HEVC / H265 with Alpha Support in AME

Engaged ,
Sep 25, 2019 Sep 25, 2019

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Apple recently announced support for Alpha with HEVC. This is great news. Does anyone know about it being available in Creative Cloud / Media Encoder. Looking forward to a lightweight / compressed codec that supports Alpha. 

 

https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2019/506/

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 27, 2019 Sep 27, 2019

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Hi there,

 

Great news!

I'll get you update on this soon.

 

Stay tuned!

 

Thanks,

Shivangi

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Engaged ,
Sep 30, 2019 Sep 30, 2019

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I'm really looking forward to this. Right now the only compressed codec that supports Alpha that works for Windows and Mac and plays back decently in programs like Isadora, MadMapper, Unity is HAP+Alpha and it takes forever to transcode.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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Did Unity change something since 2018?  Freelancing at a small all Windows shop, they had to pick up a Mac Mini to import Apple ProRes 4444 with Alpha into Unity.

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Explorer ,
Nov 10, 2019 Nov 10, 2019

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Any more news on this? 

It's insane there are no compressed options for RGBA videos.  

Also really wish Image sequences in Operating systems were treated automatically like a stacked file thing. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 05, 2021 Jan 05, 2021

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As far as no compressed options for RGB+A go, there's ProRes 4444, DNxHD, Animation, PNG, HAP.  There are probably a few more.  Those are just the ones off the top of my head.  Sure, it could be a longer list, but those are all compressed options.

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 14, 2019 Nov 14, 2019

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Hi all,

 

Sorry for the delay in response. The engineering team has kept adding this feature under review. Though there is no news when will this be implemented/added to the application.

 

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Explorer ,
May 06, 2020 May 06, 2020

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Are there some new informations about it?

Thank you

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Engaged ,
Jun 08, 2020 Jun 08, 2020

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I am also curious if there's been an update to this. 

 

In Catalina, it looks like you can convert a video with an alpha channel (I.e., APR 4444+A) right in the finder by right clicking and selecting the encode option. Transparency included. Not sure if you can queue things and there are limitted options so it isn't ideal, but certainly a decent work around for now. 

 

Going to be running a test on this and update here with results. 

 

It also looks like you can do it natively in Compressor or even just the terminal:

https://kitcross.net/hevc-web-video-alpha-channel/

 

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Engaged ,
Jun 08, 2020 Jun 08, 2020

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I can confirm that encoding via finder works but there are limitted options:

  • Resolution can't be manual, must be FHD or UHD
  • Can't control quality
  • No progress bar or queue
  • No controls for frame rate or audio

 

canvokey_0-1591631844536.png

 

You can follow along in activity monitor but all it really tells you is that the encoding process is active and it only uses the CPU, which is a damn shame. 

canvokey_1-1591631904959.png

If you select multiple videos and right click to encode, it will convert all of them - but one at a time, and you cannot track progress at all. 

 

For my test I did a 20 second video, conversion from APR4444+A. The video was just animation of a grid in AE. It took 2 minuts to render, To convert it took 6 minutes for that same file. So it's VERY slow. The codec extension is .mov. 

 

The size of the file went from 250 MB to 2 MB and the frame rate defaults to the target video. So that's great. 

 

After Effects and Premiere does not recognize the alpha channel, so this codec really only works as a delivery codec - not a storage codec or editable codec. Though, I suspect Final Cut X does support it - I just haven't used it in 5 years. It's attached to an old apple ID so I need track down that p/w so I can test it. 

 

I also wante to check to see what programs that I regularly use support the codec with Alpha in playback:

  • Quicktime YES
  • Finder YES
  • MadMapper 3.7.5 YES
  • VLC YES (but can't check for transparency)

 

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Explorer ,
Jun 09, 2020 Jun 09, 2020

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Hi Canvokey,

 

following Apps are supporting HEVC with Alpha Channel

  • iMovie (OS)
  • LumaFusion (iPad)

 

Kind regards

Lucas

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Engaged ,
Aug 24, 2020 Aug 24, 2020

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Any news? 

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 05, 2021 Apr 05, 2021

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If this feature would be particularly useful to you, I quickly tested it in Apple's Motion and it works there. Interestingly, although the source video was a non-standard size, when selecting 1080p (the closest available) quicktime x didn't resize the video. The file size difference with other alpha formats is enormous (In this case, 12MB vs 1.2GB in ProRes 4444!). Importing the same footage into After Effects 18.0.1 results in a black square.

 

unnamed.png

 

HEVC is a delivery format and will hog CPU in a project for many, but at the very least for archiving projects, it seems like a real no-brainer. Hope the development team can manage to implement this part of the h.265 spec.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 04, 2021 Jan 04, 2021

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Any update?

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Explorer ,
Apr 22, 2021 Apr 22, 2021

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LATEST

At the moment we are using a workaround.
We are using macOS Catalina (10.15) with Adobe, we are rendering Apple ProRes 4444 with Alpha.
After rendering open this file with QuickTime and save it as HEVC with transparency.

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