Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Aug 2, 2013 2:03 PM by Danceman QFX
ProfLuna Level 1 Level 1

I have a cartoon type animated Gif. I open and export from QT7Pro to a .mov.

Import the animated gif/.mov into Final Cut Pro X and for a split second when I drag it into the timeline it has a transparent background.....then it turns into a black bacground behind my animation (which I'm overlaying as a prop/joke in the top right hand corner of my video.

I've tried changing the composting blend mode to overlay, screen, etc. nothing works.

I've exported the gif as a .mov with 'blend' mode turned on, 'alpha' turned on....nothing.

How can I make my little gifs look as good as the original gif with a transparent background?


iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.2), 21" Lion and FCP X
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10
    Mac OS X

    What codec are you using in QT7? ProRes 4444? Animation? They're the only codecs that carry transparency.

  • ProfLuna Level 1 Level 1

    Yes, I'm exporting Apple Pro Res 4444

  • ProfLuna Level 1 Level 1

    Actually, I'm using Animation, I get a "Failed" when I try to export the gif as APR4444

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10
    Mac OS X

    Are you exporting with color set to Millions+? Also, check Settings view in the Info tab, how is the transparency set?

  • ProfLuna Level 1 Level 1

    Yes Millions+, I checked Settings but there is no "transparency" to be found. I think I've checked every tab possible (Filter, Size, Settings, etc) and don't see any transparency settings

  • ProfLuna Level 1 Level 1

    File>Export>Movie to QuickTime Movie > Options > Animation > Frame Rate Current > Millions+ > Quality Best > Prepare for Internet Streaming.

    I import my .mov gif into FCPX and I still see the White Background of the Gif.

    I tried 'keying' it out but it just makes a mess of the animation.

  • ProfLuna Level 1 Level 1

    I did take my exported Gif to .mov and IMPORT to Motion > Export as APR4444 and it did import with a transparent background into FCPX. It was a lot of steps, I'm still looking for something quicker. The animation has a lot of artifacts/noise in it.


  • ProfLuna Level 1 Level 1

    The Problem is still the Exporting the Animated Gif with an Alpha channel. If I put many of my experimental exports into Motion on the versions I exported/extracted with a "Blend" work well in motion but still has a lot of noise/artifacts. Doesn't play as smooth as the original Gif.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10
    Mac OS X

    QuickTime is not seeing the GIF transparency. Not much you can do about it except work around with keying or blend mode. GIF is an Internet video format.

  • ProfLuna Level 1 Level 1

    Gifs are nice to use in a video as a nice illustration in the top right, bottom right to emphasize a point. There are many services that have Gifs readily available to make any point but there are not a lot of services like and they only have limited .mov animated stickmen. So I have to work with what I have available to me. I'm open to suggestions on a work around for this Animated Gif to .mov with Alpha and or services that have already done it for me.

    I'm surprised there isn't a site that you drop your animated Gif in and out comes a .mov with Alpha.


  • Astai Level 1 Level 1

    One solution: it works absolutely no problem on WINDOWS running PREMIERE CS3! You import the gif, drag it straight into the timeline, render. Keeps transparency and animation.


    I was making experimental videos with this technique, now I have upgraded to a MAC with Final Cut and have spent painful hours experimenting with the settings trying to import animated gifs- either they lose their animation or they lose their transparency. There must be a way?!

    (A step-by-step guide would be much appreciated!)

  • fox_m Level 5 Level 5

    No matter what I tried, QT7Pro screwed up the alpha channel. I tried Photoshop... no help. I even tried iWeb (instant alpha wasn't available to animated gifs.)


    I finally pieced together some info and... oddly enough, Preview correctly reads animated gifs.


    You're probably not going to like this method (especially if the gif has several dozen frames or more) but it works:


    Create an empty folder somewhere convenient (desktop)


    rename the gif something really simple/short (for sanity's sake)


    double click on your animated gif -- it should open in Preview [open the sidebar if it's not open] [If it doesn't open in Preview - right click on the gif and open with... Preview]


    One by one: drag the frames in the sidebar directly into the folder you created (Preview will add the # of the frame to the file name + "(dragged).tiff" — it all works out perfectly since Motion reads file names like this as an image sequence and you don't have to Export or Save each frame separately.


    Launch Motion (if you don't have it -- it's only $50 from the app store and you can use it for so much more [I hope you already have it because I hate recommending that anyone ever buy anything "extra" to handle a problem])


    In the File Browser: navigate to your folder and you should see an Image Sequence, example:  "FileName-### (dragged).tiff"


    Drag the image sequence into the canvas


    Resize your project to the size of the gif [click the Project "layer" and in the Inspector > Properties set the width and the height]


    Set the project length to the number of frames *


    Export at Current settings (should always be ProRes 4444)


    It helps to add a Matte Magic filter to the image sequence and burn off a lot of those extra noisy pixels that tend to show up in gifs.


    * You can use the Timing pane in the Inspector to set the speed of the animation and you can also opt to loop the animation in Motion for as long as you need before exporting. These options will figure into your project length calculation.


    I converted this (Realistic-fire-animated-transparent-gif.gif on Photobucket)



    and got the transparency in FCPX:


    (just a still -- it really does animate)

  • Astai Level 1 Level 1

    Hi, thanks...

    I made the folder with the series of tiffs with transparency. Opened Motion, in the file browser I could see the transparency was correct. Dragged it into the viewer- then the transparency was replaced by a solid black background! (And thus exported as such, despite choosing export ProRes 4444). Is there an incorrect import setting I'm using in Motion now? I used the fire gif you posted above as the tiff test sequence.


  • fox_m Level 5 Level 5

    Upon Export, you can generally leave "Current Settings" --- but double check -- so go to the render tab next (see next image)


    Screen Shot 2012-10-14 at 5.30.14 PM.png



    For Transparency, Color + Alpha is absolutely necessary. Premultiply alpha is on be default, but I think it generally makes the alpha layer "ugly" (it leaves "edges" where the alpha starts to blend with the content -- when "premulitplied" -- it is "assuming" a blend with whatever you have set up as your background color for your canvas... typically black.) I generally turn this off ... when I remember to do so.


    Screen Shot 2012-10-14 at 5.30.30 PM.png

    The Summary panel is where you get all the details you need to check the export settings. Notice I have underlined Apple ProRes 4444 (also check the frame size!) Current settings is generally PR4x4 (unless you've changed it for some reason -- the new setting will be remembered with your project.)

    Screen Shot 2012-10-14 at 5.31.25 PM.png


    Make sure the alpha channel is really black in your canvas by going up to the icon to the left of Render and select Transparency (the canvas will change to a checkerboard pattern. You'll be able to make sure the alpha is correct.


    If it's not, select the Image Sequence in the layer panel, and switch to the Media panel. Select it again, and

    Screen Shot 2012-10-14 at 5.32.33 PM.png


    In the Inspector, click on the Media tab there as well. For Alpha Type, try the various setting (except None/Ignore) and see if that corrects the problem.  The Image Sequence made from the gif should have imported with correct alpha without having to go this far.


    Screen Shot 2012-10-14 at 5.32.55 PM.png -



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