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QuickTimePro from particleIllusion

5 Easy Steps to an animation with alpha channel By Ko Maruyama
After creating animations in particleIllusion, you'll probably want to export the movie in a form that can be recognized by other applications. QuickTime is a great file format for anyone working on a Mac. The Animation codec supports an alpha channel, and has pretty good compression.

If you're working in a non-linear editor such as Final Cut, Premiere, or Sony Vegas, you might want to get your particle animation delivered with an alpha channel. Your Mac particle designer can export the movie from particleIllusion in 5 easy steps.

1. Save your Render
Click the little red dot at the top of the application to start the procedure to saving the output.

2. Choose Output
There are different files that you can output to.  Of course, on a Mac, you might want to export to a QuickTime movie with an alpha channel embedded in the file.

3. Set a Target Directory.
Where is this thing going to be saved?  It can be local or shared.

4. Choose Compression Settings.
Granted, there are several different compression types, and you could probably create 100 different steps within this dialogue box easily. But you're on a Mac, so the easiest might be to just choose Animation codec. It can carry an embedded alpha channel if you set the color depth to Millions+. Be sure to push the quality setting to BEST.

5. Last - Output Options setup
This one is the tricky bit. You'll want to be sure that you check the Output Size in this dialogue box. It is set to the size at which you're viewing your project. So if you've changed the zoom value while you were working, your stage has been modified to something that might be larger than you expect as a final movie.

You can also set a range of frames (if you only need to preview a few frames).  particleIllusion is pretty fast when rendering these emitters and their corresponding particle images. You'll see the animation render on screen as soon as you hit "OK".

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
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