Importing a video with alpha transparency into Adobe Premiere

Hello video experts. :slight_smile: There’s got to be someone here who can help me with this.

Does anyone know the right way to import a video with alpha transparency into Adobe Premiere CC? It doesn’t appear possible without workarounds and I’m trying to figure out if there’s an official way of doing it, or if workarounds are the only way to do it (and what the best workaround is). Here’s what I’ve done/tried:

  • I exported a .mov from After Effects with alpha transparency. I can confirm that the rendered video/.mov contains the alpha transparency. When I play it back in QuickTime, there’s no background color, the transparency is there/working.
  • When I import the exported video into Adobe Premiere however, it does not recognize the alpha transparency. It replaces the transparent background with a black background.

As I tried to troubleshoot this, it appears as though this is a common issue (and possibly a bug with Premiere). That doesn’t make much sense as After Effects and Premiere are both made by Adobe so you would think it would work. This is quite interesting (as a sidenote) because apparently Final Cut Pro automatically recognizes alpha transparency from video exported from AE. So if FCP can do it, why can’t Premiere do it?!

This article may be useful as a reference point to this conversation:

So the main questions are:

  1. Is there a proper/official way of importing video with alpha transparency into Adobe Premiere and if so, what is it?
  2. If it’s only possible via a workaround, what workaround do most people do to make this work?
  3. If the only workaround is manipulating AE so that the first frame in the timeline is blank/transparent before exporting, what’s the best/easiest way to do that in AE?

Thanks in advance for any help and recommendations!

Same problems here, would be nice to know the answer :wink:

@FASSounds Phew! Glad I’m not alone!

The only way I can seem to do this is if I export from AE as a PNG sequence. Premiere then correctly interprets a normal black background as a mask which reveals any (video) content beneath it. Still confused why Premiere can’t interpret exactly the same thing with actual video clips however… seeing as Premiere is a video editor and all. :wink:

I tried to import a logo opener with alpha channel, but the background turned black when I put it in another project. I used the blending mode, but it is not 100% good.

Working here Scott. Maybe you need to enable the transparency grid on your final output window panel. On the right down corner of the panel window, next to the timecode you have a little wrench icon, click it and enable Transparency Grid. Hope that solves your issue.

Thanks so much, @EFEKT_Studio! The transparency grid button was already checked prior to outputting so that’s not the issue here unfortunately. The problem appears to be with Premiere rather than After Effects. I’ve been using the PNG sequence export option from AE as my workaround but so strange that a straight transparency export won’t work.

Thanks for troubleshooting and for the suggestion though, much appreciated!

No problem, unfortunately adobe is slow in debugging their software. You should see problems with after effects. pfff.

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