Maintaining Transparency For Imported Files?

Ok, so I'm one of those annoying little Mac users, you've been warned.

As discussed earlier, Hitfilm seems to have trouble importing some (many) .mov files.  I've made peace with converting these failed imports to .mp4 using Handbrake, which seems to solve the problem.  Ok, not such a big deal.

I'm on to a trickier issue now, how to import .mov files with transparency. 

I tried one, and it looked good in the media panel (unlike other failed imports).  But when I moved it to the timeline digital garbage appeared in the viewer panel instead of the actual video.

So I then turned the video with transparency in to a .png image sequence, and  used the import image sequence feature to bring the sequence in to Hitfilm.  No workie, same problem as before.

I would convert the file to .mp4 with Handbrake, but my research tells me that will kill the alpha channel.

I am able to import and use a single .png image with transparency without a problem.

Summary:  I'm looking for a way to export a .mov file with transparency out of Morph Age (mac image warping app) and in to Hitfilm, preserving the transparency.

Your thoughts are most welcome.

Comments

  • You have two options:

    1. Export a PNG or TIFF image sequence. HitFilm can import the sequence as a clip. Importing an image sequence is covered in Triem23's excellent How to Import and Export EVERYTHING in Hitfilm tutorial starting @5:40 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMGpxHBKq9E
    2. Export an MOV using ProRes 4444 as the codec. Getting to the QuickTime options where you can select the codec is covered on pages 33 and 34 of the manual for Morph Age
  • Thanks Alladin,

    I'm doing just what you suggest.

    I exported the .mov out of Morph Age using the ProRes 4444 codec, which I do routinely.   The transparency is preserved, and can be used anywhere, except Hitfilm.

    So I did what you suggest, and turned the .mov in to an image sequence, which was then imported in to Hitfilm.  That didn't work either.  Hitfilm can't use the file.

    It seems I need to convert the mov in to some format that Hitfilm likes, while preserving the transparency.

  • @PhilTanny If for some reason ProRes 4444 isn't working for you then it's likely there is an issue with your system unrelated to HitFilm that's causing the problem. ProRes is the preferred intermediate video codec for HitFilm on a Mac especially when an alpha channel is needed. There are HitFilm Mac users routinely using ProRes day in day out without a problem. Heck there are even HitFilm Windows users that use ProRes on a regular basis. Just because a video file works in one program but not in another doesn't automatically mean the fault lies with the program where the video doesn't work. Different programs use different frameworks and api's to access media files. Realistically the only way you're likely to fix this problem in the short term is to contact support and provide them with sample files that aren't working for you.

    On the image sequence, did you export a new image sequence or convert an existing MOV? What image format did you use for the sequence? When you say it doesn't work, what isn't working?

     

  • Hi Aladdin,

    When a video file works in ALL other video editors, but not in one particular video editor, where does the problem lie?   As we discussed earlier, the files I'm having trouble importing in to Hitfilm import successfully in to every other video editor I've tested.  They work perfectly in Premiere Elements for example. 

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, just trying to provide useful information, or at least, a potentially useful theory.  In the other thread on this topic I already sent the team the output from MediaInfo at their request.  They didn't respond, so I don't know what they might have learned from that.

    I used the .png image format.

    I tried to describe "not working" above.   Both the mov file and the image sequence show the appropriate icon in the media browser of the composite interface.  In this way they are different than mov files that won't import at all.

    The problem appears when I move the file or sequence to the composite editor timeline.  Then the file or sequence shows as corrupted digital garbage in the composite timeline viewer. 

    Tomorrow I'll repeat the entire experiment from scratch to double check that I'm not doing something wrong.  I know that can happen, because it happened once before.  :-)

    Thanks for engaging the issue.

