Post in collaboration with www.latinofilmmaker.net

All video consists of 3 channels red, green and blue i.e. RGB, there is one more called alpha that determines transparency. This alpha channel will allow you to use your graphics or animations more creatively, being able to reuse elements that you commonly use in your videos whether logos, lower thirds or watermarks, this is what we know as exporting a transparent video.

IMPORTANTYou must have Quicktime installed

If you don’t have the Quicktime option is because you need to install the codecs, here’s the link to download Quicktime for windows (It comes by default on macOS but not on Windows). Without these codecs you will not be able to export in alpha channel in any program.

How to export alpha channel in after effects?

First check that your composition is transparent by clicking on the transparency grid below your main composition.

toggle transparency grid

1. Add to processing queue

To render an alpha channel video in After effects, you must first add it to the render queue. Therefore, under Composition, click Add to render queue.

exportar canal alfa en AE

2. Open render settings

Now click on where it says “Lossless” to set rendering to alpha

exportar en after effects

3. Configure output and render

Finally, you just need to select the Quicktime format and choose the RG+Alpha channel. It would only have to click OK and render. At the end you will have a file in .MOV format

exportar en quicktime canal alfa

This way you can export video with alpha channel (transparent) in after effects

How to export alpha channel in Premiere Pro?

Having our animation ready without any background underneath, only the layers we need, it would be missing to export so…

1. Mark the entry and exit points

We mark the render region that we want to render, we can do it by pressing the shortcuts “I” for the entry point and “O” for the exit point.

2. Open Export Settings

Click File > Export > Media… or press Quick Access CTRL+M

3. Configure the video format

And finally what will make the video have a transparent background is to change the Quicktime format and in default select GoPro Cineform RGB 12-bit with Alpha (The other option of maximum bit depth is only used when we have a gradation color). The other options such as resolution, frame rate etc… are at your choice

FACT: This is the same way it is exported in alpha channel within Adobe Media Encoder, as you will find the same export settings panel as Premiere Pro.

And ready, we click on export. We would already have our transparent background video from Premiere Pro to reuse it in other projects

How to export alpha channel in Davinci Resolve?

NOTE: Unlike the previous programs, when creating a transparent background clip in Davinci solve you could only use this same program, if you import it in another programyou will not be able to see the alpha channel.

1. Select the video region and go to DELIVERY

We start by selecting the video or fragment we want to export and go to the Delivery tab to configure render options within Davinci Resolve

2. Enable alpha channel in render options

Here is the important part, in the render options select the option Individual Clips, in QuickTime format, in Codec DNxHR and under resolution select the Export Alpha box.

3. Render the video

In the previous step we add it to the processing queue by clicking on “Add to Render Queue”, now only missing go to the upper right pane and click on Render All

How to export alpha channel in Vegas pro?

Many know it still as Sony Vegas, here is a bit more complicated to set up, but we’ll show you all the steps to make it easy to follow.

1. Enable Quicktime in sony vegas

The new versions of Sony vegas bring the quicktime plugin disabled so we must manually activate it by clicking Settings > Preferences

then go to the deprecated features tab and check the option “Enable Quicktime plugin” and accept.

2. Select the clip and render as

With the cursor we select the part of the video we want to render and then click on File > Render as

3. Customize the template for rendering in alpha channel

Select Quicktime format, 3Mbps Video template and then click Customize Template

Here it is important to uncheck the option “Keyframe each (frames)” and in video format select Animation the other parameters adjust them to your convenience, in my case it will be a 1080p video at 24fps. Click OK and then Render.

The video was already with transparent background however if we import it inside Vegas pro we can still see a black background behind it, this is because the alpha channel is not yet activated. All programs bring it active by default but in Sony vegas you have to do it manually

4. Enable alpha channel in sony vegas

Right click on the clip > properties, You go to the media taband where it says Alpha channel that by default is in None, we change it to Previously Multipliedand done. Accept

This corrects this problem, now you can use the alpha channel videos inside Sony vegas

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