, like rotation on scenes and that kind of stufs ! pls !
12 years ago
wow ! great
12 years ago
im dying for twitch been holding off shooting and everything waiting for this plugin .
is there a final date release yet?
12 years ago
ahahaha i really usually dont laugh at things death related... im not that morbid.. but when i seen a dude get ripped apart by that little gun, i had to laugh lol. Good job blending it all together though, bad job on the acting/camera work. :P
traian boala
12 years ago
I hope this is not off topic, but I was wondering about "multiple frame rendering". Many of us has these days dual/quad core and would be a very usefull feature as with this option unchecked one of my cores stays almost inactive. I tryed to use this feature, but I get an error message saying that after effects can't use multiple frame rendering. I would like to know why. Thank you very much. Oh... and must say... you rock, Andrew... Thank you so much for your work.
12 years ago
I attended this week's After Effects New York seminar, hosted by Adobe and Creative Cow, and Andrew Kramer was brought up quite frequently as the be all/end all of AE. Your piers truly love your work, dedication, products and tutorials. You should at least be on Adobe's payroll.
We all feel like we know ya. And we all wished you could be the one up there giving the presentation as the event was horribly unorganized and not at all informative, fun or interesting. You would be treated like William Shatner at a Star Trek convention... (I mean that in the best way) Cheers
brian walsh
12 years ago
Mxthe that was very graphic.
12 years ago
Hey I just made a video with Action Movie Essentials, I didn't know where to post it, and I really wanted to show it off to this community, so there it is :

Great tutorials and content Andrew ! You Rock :)
12 years ago
Hey, that's the fisth time I've see your site and this is really great!
(sorry about my inglish).
I'm from Brazil were we don't have material about this software,so
thanks a lot Andrew.
You have some site about your company(do you have one, don't you?)
Sorry again, thanks again.
12 years ago
Charles, you have to make sure that you don't compress the footage with any codec.
Bob Marley
12 years ago
God bless you!
`ChaRLeS x
12 years ago
which is the better way to convert a .MOV file to a .AVI file, because, when i do this with premier my video loose a lot of quality, and when i export my file with after effects in .AVI same thing happens, i realy need help with this.
12 years ago
I think with the Quicktime codec setup as well, if you were to change that MILLIONS OF COLORS + drop down box to just MILLIONS OF COLORS (sans the +), it would render without the alpha. So when you are looking at tweaking things, that isn't one you want to change if you are requiring the alpha and using Quicktime. Apparently the (+) is the extra alpha channel in there, and without that, you are without alpha.
12 years ago
Thanks for this. Weird I was having trouble with this and the next day it was posted. Does anyone know where I can find a quick guide on importing widescreen footage. Having trouble bringing it into after effects then rendering it out and importing into Vegas. Any suggestions?
12 years ago
andrew, what pc do you have? I mind which components it had.

see you
12 years ago
How about a tutorial about making flourishes aquired from vector format, broken up in Photoshop and animated using Trapcod 3D Stroke and CC Bend it?

Is this time consuming to do? (the subject matter, not the tutorial itself)
12 years ago
wat does that mean?????????????????
12 years ago
Haha this is great!
I was trying to figure out how to export with transparency just like 1-2 days ago, and here it is.
Thanks Andrew :)
12 years ago
Conan is great!

Andrew do you have a recommendation for any match moving/3d tracking software? I've tried a couple free ones - Voodoo and Icarus - with varied results.
12 years ago
Typical! I just needed how to do this today, and where do I go in my break? Oh yeah!
Dustin James
12 years ago
Premultiplied huh?

Oh the days before the blog.
12 years ago
certain AVI codecs also have the RGB+ Alpha option. It is not limited to quicktime.

Thanks Andrew! I look forward to the advanced tutorials DVD
12 years ago
Sweet! works perfect with Sony Vegas after setting the properties of the footage to premultiplied.

Good to know Andy Thanks!
12 years ago
I do indeed agree with benny, but i dont see how Christ is going to benefit from pushy people. I like ashes approach. a simple line like "Dude im totally psyched for the release of twitch!" will do. Thanks for being considerate Ashes :)
ashes productions
12 years ago
hi, ok cool...i'm also waiting for the new product man !!!!!!!!
Benny W
12 years ago
I can't believe that people post comments like "Great tip but where's the next tutorial..and things like "why haven't you done this yet" STOP busting Andrew's BALLS for christ sake! The man has given us sooooo much....for FREE. Let the MASTER do it when he's good and ready....GEEZ :)
12 years ago
be patient babies.
And remember it takes time to prepare a GOOD one/product
dont take it for granted ;)
12 years ago
man, I don't use to leave messages in blogs and forums, but the things you do, are amazing. I really realise that you know a lot of this programs, but instead of take all that like a mistery, you take valious time and you posted here, in the web, for everybody. I don't see that kind of man everyday, you really are one in a million.

I wanted to congratulate you, and encourage you to continue with this, because it worth it more than anything, even than those marvellous things you do with AE.

Thank you, really really thank you, for the learning that you bring to me in each tutorial.

best wishes.

