Need help exporting scene from Character Animator CC with transparent background

Community Beginner ,
Mar 01, 2017 Mar 01, 2017

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So I am trying to export an animation of a lip synced puppet from Character Animator for use in a Premiere Pro CC project and cannot for the life of me get the video to render with transparency so I can overlay it onto a background in my PP project. Every time I try to export it it comes out with a black background even though I have the background color set to transparent. I have been trying to export it in other formats such as quicktime or avi but i do not see options in Adobe Media Encoder to change to 32 bit (which I read somewhere in the forum will enable alpha layers and transparency). Now whenever I try and export to any of these formats I get "Could not read from the source. Please check if it has moved or been deleted." after I start my encoding queue even though I JUST hit export from inside of Character Animator. I also have had issues with trying to import the project directly into PP and After Effects with it either not being able to find the .chproj file I just dragged in or it not showing up in the media browser at all. It worked once but gave me the a black background as well instead of transparent. I have tried to use the Color Key effect to remove the background but it ends up eating up the edges of my puppet up or removing all the black from it entirely by the time I get all the black off of the edges. I have tried to insert various other colored backgrounds such as green and blue but then it leaves blue and green around the edges of the puppet and essentially does the same thing as removing the black that I mentioned before.

If it helps any, here are the specs of what I am running this on:

     Windows 10 64bit

     i-7 Processor (i72620M @2.7GHz)

     8GB of ram

     320GB SSD

     AMD Radeon HD 6470M

My goal is to make the video at 1280p x 720p and most of the project is using video in the H.264 format. So far I haven't had any issues with performance yet using Premiere Pro CC, Photoshop CC and Character Animator CC at the same time.

Please help or show me to a tutorial that might explain this better. I have already watched all the CA tutorials and quite a few Premiere videos and can't find anything on rendering videos with transparency. I might just not be looking in the right places though. Any and all help is appreciated!

Dustin

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Mar 02, 2017 Mar 02, 2017
Jason is correct. You best best is not to export a video, but rather a png sequence and wav and import the resulting xml file into Premiere.We do recommend dynamic link as the easiest method (in Premiere, File > Import > your .chproj file)...if it's not working for you, please file a bug report: Character Animator Bug Reports

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 02, 2017 Mar 02, 2017

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h.264 does not support transparent backgrounds (alpha channel)...try exporting as a png sequence or another codec that can contain an alpha channel.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 02, 2017 Mar 02, 2017

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jasonm70767807 Can you refer me to anything that gives a decent overview on the different types of video codecs and what their best uses are? I'm not really sure where to begin with that.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 17, 2017 Jun 17, 2017

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 02, 2017 Mar 02, 2017

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Jason is correct. You best best is not to export a video, but rather a png sequence and wav and import the resulting xml file into Premiere.

We do recommend dynamic link as the easiest method (in Premiere, File > Import > your .chproj file)...if it's not working for you, please file a bug report: Character Animator Bug Reports

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 02, 2017 Mar 02, 2017

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I Just tried to import the .chproj file into my Premiere project and it showed a progress bar after choosing the scene but would not show up in the library under media browser. I browsed to it in media browser and tried to drag it over and it had the NO symbol when I tried to drop it on a track. I was just about to call it quits for the day when I realized there is another library tab at the top of the screen above the preview. I scrolled down to the bottom and it was there three of them in there. Now I feel dumb because I was just looking in the wrong library section the entire time. Thanks for the help.

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New Here ,
Jul 31, 2017 Jul 31, 2017

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I actually did the same thing and felt like a complete moron. Haha! I'm so glad you wrote that comment or else I'd be searching the forums for help, still.

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New Here ,
Jul 31, 2017 Jul 31, 2017

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Hello,

I did this and now I have it in the Pr program, but my Ch project still has a black background. How can I remove the black and make it transparent when exported? Ideally I would be exporting as MP4 and would also like to see what it's like as an animated gif.

Thanks for the support! Love the videos you put out!

