I have a comp that I made that is a write-on effect. I have selected the alpha channel toggle so in my view, I see the checkered background.

When I queue to render, I select lossless + alpha (I've also tried custom RGB + alpha) with quicktime selected and it renders a white background instead of transparent one. I had selected the white background, but transparency was toggled when I did the export, and so was the lossless + alpha.

Please help.

  • Chances are that your video already has a transparent background. To be sure, you can try importing it to a video editor, like AE. Desktop players don't usually support transparency as far as I know. At the very least they show a solid background behind it. Kinda like how PDF readers show white background by default. --- You might be able to use html 5 to embed transparent video to website, at which point the question becomes more of a coding question. I have no idea if same export settings apply in those cases. Chances are that browser support is narrow too. I wouldn't really know though.
    – Joonas
    Jul 22, 2014 at 23:58
  • 1
    If the video is going to be embedded on a website, see if this could help you with that.
    – Joonas
    Jul 23, 2014 at 0:05
  • Thanks, I am trying to put it over a background image on a site. Thanks for the Jquery link I'll check that out. That being said: When I play it from the file in chrome or safari there's a white background and then black margins. Is this normal for a a webm that does support transparency?
    – Peege151
    Jul 23, 2014 at 0:25
  • I haven't got the slightest idea. Just remembered something. You might wanna try adobe edge animate and see if it could do what ever it is you're trying to do with the video. After all, it is pretty much like AE for the web.
    – Joonas
    Jul 23, 2014 at 1:19

4 Answers 4


Did you try re-importing the rendered video into After Effects? You should definitely have transperency with these settings.

If you only tried to play this back as a webm video in chrome and safari you won't see transparency, neither browser is supporting webm with transparency right now. Only Googles Cannary project offers this future at the moment.

As Joonas mentioned in the comments, the jquery-seeThru project is offering a workaround for that.

  • Well, I just imported it into a new comp. new comps default have a black background right? So i just toggled the bg in the new one and then it was transparent, so I'm good right?
    – Peege151
    Jul 23, 2014 at 14:31
  • Would it be advisable to export a different file format then? Could I export a png sequence or a gif that would be transparent without the jquery-seeThru? It's just a 'write-out' effect - essentially writing out a word and I want transparency to put it over a BG image
    – Peege151
    Jul 23, 2014 at 14:36
  • Sure using a png sequence or gif will both work in all browsers. If its just a single color or a small gradient on your "write out" effect a gif would be sufficent. You can import your rendered video into Photoshop and export it from there to a GIF. Photoshop Export to Web has more control over the GIF quality than Adobe Media Encoder. Though if you have a soft edge GIF will be a bad choice, it only has a 1bit alpha. You probably also experience some aliasing with GIF if you have lots of round edges.
    – timonsku
    Jul 23, 2014 at 15:11

There actually is no such thing as a "transparent" background in video. Instead what you have is either 3 channel video (red, green and blue value for each pixel) or 4 channel (red, green, blue and alpha values for each pixel).

The Alpha channel provides details about how opaque each pixel should be, however unless the video player playing the video file supports reading this extra channel of data, it won't actually do anything special.

Generally, unless the background image will actually be different for different users, your best bet may be to actually import the portion of the graphic that will be behind the video and actually record the video with the background behind it. Then, when you position things together correctly, it will appear relatively seamless (though you have to be careful about the color encoding to make sure colors match.) There is also some possibility that people's players will apply a color profile anyway and thus make the video frame have a slight color alteration from the normal background.

Otherwise, the jquery-seeThru project that Professor Sparkle mentioned is probably the best bet.


To get a transparent Quicktime Video:

  • select the composition
  • press Ctrl+M to add it to the render queue,
  • click on Output Module to choose the File Format,
  • select Quicktime Container Format for Video Output,
  • select RGB+A to render RGB and Alpha channel
  • i had select the composition press Ctrl+M to add it to the render queue, click on Output Module to choose the File Format, select Quicktime Container Format for Video Output,but problem is RGB+A option is deactivate.
    – user14525
    May 4, 2016 at 7:45
  • @AkhterHumayun the codec you're using needs to be one that supports transparency, most don't. Apple Animation is one that does
    – stib
    May 7, 2016 at 10:49

I found that when I changed my color depth to 32b, I got my transparencies. Beta does not like anything under 32 apparently. I opened a project that was set for 16 bits and my transparencies were gone. When I changed it to 32, everything ran fine.

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