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Premiere Not Interpreting Alpha Transparency ProRes 4444

Community Beginner ,
Nov 07, 2012 Nov 07, 2012

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Hello,

I've imported a graphic, ProRes 4444 with an alpha channel but Premiere 6.0.2 is not reading the transparency.  When I lay it on top of another clip the transparent part shows as black rather than being transparent and showing the layer underneath.  It seems like the same error is happening in After Effects.

Final Cut 7 reads the transparency fine.  I read that the same problem was happening on earlier versions of Premiere and After Effects. 

I'm working with a Mac Pro, NVIDIA Quadro 4000, Lion.  

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Gerry

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New Here ,
Jan 09, 2013 Jan 09, 2013

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Hi Gerry!

Thank you so much for getting back to me!

Can I use Sorenson Squeeze to convert it to an Animation Codec?  Is that what it's called or is there another more specific technical name?  Sorry still learning.

Thanks!

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 09, 2013 Jan 09, 2013

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I did it with Apple Compressor but you should be able to do it with Adobe Media Encoder or Premiere, not sure about Sorenson.

Cheers,

Gerry

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New Here ,
Jan 09, 2013 Jan 09, 2013

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Ok thanks.

Is there a technical name/phrase or term that I should be using to convert to Animation codec? Is it Apple Motion?

Thanks!

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New Here ,
Jan 09, 2013 Jan 09, 2013

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Okay,

I see the option for animation in Adobe Premiere.  So I converted and then imported the converted file and no dice!

What could I be doing wrong?

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Guest
Jan 10, 2013 Jan 10, 2013

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What could I be doing wrong?

How could converting your footage out of PrPro help, if PrPro can't recognise its alpha channel?

If you have After Effects at hand, and it can't recognise alpha channel either, Apple software is, probably, your last resort.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 10, 2013 Jan 10, 2013

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Export the original file from Apple Motion with an alpha channel using the Animation codec. In the mean time, I'll take another look at the bug and make sure it has been looked at.

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New Here ,
Jan 10, 2013 Jan 10, 2013

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Hi,

Thanks for responding and getting back to me guys  

@ Fuzzy...Trust me... I didn't think it would work...it didn't make sense to me either but I misunderstood Gerry...he doesn't know that I am operating exclusively on a PC using only PC based software...I don't have a MAC.

@ Kevin...as you have garnered by now I can't use APPLE MOTION because I am on a PC.  I used Sorenson Squeeze to convert the file to an Animation File.   For hours I tried importing and manipulating it in Premiere AND in After Effects with No luck whatsoever.  I tried everything I could think of.

It is a virtual set and I was given 2 files:

Per instructions from a video tutorial on YouTube titled:  "Adobe Premiere Tutorial Set  Alpha Matte" I successfully excuted the instructions but the ALPHA STILL DIDN'T WORK:

File #1)  The alpha.mov file is on VIDEO LAYER 3: > I placed a Channel> Set Matte> set to "Use For Matte" > Luminance on the VIDEO LAYER 3 alpha.mov file > Take Matte From Layer> VIDEO LAYER 2

File #2)  The fullHD.mov file is on VIDEO LAYER 2

Should I send you the file to take look at Kevin?

Thanks again

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LEGEND ,
Jan 10, 2013 Jan 10, 2013

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I can't use APPLE MOTION because I am on a PC.

Then you may have to get whoever created the ProRes file to go back and create an Animation file instead.

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New Here ,
Jan 10, 2013 Jan 10, 2013

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Thanks for responding Jim,

I can't manipulate the file or ask because I am one of many many people who paid for and downloaded a TEMPLATE.  A Virtual Set.  I never imagined that I would encounter these problems on PP CS6 or AE CS6.

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New Here ,
Jan 14, 2013 Jan 14, 2013

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*UPDATE

Hi Guys,

Just wanted to let you know that I got in touch with the designer and he solved the problem by sending me that actual .proproj file with a working transparency.  I wish I could give you details but I have no idea why it works.  Hopefully, the ADOBE team is working on this "transparency" issue. For learning purposes...any help, tips or feedback on how I can check for what is different in the file would be great!

Thanks for all your help!

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Explorer ,
Mar 13, 2013 Mar 13, 2013

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Found this thread intriguing. I'm teaching an editing class at a school that uses Premiere -- a program I'm learning just so I can teach the class. I have taught editing in the past and have created various lesson materials in Avid. Re-creating all that for use in Premiere has been an adventure. I'm here because I have a lesson in which students composite footage of a girl looking out a window with material of their own. (A kind of Kuleshov experiment.) The scene of the girl is from a famous movie ripped from a DVD and put into After Effects where I rotoscoped out the window. I then rendered only the alpha channel, Pro Res 222, millions of colors plus alpha. I teach the students to lay the original scene on Avid video 2 and put the imported alpha clip above on video 3. Applyng Avid's matte key effect turns the rotoed window transparent. I've used this material successfully for two years, but trying to translate the lesson to Premiere has been a problem because similar to the original poster, my alpha channel clips are importing as black and white high con files. I can apply Premiere's track matte effect and use luma key to get almost as good a transparency in the window and that should be fine for the aesthetic element of the lesson. But I usually do a little introduction to the idea of alpha channels and can't now because Premiere doesn't see my clips as having any alpha. Why is that? My class is tomorrow afternoon and I'm writing this at 10 pm. I don't feel like hunting up the original After Effects project and trying some other sort of render, especially since I'm not sure what options I should choose. But I may encounter this situation in the future and would like to understand what's going on. Advice?