     

  • @PhilTanny Sorry for the pun but "all other video editors" is a pretty bold statement. As I already mentioned, different programs will use different frameworks and/or api's for importing and decoding media files. It is entirely possible for a video file to work in programs that use FFMpeg (Shotcut and OpenShot) or a proprietary/native engine (Adobe) but not in ones that use OS based frameworks like AV Foundation, CoreMedia or QTKit (all 3 are Apple frameworks/api's and HitFilm likely uses AV Foundation) because there is a problem with the OS installation on the host machine, a bad driver or even faulty hardware. It's also worth mentioning here that HitFilm uses OpenGL heavily. Premiere doesn't. OpenShot might but it probably isn't in the same way HitFilm does so your problem could even be an OpenGL configuration issue. 

    As I've tried to explain before the problems you are experiencing aren't universal to HitFilm. They are unique to you. You should be able to use MotionJPEG files without issue. You should be able to use ProRes files without issue. You should be able to use PNG sequences without issue. ProRes and PNG sequences are two of the most trouble free options you could possibly choose and HitFilm users use both without a problem all the time. You can't. From experience, I can say that when something works without issue for "everybody else" but you, then it's time to stop blaming the software and move on to looking elsewhere for the answer. Like it or not, right now, with the information you have provided, there's a 99%+ chance you have a problem with your system unrelated to HitFilm. Simply because other programs are working that use different frameworks/api's and access the hardware in different ways does not mean you don't have a problem. Contacting support and opening ticket is by far the smartest thing you can do right now. Nobody else here in the forum can help you with alpha channels and transparency until you can actually run HitFilm properly.

     

     

  • Alladin, is it possible that there's a 99% chance that you are a committed Hitfilm loyalist who will never admit any flaw in your favorite app?  You know, that is a very common social phenomena on all forums dedicated to some piece of software (not just Hitfilm).  You  know, for some of us nerds, software has become the new one true way religion.

    I would be more open to your theory that there is some problem with my system if you were to specify what that problem might be, and I could verify your  theory using some method other than your vague opinion.

    I would be very open to proof the problem is me, that would be ideal, because that could be fixed, which is all I'm trying to accomplish.

    Anyway, I redid all my testing from scratch this morning.  I see now the problem occurs randomly with no pattern I can discern.  At first I couldn't replicate the problem using the same files. Then it reappeared.  Then it went away.  One time I accidentally fixed the problem just by rearranging the order of the layers in the composite timeline.  Another time the problem was fixed by deleting  the file and re-importing.

    So it seems the problem is fiddly and can be fixed by fiddling.  I'm ok with that.  Now that I've learned that fiddling works, I'll fiddle.

    And when fiddling doesn't work, I'll move the project over to Elements or any of the other Mac editors I've tested, where such issues don't  exist.  Or I'll just work on something else. 

    And it seems best I stop talking about Mac issues on the forum.  I'm ok with that too, no problem.

     

  • @PhilTanny

    "Alladin, is it possible that there's a 99% chance that you are a committed Hitfilm loyalist who will never admit any flaw in your favorite app?"

    Absolutely not. A big part of being a moderator on this forum is locating and/or confirming flaws and bugs others have come across so that they can be logged by FXHOME to be fixed in future releases. A part of doing that requires being able to recognize the difference between an actual bug in the software vs something else being the problem with a high degree of accuracy. Over 30 years of troubleshooting and fixing other peoples' problems has made me pretty good at doing that. Do I get it wrong sometimes? Sure but any confirmation bias comes from getting it right the overwhelming majority of the time. 

    "I would be more open to your theory that there is some problem with my system if you were to specify what that problem might be, and I could verify your  theory using some method other than your vague opinion."

    Which sounds more reasonable?

    • I'm currently the only known user out of over 1,000,000 users having this problem with this software package. It's impossible for the problem to be anything other than the software package itself and I refuse to contact support alerting the developer and having them confirm my belief in my perfection.
    • Hey it looks like I might be the only guy having this problem with this software. Maybe I should try contacting support and see if they can help me figure out why the software doesn't work for me the same way it does for everybody else. 