12 years ago
perfect example...
12 years ago
TWITCH? Where is it? What is it? It's almost March? Wasn't it promised it in February or did I misunderstand? Thanks.
12 years ago
have u ever tried using maya 3D models in after effects?
12 years ago
@ %$@#$

Thanks for the reminder. I should have remembered because my best friend was an employee of Aldus and was absorbed by Adobe. Duh, too long ago. Senior moment.
I think the Jesus part comes with the attachment "Lord help me."
12 years ago
Obvious but easily forgotten , thanks.
12 years ago
Nice to see you're a Conan fan, Andrew! "Be cool my babies!"
12 years ago

At first there was a "big bang" then lots of unimportant things happened in between the "bang" and the foundation of a company name COSA.
COSA (company of science and art) trying to establish a primitive form of quicktime type of software that nearly bankrupted them and later went on to develop compositing, and plug-in software. first version on AE was called EGG.
Aldus bought COSA. Aldus then was bought by Adobe.
...some one named Jesus fits in there somewhere to.
12 years ago
Oh. That's pretty cool.
Slade Baker
12 years ago
Industry standard is

Format: Animation Codec

Millions Colors + / RGB + Alpha.

Avid loves this stuff.
12 years ago
When I get a few emails asking me a quick question, I post it in the blog.
Oh and as Conan O'Brien might say "Patience my babies..."
12 years ago
Gracias =)
12 years ago
First of all, you are very good with teaching to with of tutoriales and I am grateful for it to you. but, what has happened with this tutorial?

and the teaching perspective for reactor:

I apologize for my bud english.
Dustin James
12 years ago
could you explain what premultiplied alpha does for the outcome?

I read somewhere something about instead of (r,g,b,a) it is (ar,ag,ab,a).

What exactly does this do? Does it just separate each channel as an alpha? I'm confused.
12 years ago
Cool. I'd learned that concept the hard way a few weeks back when I was exporting a bunch of titles. It turned out to be the simplest little thing that did it. Always does. Peace man =)
12 years ago
Nice! Good to know!
12 years ago
Very helpful Andrew - thnx a lot - u always keep us updated - reagrds - sandy
12 years ago
Give Kramer time, he gives so much to us...

Jesus with a wife like his his famliy I would never post a tute....

talk about no patiance!!
12 years ago
patience tommie,'ll come soon
alpha channel, yea!! But where is the next tutorial? you promised there will be a lot of tutorials and noone knows wich comes next...
12 years ago
I've been using this technique for a while. It's great and it keeps the quality of the text or foreground graphics crystal clear. Nice to see it on Videocopilot. Great tip Andrew! Keep up the good work!
12 years ago
Can we see an example of this in use anyone? I'm an idiot when it comes to picturing some of this stuff. Alphas and transparency layers all tend to intimidate still a bit.
12 years ago
Whoa Andrew, these bits of info help a lot to the non-savvy of the AE world...

Thanks, I really appreciate your tutorials, and really enjoy them.

Take Care!
12 years ago
Calling all new products, come hither so that you are to be purchased!!!!!!!!
morten enoksen
12 years ago
Nice, I knew it was possible, just havven't had the time to find it;)
12 years ago
I did this the other day with a green screen footage nice to see it on Video Co. :)

12 years ago
hi andrew, and all.. this is off topic, but i was wondering if theres anyway to somehow keyframe the Gravity in trapcode particular... i know there isnt a keyframe option, but is there a way to adjust the gravity of time?
12 years ago
wow great tips andrew. Ive learned so much. Keep up the good work. 2 thumbs up!
12 years ago
OOO, this can be very useful. Thanks a lot. Also, it would be cool if you could show us how to render out with alpha in C4D and 3DS Max.
12 years ago
Hi Andrew,

you told us this already in one of those great Tutorials - this about the dead planet. Thanks a lot anyway!

12 years ago
Been using this in game development. PNG for the win.
12 years ago
thank youso much
i'm making rollerblading dvd right now and that's what i really needed to make titles for each person tricks in montage sections)
Thank you, Andrew Kramer!
12 years ago
Yeah the day I got hold of this a whole new world opened for me :P

Cool stuff
12 years ago
Nice little nugget of information.
12 years ago
wow, all these little nits of info are nice! Kinda out of nowhere but nice hehe. I knew about the vegas bit, but I was a bit suprised to see that you did too :)

And hey, dont worry about folks demanding the release of a new tutorial. I've been posting my stuff on the net for a while now and I put up with the same crap.

I think that some of the time they aren't asking for its release but rather, are just trying to display their excitement. I suggest ignoring those comments even if you know when its going to be finished. Otherwise, if you tell one person, folks will continue to ask because they will hope for an answer again. You dont owe anyone anything. You give out free tutorials because you love to share your passion with others (and let's face it, draw people in to buy your vfx products) and we appreciate both your willingness to share and your products (free or other)!

That's enough typing on my ipod >.< ... Lol
12 years ago
Back in the day when I was a producer on the Quantel Paintbox & Harry/Henry (before AE) we had to output Hold-out mattes for every foreground element, then line up the separate elements to pull the key.

Now we can output the foreground with alpha matte included for an automatic key. NICE!

I remember the first time I saw AE. It wasn't an Adobe product yet. I think the name of the company was CoStar, but I might be wrong. It's kinda like the first time I saw Photoshop, but it was called "PhotoMac". It was a grey-scale only product published by Knoll Software, but the brushes were the same quality as the Quantel Paintbox.

I saw the future. And it wasn't sitting on a couch telling a Quantel artist what you wanted, it was sitting in front of the computer and making it yourself.

Kai Krause taught me Photoshop. Andrew Kramer taught me After Effects.

Thanks Andrew,

12 years ago
12 years ago
Losless with alpha is also OK! I'm waiting foor your new products!