View Full Version : Adding alpha PLEASE HELP!

05 May 2010, 02:36 AM
I need help. I have output stills of a model turnaround out of Zbrush for the mac using turntable plus. This plug in gives me alpha channel and image as separate files! Why Zbrush on a mac cant output a quicktime I will never understand since even World of Warcraft has that option built in, WTH? Anyways, I want to compile the stills in after effects but AE doesnt seem to have a channels menu---?????--- Now I know a painfully slow way of putting these 2 sets of files together in photoshop manually, one at a time. Does anyone know how I can do this efficiently with 360 frames?

05 May 2010, 03:03 AM
I figured it out. I used the track matte option under layers in AE.

05 May 2010, 04:02 PM
It's not at all uncommon for some software to generate "image sequences" (i.e. discrete files per-frame) and if necessary to output different layers of information within the frame also as discrete files.

Your choice of output-file format (to the extent that you have one) will make a big difference. Image-sequences of "multilayer OpenEXR" files are what works best for me: all the layers you could want, all named, all in perfect registration, all using lossless compression. It is a format expressly designed for handling digital intermediate work products. It's still "a file per frame," by design, but it's one file per frame.

"File per frame" (image sequences) are great because you can resume when ... well ... when computers "do what computers always do at exactly the wrong time." :banghead:

If all you need to capture is Alpha, and you want to stick with "image" files, then formats like PNG do have support for an alpha layer, whereas others like JPG do not.

Generally speaking, "image" formats and especially "movie" formats can be very problematic if you attempt to use them for the purpose for which they're not really designed, namely, "to hold intermediate process files." Once information is lost it can never be regained. Once (X,Y) registration among the various layers is lost, it, too, can never be regained. Terabyte external disk drives, on the other hand, are cheap. You're schlepping around directories full of really big files until the very last step.

05 May 2010, 04:23 AM
I knew most of that. But thanks for the help, it is always appreciated.

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05 May 2010, 04:23 AM
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