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Clear Background

Specific to Premiere Elements Version 12.

Clear Background

Postby Walter Seaton » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:37 pm

I am making a documentary spread over 80 years. To let the viewers know where they are I have developed a traveling dateline of three dates which I use repeatedly as appropriate. I wish to avoid the tedious task of animating each date as used and am trying to create a template for each date. I have created a blank layer in Photoshop but when I import that into PRE12 I get a black image. What I am trying to achieve is a blank frame across which the date moves which I can then save as an .avi file and place over the scene to show the date to which the scene refers without blocking out the image on the lower track.
Is it possible to delete the black background which now "shows through" the blank layer?

Thank you.
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Re: Clear Background

Postby Chuck Engels » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:24 pm

What do the animated dates look like Walter? Are they text and is the text black? Video, unlike photos, does not show up as transparent in the same way. You can change the background to white by adding a white color matte or any other color for that matter. The background of the video will always be black until you add something to a layer above. At least I think that is what you are trying to accomplish here...
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Re: Clear Background

Postby Bob » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:16 am

I assume you are using a title to animate the text. The background of a title is transparent by default. But, you need to export to your computer in a format supporting transparency. That would be the Quicktime file format using the Animation codec. You'll need to use the advanced option to create custom settings and select the animation codec. You will also need to set the bit depth to millions+ (also shown as 32-bit in some applications).
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Re: Clear Background

Postby Walter Seaton » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:33 am

Thank you both.
The text are year numbers only (e.g.2015) which appear for a short time over the main image. Right now I create them in PSE12 in white on a blank background. I import this to PR12, place it on the track above the main image and then apply "Fade in" and "Fade out" to the year clip. This works well but I would prefer to animate the date by having it move into the screen, hover for a short time then move to the center of the frame and "disappear". I have been able to do that in PR12 and also using Photodex Proshow, but when I try to use these as imports as I do with the PSE12 images they have a black background which completely covers the main image. So my basic question is "How do I get a transparent background instead of a black one"?
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Re: Clear Background

Postby Bob » Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:45 am

You can certainly do that type of animation. Exporting to Quicktime using the Animation codec with bit depth millions+ will preserve transparency. Exporting as an avi or mp4 won't do that -- your transparency will be lost and the black will become baked in.
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Re: Clear Background

Postby Walter Seaton » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:31 pm

Thank you, Bob.
From ProShow Producer I am able to export to QuickTime but am not able to find the controls to use the Animation codec nor to adjust the bit depth (see attached screen shot). Is there an app I should have to enable me to do that?
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Re: Clear Background

Postby Bob » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:00 pm

I was talking about using Premiere Elements to export the quicktime movie. It does support the animation codec and transparency (using the millions+ bitdepth setting).

ProShow Producer supports transparency within layers for building your show, but does not support exporting with transparency. You won't be able to do this with ProShow, transparent areas will become black.
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Re: Clear Background

Postby Walter Seaton » Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:03 pm

Bob,
Very many thanks. I followed your advice in your latest post and it worked.
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Re: Clear Background

Postby Steve Grisetti » Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:57 am

Yay, Bob!
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Re: Clear Background

Postby Chuck Engels » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:27 pm

Just to update this for versions 14 and newer, there is no longer a Animation codec option of "Millions+". In newer versions you should select the Animation codec under Quicktime, select "Render at Maximum Depth" and then select 32 bit. That will give you a video file with a transparent background. There will be a video tutorial coming soon that will show how and why you may want to do this :)
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