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Guest
Mar 30, 2013 Mar 30, 2013

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I'm having the same situation exporting a still from Photoshop into AE, same black background.

The answer ? Use CS4, opens fine with the transparent background intact....

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Guest
Mar 30, 2013 Mar 30, 2013

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Do you really think you need to render a still out of Photoshop in ProRes 4444?

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 09, 2012 Nov 09, 2012

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So this is an exported file? Sorry if I made any rash assumptions. Typically, this problem stems from an alpha channel not being exported. I'd like to get my hands on that file to see if there's a bug we don't know about. Can you send to me? I'll PM you with my contact.

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New Here ,
Jun 29, 2016 Jun 29, 2016

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Hi,

I've found a very simple work around:

Export the sequence with a single blank frame at the start of the play range.

This forces Premiere to acknowledge that there is an alpha channel. (doesn't matter what codec you use)

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New Here ,
Sep 22, 2018 Sep 22, 2018

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Thanks for the tip.  This issue has been bugging me for some time as I use Motion and PremPro.  The black frame at the start of a ProRes444 render out of Motion does the trick!!

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New Here ,
Oct 14, 2013 Oct 14, 2013

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I had the same exact problem and did the opposite, I checked to ignore the alpha channel in "interpret footage" and the problem was solved.

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New Here ,
Nov 15, 2013 Nov 15, 2013

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i'm having the exact same problem. exported keyed footage from final cut pro X as prores 444 - imported the rendered file in After Effects CC -> the options for the alpha channel are greyed out in the "interpret footage" window. converting the rendered prores to animation codec via compressor first did the trick (but it unnecessarily bloats the file and adds another step).

one thing i noticed playing around... when there was transparency was in the first frame of the footage, the alpha channel of the exported prores worked as intended in after effects. but as soon as there was no transparency in the first frames (but later on), after effects interpreted it wrong - and greyed the options out in the "interpret footage" dialogue.

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 15, 2013 Nov 15, 2013

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Yes, it is the alpha not appearing on the beginning of the clip that was and still is causing the issue.  I'm about to export a bunch of ginormous animation files for this reason.

In fact, it is just past the one year anniversary of this bug first being mentioned, now that I look at my original post.  Happy Anniversary ProRes glitch bug!

I was going to update Premiere to the latest version to see if the bug was fixed but my Creative Cloud icon is greyed out with the spinning beach ball as it is 70% of the time.  Maybe I'll update to Mavericks from my stable Lion system and see if that will help?  Hmmm, maybe not.  All in good fun, everyone.

Cheers,

Gerry

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New Here ,
Jan 06, 2014 Jan 06, 2014

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Success! I ran the file I had through Handbrake (because neither PP, AME or AE would even open it until I did), saw the black, yelled in disbelief, blah blah blah. Tried all the suggestions from this page and elsewhere (minus using Compressor), finally tried "Replace footage" and told it to use the original file (pre-Handbrake). Bam. It worked, Hope this helps someone else.

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Explorer ,
Mar 19, 2014 Mar 19, 2014

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My solution (if it helps anyone who would read through this thread) was to simply make my Motion 5 composition 1 frame longer and slide my entire comp forward 1 frame thus making the first frame transparent and then I still exported as a ProRes 4444. Once in PP boom it worked and then I just trimmed off the first frame.

Rob

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New Here ,
Oct 23, 2016 Oct 23, 2016

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I realise this thread is very old, came looking for an answer but eventually found my own solution playing around with outputs.

I situation was that the AVI output with RGB+Alpha exported from After Effects didn't seem to be creating the Alpha channel when footage was imported to Premiere Pro. I tried a range of codecs, tried all the above with no success.

What I did:

Export footage as .PNG sequence from AE (making sure to export with RGB+ Alpha, and millions of colours is on etc.)

Check the sequence export folder and if the first frame is all black delete it (I think this is where the problem comes from for all the other codecs.)

Import PNG sequence into Premiere, making sure to click the import sequence button.

Add IMG sequence/clip to timeline and continue.

Hope this helps

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New Here ,
Feb 21, 2017 Feb 21, 2017

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I really can't believe that this is still an issue. I needed to do this yesterday and I used the blank first frame method and it worked!

Come on Adobe, fix this issue after 5 years.

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Explorer ,
Nov 13, 2017 Nov 13, 2017

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Not sure if this applies to your situation. But we were having alpha issues where the footage was displaying the footage with an alpha, but the alpha channel looked nothing like the original in After Effects. After Interpret footage tweaks, plus trying ProRes 4444 and Lossless with Alpha and getting the same result, I saw this tip:

Apple ProRes Graphics 4444 Alpha in Premiere

In Premiere, right click on your Sequence and go to Sequence settings, then Uncheck the "Composite in Linear Color".

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 16, 2018 Feb 16, 2018

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Just to confirm this bug is still not fixed in CC 2018.

Mac: Using Apple Motion v5.4

PC: Using After Effects v15.01 (build 73)

Apple Motion (or FCP) -> Prores 4444 (Color + Alpha) to After Effects or Premiere pro ignores alpha in entire video (the interpret footage options for alpha will be greyed out too) if first frame of the mov has no alpha in it. 

Thanks to users in this thread, solution is to make sure first frame in Motion / FCP has alpha in it before sending over to Adobe products.  This caused me a loss of a days work before I found this solution.

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