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