Using Transparent Animated GIFs in VDMX

VDMX will play animated GIFs, but won’t render transparency in a GIF. If you want to use transparent GIFs in your setup, you need to convert them into a video file with an alpha channel.

For this tutorial you will need:

  • VDMX
  • Apple Motion

Find a GIF with transparency

giphy

Maybe a dog from giphy.com

Giphy Dog

Split the GIF into its frames

You can do that exporting each frame manually in Photoshop, or labeling each layer with a file extension and exporting it using a tool like Slicy. Or you can go all Internet and use EZGIF’s Online Splitter Tool.

EZGIF Splitter

Once uploaded, hit “Split It”

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Then “Download frames as ZIP”

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Import the frames into Apple Motion

Extract the files from the ZIP archive, select them all and drag them onto the canvas in Motion.

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motion

Motion has imported them as a grouped object that can be moved and resized easily.

Resize it to your needs

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Adjust the Play Range

Make sure to adjust the play range to the length of the GIF.

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Export to ProRes 4444

Export as a movie (CMD+E) and select “Apple ProRes 4444” as the output format.

Selet “Use play range” under “Duration”

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Make sure that “Color: Color + Alpha” is selected under the “Render” tab.

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Continue the process and export the video.

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Convert to Hap Alpha

Open VVBatchExporter.

VVBatchExporter

  1. Import the video.
  2. If you don’t have a Hap Alpha preset, yet, select “QuickTIme Movie” as the output format and click “Settings”. 
  3. Click “Settings” again
  4. Choose “Hap Alpha” as the Compression Type and click ok on all dialogs.

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To create the preset click “New from settings” and name it “Hap Alpha”

Select the “Hap Alpha” setting under output format.

Configure any other aspects to your needs and click “Export!”

Use Converted Video in VDMX

transparent animated gif in vdmx from Tobias Treppmann on Vimeo.

Happy GIFing!