Exporting media with an alpha channel in Premiere Pro

TransparencyRecently in the Twitter-verse, a user was getting frustrated that he could not export a clip with an alpha channel from Premiere Pro. Here is a tip I can share with you to make sure that the alpha channel is respected:

  1. Edit a clip into the Timeline.
  2. Make an effect that will create an alpha channel. Examples include:
    1. Crop
    2. Garbage Matte
    3. Motion > Scale (less than 100%)
    4. Track Matte Key
  3. Mark the clip’s In and Out points
  4. Export the clip via File > Export > Media
  5. In the export settings, make sure you choose a codec which supports the alpha channel, such as QuickTime ProRes 4444, PNG, or AVI None. You can tell if a codec supports an alpha channel by inspecting the bit depth settings for the codec in the Video tab, and then seeing if it has an option for 32 bit support.
    1. Under the Video tab in Basic Video Settings, check the Render at Maximum Depth box.
    2. Do one of the following:
      1. Choose 32 bit
      2. Click the radio button that says “32 bit”
      3. Check the box indicating “Include Alpha Channel”
  6. Export the media by clicking the Export or Queue button
  7. After the file is exported, import the media and place the clip on V2 over an existing clip. Check if your clip now carries transparency. It should!

I hope this blog post helps you in creating alpha channels in the clips you export.

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