    Right now it seems you are firmly locked onto the first option as being more reasonable. Unfortunately it just isn't. You are having problems with ProRes files and PNG sequences that have an alpha channel. On top of that you've mentioned having problems with MOV files in general. These problems are extremely unusual for HitFilm Mac users. Problems importing MOV's are even extremely unusual for HitFilm Windows users once QuickTime is installed. They are so extremely unusual that you are the only person reporting such problems right now.

    Because you are the only one with these problems you cannot say it must be a problem with HitFilm because it works in blah blah blah. Why not? Because it is working in HitFilm for everybody else but you and you're trying to compare programs with radically different architectures that access and decode media in radically different ways. You can't make an apples to apples comparison when what you have is a kiwi, a banana and an halibut named Eric. That just doesn't work. 

    If you want to try eliminating some things, try creating a new user account, install HitFilm under that account and see what happens. If everything works then the root problem is with your main user account somehow. If it doesn't work then you're right back here and I'm going to give you the exact same advice I've already given you multiple times, contact support. FXHOME support has lab machines they can test your media on and they actually have highly trained, paid staff members whose only purpose in life is to help people get HitFilm running properly.

    At this point I've dragged the horse to the water several times over but I can't make it drink. Of course I don't know much about horses so it's entirely possible I've been dealing with the wrong end the whole time.

  • I would be more open to your theory that there is some problem with my system if you were to specify what that problem might be, and I could verify your  theory.  It seems reasonable for me to decline your 99% certainty so long as you appear to not have the slightest idea what the problem on my end might be, assuming your theory is correct.

    I would be more open to your theory that there is some problem with my system if you were willing to accept my honest report that I don't now have, and never have had, these problems with any other Mac video application.  Instead, you repeatedly ignore and dismiss this inconvenient information, which is a clue to me that your participation is being driven more by emotion than reason.

    If you could prove the problem is with me or my system, instead of just repeatedly asserting it, that would be great because then I would be in control of implementing a solution.   Seriously, we are on the same team in that regard.  I didn't start this thread looking for a holy war debate, I'm just trying to solve a technical problem.   If the problem is me, that would be ideal.

    You have helped in this thread, and I do appreciate that.  I've learned from you that the Hitfilm team doesn't know what is causing this issue, and so I should engineer my own solution.  That is indeed useful information.  Seriously, I'm not being sarcastic. 

    The solution turns out to be obvious.  I'm just not going to worry about this, in the same way I don't worry about the weather and other things I have no control over.   I'm happy to have learned about Hitfilm, and when it will accept my files I'll be happy to use it.  When that doesn't work I'll just try something else.  No big deal.  It's just video editing after all, and I apologize for sometimes getting too wound up about it.

    I don't seek conflict with you, so here's a peace offering.  It seems this subject upsets you, so I'll just not bring it up again.  No problem.    I feel my questions about mov files have been asked and answered, so there's no need to harp on the issue any further.

    As for our debate, I suggest we've both now made our cases and it's time to leave any further judgments to the jury, ie. other readers.  Should they be interested in the discussion, they can decide for themselves which arguments they find the most persuasive. 

    Thanks for the conversation.

     

  • @PhilTanny Perhaps one Mac user can help another.  Could you post an image (or even several images) from the PNG sequence you generated from your original video? You can post it to DropBox or whatever other sharing service you prefer. I can try it on my Mac and let you know how it goes.  

  • Hi JSBarrett, nice to meet you.

    Thanks much for your offer of assistance, but I don't want to take up your time with this, or any more of mine.  It's easier to just calm down, smile and be happy, and not worry about it.  :-)

    However I would be quite interested in any discussion of Mac image and video processing tools, especially if you know lots of things I don't, which seems likely.  If that should interest you, name the place and I'll meet you there.

    My favorite apps recently are probably Morph Age and CrazyTalk, both for animating images, which I'm increasingly incorporating in to videos.  What do you like to work on?

     

  • When it comes to video and image work, my interests are mostly in the area of motion graphics, though originally I was a 3D animator and animation supervisor, primarily using Maya.  I stopped animating full-time in 2008, but taught animation classes online for a few more years, then switched to just teaching basic Maya usage since 2013.  I haven't done any fully animated 3D shots in a long time, though, which is fine by me.  It got to the point where it was stressing me out, and I'm not eager to revisit that stress any time soon.