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New Here ,
Oct 15, 2017 Oct 15, 2017

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I'm having the same issue. I've re-read this thread and others many times but just can't seem to figure out how to export my character with a transparent background. I've tried everything I've seen mentioned - importing the PNG sequence, xml file, and Dynamic Link. However, in all cases I still get a black background once in Premiere.

I've also tried many variations of the export from Premiere to get the alpha channel but I just cannot seem to get it to work (best I've done with the alpha is my character is all white and there's a black background). Please help!!

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 16, 2017 Oct 16, 2017

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Hey Bob - I made a short video showing how to do Premiere Pro dynamic linking:

https://adobe.ly/2gnxKtu

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New Here ,
Oct 16, 2017 Oct 16, 2017

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You rock. Thanks for the help - seems so simple now .

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Explorer ,
Oct 28, 2017 Oct 28, 2017

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When I do the linking to Premiere Pro, I get the audio, but the puppet doesn't move or do the Lip Synching.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 30, 2017 Oct 30, 2017

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Hmm I haven't seen that before. If you're seeing the puppet but he's not moving, that says to me that the link is working but either a) the Premiere render cache can't keep up and is showing you the best it can, or b) there isn't any recorded data in the scene it's referencing. Can you post a screenshot and/or video to show us what's happening?

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Explorer ,
Oct 30, 2017 Oct 30, 2017

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Yes. I've tried to clip set the scrubber on the same point at each and you can see they aren't the same. I did confirm that the puppet in CA wasn't primed for recording, so it wasn't looking for the camera to instruct it.

While putting these screen shots together, I did get PP to show one section with the mouth moving, but not any more.

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Explorer ,
Oct 30, 2017 Oct 30, 2017

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When I wrote, "I did confirm that the puppet in CA wasn't primed for recording," I meant while doing the screen shots, not during the recording.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 31, 2017 Oct 31, 2017

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Okay, so it seems like the recorded data is coming through, given the two different screenshots. For whatever reason - hardware limitations, full cache, too big of a file - Premiere isn't able to keep up in the visual department. You can lower the quality in PR and that might help.

If not:

Do you dynamic link often with AE? If so, have you ever run into this before?

What are your OS specs?

If you export the video from Premiere, does it display as expected?

Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 8.45.25 AM.png

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Explorer ,
Nov 02, 2017 Nov 02, 2017

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SOrry, I haven't gotten back to this yet as I have been working on some other items needing my attention. Will update tonight or tomorrow.

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Explorer ,
Nov 03, 2017 Nov 03, 2017

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It does display as expected when exported from PP.

SHould be plenty of horse power. OS Specs are

Windows 10

32 G RAM

i7-5820K, 3.3 Gh

Cache is on the SSD

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Engaged ,
Jan 18, 2018 Jan 18, 2018

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Ah man, I've been trying to do this via Premiere's File menu or through painfully long PNG exports. The method you demonstrated in the video is almost too easy. That's fantastic, thanks.

Martin

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 18, 2018 Mar 18, 2018

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The video you made (https://adobe.ly/2gnxKtu) appears to have been taken down... was so looking forward to quickly solving this issue... can you put it back up, by chance?

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Engaged ,
Mar 19, 2018 Mar 19, 2018

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bp12x12  wrote

The video you made (https://adobe.ly/2gnxKtu) appears to have been taken down... was so looking forward to quickly solving this issue... can you put it back up, by chance?

The link seems to be working. Try again. Maybe someone put it back up at your request.

I've also had luck sending my scene to Media Encoder (⌘M) and then exporting as a QT, using the GoPro Cineform codec and putting the depth at RGBA 12-bpc + alpha.

settings.jpg

Martin

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 19, 2018 Mar 19, 2018

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Thanks Martin... actually I figured that out pretty soon after I wrote this post... works great!

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New Here ,
Jun 02, 2021 Jun 02, 2021

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shidomanosense

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LEGEND ,
Mar 19, 2018 Mar 19, 2018

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Yes, I also found the QuickTime GoproCine with Alpha channels worked well.

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New Here ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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In Character Animator, File - > Export there is a choice of 'Video with Alpha via Media Encoder'.  It exports to a Quicktime .mov file rather than an .mp4 H.264 file.  And it works, the .mov file has a transparent background.

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