How Do You Create A Transparent video Background (Alpha Channel)

Profile picture of the author MichelleGreene by MichelleGreene Posted: 10/04/2008
Hi everyone,

I'd like to create a video with a transparent background that I can use on my website.

I've gotten the basics through Josh's TotalWebVideo course.

So far, I've already shot the video in front of a green screen.

However, I don't have serious magic, the software that's recommended in the package. I have sony vegas.

Has anyone used Sony Vegas before to make a background transparent in a video? I believe it's called alpha channel video.

Thanks for any help,

Michelle
#alpha #background #channel #create #transparent #video

  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    Jesus Perez
    Send Josh an email. He uses Sony Vegas as well and can point you in the right direction. He's a great resource for videos and highly recommended in these parts.
  • Profile picture of the author Steve Robertson
    Steve Robertson
    Hi Michelle,

    I don't have any specific info on Sony Vegas. I use a Mac most of the time. Most of the good video editing software gives you a way to create an alpha channel, but it's never intuitive. There's really no substitute for studying the manual to find out how to approach these complicated features. Or search for an online tutorial. Digital Juice has a lot of these.

    Especially on the Mac, I've found that Adobe After Effects is the best solution. Once you get the hang of the Chromakey tools in AE, it is one of the simplest approaches. And you can then export your video with alpha channel directly to Flash video while still in AE. The Windows version works the same, but it's not necessarily an inexpensive solution.

    Steve R.

    Originally Posted by MichelleGreene View Post

    Hi everyone,

    I'd like to create a video with a transparent background that I can use on my website.

    I've gotten the basics through Josh's TotalWebVideo course.

    So far, I've already shot the video in front of a green screen.

    However, I don't have serious magic, the software that's recommended in the package. I have sony vegas.

    Has anyone used Sony Vegas before to make a background transparent in a video? I believe it's called alpha channel video.

    Thanks for any help,

    Michelle
  • Profile picture of the author write-stuff
    write-stuff
    Does it not give you a color-pick tool that allows you to specify a certain color as alpha?
  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Usher
    Jeff Usher
    Michelle,

    First you wil need to key out the green screen using the chroma key filters then render the finished video as an uncompressed .avi as this is the only render format in Vegas that retains the alpha channel. Select uncompressed template, then custom, select video tab and be sure that alpha channel has a check on it.

    Maybe that helps ( or knowing me ... confuses you even more ) !!!

    Regards

    Jeff
  • Profile picture of the author MichelleGreene
    MichelleGreene
    Hi everyone, just came back in...I'll try searching for some tutorials...right now, I'm just using a plain solid white background when I key out the green screen, the only thing is, it's not transparent.

    I'll try some of the options provided,

    thanks
  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Tsnyder
    Michelle...

    There are some good video tutorials at FXhome.com :: Special effects, keying and compositing software

    Also... you mentioned Josh's Total Web Video course. That's what
    I started with... somewhere in the material is a link to a free piece of
    software that will do the job. I've used it with decent results.

    Tsnyder
  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    Josh Anderson
    You can do part of it if you have Sony Vegas Platinum or Sony Vegas Pro but not the cheaper version.

    However, sony vegas is not as forgiving and easy to use as Ultra CS3 (not from serious magic any more now only from Adobe) when it comes to keying. For novices and amateur editors Ultra is really the best tool for the job for yielding quality results.

    You simply use the sony vegas chromakey features and then make sure to save as an uncompressed avi with alpha channel on the output. I am not sure what version started supporting alpha channel but I know that 8.0 and up does.

    However, that is only half the equation... you still have to encode to flash with the vp6 codec to finish.

    Encoding software supporting the vp6 codec will encode the alpha channel after you produce your avi and save it with the alpha channel as long as the encoder has alpha channel encoding capabilities (very few solutions do and if you have my training you have a video tutorial showing how to use my top recommendation).

    Flash pro video encoder produces the best results for this... I have all the top encoding solutions in the industry and for some reason when it comes to alpha channel its flash pro video encoder that works the best. So you will need flash pro which comes with it at least.

    If you are looking for a shortcut... I have not found any in my years of researching and publishing on the subject... otherwise I would have published on it ;-)

    That is one of the reasons tha the going rate for production of the effect for a single video averages $300-$1000 for a 30-60 second video alone.

    Its expensive to produce. But once you have the best tools and knowledge on how to do it you have a great asset for your online publishing that is well worth the investment as if you know how to market your skills you can earn $1k or more in just a couple hours using these skills which can help you recover the cost of getting the tools for the job.

    After effects is another alternative but as Steve mentioned it has a learning curve and is not very intuitive which is why I recommend Ultra... its intuitive and fast to learn with my tutorial and if you are going to lay out the money to get After Effects you might as well spend the few hundred more it costs to not only get After Effects but get Ultra with it in the Production premium CS3 or the master series... before it is discontinued.
  • Profile picture of the author MichelleGreene
    MichelleGreene
    Thanks everyone, I have Sony Vegas 9 and was able to save as an uncompressed avi with alpha channel on the output based on Steve's recommendation :-)

    Josh, thanks for your post, now I can pick up the remainder of the instructions in the course for encoding it to flash.

    Michelle
  • Profile picture of the author MichelleGreene
    MichelleGreene
    Me again,

    After playing with the settings in Sony Vegas 9 and rewatching Josh's videos (Transparent Video - Transparent Video Effect - Alpha Channel Video) I was able to get the transparent video effect I wanted.

    I ended up using Moyea Flash Video MX Pro to do the flv encoding. And I really love the beautiful players they offer as well as the special effects for your videos.

    Thanks to everyone, I really appreciate it.

    Michelle
  • Profile picture of the author Bwesley
    Bwesley
    Hi Michelle

    I am going to purchase Moyea Flash Video MX Pro.

    I have video Footage of me in front of a green screen i would like to creat as a Flash file and place on my website.

    Was The Moyea Flash Video MX Pro worth the price

    Would you point me to some step by step instruction to create a transparent video background

    Thank you some much for your help

    Bryant Wesley
  • Profile picture of the author ammelissa
    ammelissa
    Hi Michelle,

    I read your post about "walk-on-video"...
    Iam facing the same error you faced which is the non-transparency of the video.

    Could you pls assist me in brief of how to get my video transparent at the end before getting it to Moyea soft.

    Thanks

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