  • I spent months exploring 3D last year, at the novice level.  I came away with the impression that it's cool technology, and surely part of the future.  But for me at this time, it seemed more work than it was worth. 

    It seems like an immature industry currently.  As example, there didn't seem to be solid data formats that allowed the reliable transfer of data from one environment to another.

    But I'm sure all these issues will be worked out at some point, and I look forward to giving it another look some day.

    If you'd care to share some of your motion graphics work, please do.

  • @PhilTanny Have you contacted support yet?  Don't know why you want some sort of proof as to why you should bother before you'll do so, but the simple truth is: it isn't going to get fixed unless you do.

    If you no longer care for yourself - which you are now saying is the case - then you could still help others who may have a similar problem. The more data there is describing an issue, the more chance there is of finding a solution.

    If you're having difficulties finding how to report your problem; every time the words contact support appear in blue on this thread: that's a link. Click on it and fill in the details of your problem, or direct them to this thread.

  • Palacono, no I haven't contacted support, and this thread was indeed helpful in alerting me to this option. 

    Honestly, the impression I got from this thread and another similar one was that Hitfilm is convinced this is entirely my problem, which they can do nothing about.  Which of course may be the case.

    My conclusion for now is that nobody, me included, has any idea why this problem exists, and thus nobody can do anything about it.  I'm ok with that now, and find myself guilty of getting a tad too wound up over too small an issue.    Learning Hitfilm, and video editing in general, is going to involve me engaging many many issues that are new to me, and if I get bogged down in every one I'll never get there.

  • @PhilTanny The 3D industry is far from immature.  (And just in case there may be some confusion, I'm talking about 3D CG animation, not 3D printing, which is definitely still in its infancy by comparison.)  In the early days sharing data between different animation packages was pretty difficult, but these days a few formats have risen to the top and made the process fairly easy.

    You can see examples of my older CG work via the "3D animator" link I put in my post above.  As for motion graphics, there isn't much to show right now, other than what I use to make my HitFilm Quick Tip videos. While I've been doing CG animation for over 20 years, I'm still a noob at motion graphics, and am just enjoying playing around with random ideas while trying to share as I go via the videos.

  • edited September 20

    @PhilTanny ; No one has said nothing can be done, because no one has been able to do more than speculate (correctly IMO) because you refuse to contact support and provide them with useful information; such as any example project files or footage which they might ask you for, to try and replicate the problem.

    You seem welded to the idea that as long as you don't actually contact support and let them try and deal with the problem, you can convince yourself that it might not be at your end. 

    Well, you could never check that lottery ticket and remain a potential millionaire forever; but it's not really helping you with your productivity, is it? Rip off the Bandaid, submit a report and deal with the answer. Might just need a driver update. ;)

  • @PhilTanny The forums are not official Hitfilm support.  It's just regular users and the whizzes who try to help when possible but somethings are support intensive.  Sometimes, support drops in and sees a post but with all the traffic they can miss issues here.  Official Support that  Palacono is pointing you to with a link would the end all answer station for support questions

  • @PhilTanny "Honestly, the impression I got from this thread and another similar one was that Hitfilm is convinced this is entirely my problem, which they can do nothing about.  Which of course may be the case.

    My conclusion for now is that nobody, me included, has any idea why this problem exists, and thus nobody can do anything about it."

    +1 On @Palacono statements. 

    Of course nobody knows why "this" problem exists. Only general statements have been made about not working. No steps to reproduce. No sample problematic files provided.

    Nobody can do something about something until they are provided something to work with. Steps to reproduce and/or problematic file.

    Importing PNG with transparency and/or Prores4444 does work so there is no systemic issue where a general statement of, it does not work, is sufficient.

    The PNG import code in Hitfilm might be a little twitchy. I believe it is the PNG code from the Qt GUI framework. There has been a previous forum thread report where someone had a file with an issue in Hitfilm. In that thread the OP provided the problematic file. A number of us tried the file and some apps did okay and some not. One might like to think file standards are really locked down but they often have some vagueness and thus some wiggle room can exist. Some implementations may not handle all the twitchy variations of a spec. And of course, some implementations can have bugs.

    The point is, one can never know, until you go beyond the initial step of complaining that it does not work.

    I once had a problem in Hitfilm that really no resolution ever came about. Nobody could reproduce the problem, including Hitfilm staff. Luckily, I really I did not care and did not press. I only played with the effect after reading a forum post. Who knows what the problem was. Bug in Hitfilm. Bug in driver. Bug in hardware. A race condition on my very specific installation. Some combination of all. I have a different GPU these days and the problem does not exist. The real point here is, if you cannot reproduce a problem, what can you do about it. 

  • Palacono, let's clear this up.   

    In another thread someone who seemed to be a Hitfilm big shot :-) asked me to provide MediaInfo data for the affected files.   So I looked up MediaInfo, found it, downloaded it, installed it, generated the requested data, and uploaded it to the thread.  I realize you may have not seen that thread.

    The result of that operation was that the original requester vanished without further comment, and other Hitfilm big shots used the data to tell me emphatically the problem was all mine, and mine alone, so please sit down and be quiet.  :-)

    I'm fine with all this.  Asked and answered, case closed, no problem, moving on to other issues. 

    So given that I've let the whole somewhat controversial issue of mov files go, I invite my honorable fellow members  to do the same.  No amount of debate is going to solve the problem, because none of us including me has any idea why the problem exists.  All we have is competing theories that will never be resolved.  If the support team wants to experiment with mov files in Hitfilm they are free to do so, I'm not stopping them.

    All that said, there might be one simple thing that would resolve the issue this thread was started to address.  

    Does anybody know how to convert a mov file with transparency to .mp4 (or some other format Hitfilm will accept) while  preserving the transparency?

    That's all that's needed to solve this problem.  It's probably simple, I just don't know what the right tool is.

     

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited September 20

    You cannot convert a mov to mp4 and preserve transparency, period. Mp4 does not support transparency channels. At all.

    Mov, Cineform, TIFF images sequences, PNG image sequences and (Pro-Only) OpenEXR sequences support transparency.

    For an image sequence, the individual images must be in a folder with nothing else in the folder. When loading the image sequence you select the folder, not any files within. 

  • edited September 20

    @PhilTanny

    "No amount of debate is going to solve the problem, because none of us including me has any idea why the problem exists. "

    There is no "debate" on problems that have a practical solution. You can debate whether or not an Ostrich egg can survive a 6ft fall onto a concrete floor all you like; but until you try it: it's just an exercise in gum-flapping. 

    "All we have is competing theories that will never be resolved. "

    Well, who's fault is that? It's not for want of everyone trying to direct you towards a solution.

    For any others reading this thread who might have a similar issue and do want to be helped (and this may have already been mentioned once or twice ) : contact support. :)

  • @PhilTanny  This:

    "and other Hitfilm big shots used the data to tell me emphatically the problem was all mine, and mine alone, so please sit down and be quiet.  :-)"

    Is a gross mischaracterization of what was said in the other thread. I was the one that responded after you posted your MediaInfo report and at that time I categorically DID NOT state the problem was your and yours alone. I didn't do that until this thread. In the first paragraph I told you HitFilm should be importing the file you posted about and you should 

    CONTACT SUPPORT

    I then, mistakenly assuming you were here to actually get help, went over the MediaInfo report detailing things to watch out for that you were likely going to run into once that specific file was imported.

    After that I pointed out how you had made a mistake in assuming problems other users had posted about in that thread were all Mac Hitfilm only problems.

    Your refusal to contact support and the way you misrepresent what other people say speaks volumes about why you're here

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Guys, guys, guys....

    I don't need to contact support.  As I've already stated repeatedly, I have found the solution  that works for me. 

    I'm going to implement the most efficient solution.

    I'm going to just forget about it. 

    If members want to have a big flapdoodle controversy, ok, go for it, have fun.  I won't be participating as this is my last post in this thread.   Please feel free to ignore all my future postings if that is what works best for you, I take no offense, as nobody is obligated to read anything I type on the Internuts.

  •  @PhilTanny Oh, I think I see the problem. This isn't about you at all.  :D

    One reason people answer questions here (or indeed in any public forum) is so that if anyone else has a similar problem: they can come and find a ready made solution.  Otherwise people would just send PMs back and forth, which is no use to anyone.

    If part of that solution is contact support , then many people also come back and report on the findings, such as it was my BIOS/ file had odd pixel ratio/ FXHome are working on a fix etc. so everyone benefits. 

    Then "the most efficient solution" is : load the files as normal. ;)

    So you pay it forward with your participation in resolving the problem in this free program, as have others in the past when they've reported their findings, or just answered questions.

  • Well glad that is all resolved this thread was heading towards a #RocketMan type incident.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator
    edited September 20

    @Andy001z ;

    https://youtu.be/DtVBCG6ThDk

    @Palacono I don't think you need to worry about somebody trying to find the solution to a problem in this thread. 

    @PhilTanny If you wish to avoid controversy in the future I humbly suggest that you refrain from intentionally mischaracterizing what others have said. When you get it totally wrong somebody will step in and point out all the mistakes. 

     

     

     

  • @Aladdin4d Yep. Actually, might it be worth just deleting it?

  • Wow, I'm late to the party here and have read a bit quickly, so excuse me if I've misunderstood something, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

    @PhilTanny Sorry if you got offended. I feel like I should point out that only people with the badge "STAFF" are FXHOME employees. The moderators are community members that we feel are helping the rest of the community to solve their issues and are correct most of the time.

    If you want to talk to a member of staff about an issue you have the software then you are more than welcome to do so, that's what the support is there for. If you choose to post on the forum, most people actually want to help you solve your issue.

    Regarding your original issue, saying that a .mov file doesn't work on your machine doesn't help us because there are a ton of different formats that can go into a mov container (after a quick Google, I haven't checked how reliable this list is but it gives you an feel of how many there are). As you can see there are dozen of different variations of movs. Now each one of these variations can be written by any software, come from a specific camera or be the result of multiple conversions. Another thing to consider is that the file itself can be corrupted or not completed (think of a camera running out of battery or a download failing slightly), meaning that according to the specification of the format, the file is not correct.

    In these situations, each software reacts in a different way, which could explain why a video plays fine on eg QuickTime but doesn't in HitFilm or other. Another thing to consider is that video editing is very different than playing back videos. There is a lot more to video editing (playing the video backwards, changing the speed of the video, accessing any point of the video randomly etc). Now I'm not saying that it is an excuse for not loading the file, I'm just saying that it could explain the difference in behavior.

    In a perfect world, HitFilm would support every single format and you would just be able to import any video and it would "just work". Unfortunately we're not living in a perfect world and we try to add support for new codecs depending on customer feedback (the codecs asked by the most users are being done first). This however takes time and cannot be done overnight, it often requires a lot of testing with different files saved in different software and cameras.

    Because we're only humans, sometimes we make mistakes and introduce a bug, which means that a file that should import without issues doesn't and we try our best to fix it. In a developer's point of view, if we cannot reproduce the issue and understand what is wrong and where the mistake is, it is often very difficult to get it fixed. This is why having the exact file that doesn't work often is a very good way for us to test it in the office.

    I've written far too much already but to sum up: posting the output from MediaInfo of your media that doesn't work properly is the first good step, it allows us to see if it is supposed to work or if it is a file format that we need to add support of. If the file is supposed to work, having the file allows us to exactly pinpoint the issue and fix it in the software.

    To everyone that posted above: thanks for trying to help, you guys are awesome! Please remember to always be nice and friendly to other people, this is the main reason that this community is one of the best VFX communities, let's all keep it that way! Go HitFilm! :)

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