How to export fully colored and rendered animation on Alpha Channel?


I am using Windows for Toon Boom. There is no appleprores4444 or HQ setting. Also, I am missing an alpha channel export option.

I created a quick animation on Toon boom and when I tried to export it with an alpha/transparent background, I ended up with an animation on a black background. How do I export an animation with no background?

Hi Vicky,

It depends on the format you want the animation to be in.

For exemple, I mostly use PNG sequences for this kind of exports. The thing is you have to choose “PNG4” and not “PNG” if you want the alpha channel. I don’t believe that videos can have the alpha channel.

Hello .S_L.

But wouldn’t PNG just export it as photos not as an animated video file? I’m after video file - Unless, you’re telling me to export the animation as a PNG file and composite it in an editing program like after effects to make it into an animation.

You need to export a png sequence from TB. Then take the series of images to your compositing software. That would do the trick.

go to Export select Movie, Movie Options, Setttings, select PNG and select OK, select OK again in Export QuickTime Movie Options to Export a Movie file with Alpha Channel

I most often just export a movie using the Apple ProRes 4444 with Millions of Colors+. This will produce .mov video file that has an alpha channel.

When you go to Export/Movie, then click on Movie Options and then select Apple ProRes 4444. On my system, the Millions of Colors+ is already chosen in the one field when you pick Apple ProRes 4444, which is what you want for the Alpha Channel.

I just took the Vortex particle example from Harmony and rendered out a movie with this option. Just to make sure it works properly, I took it into Apple’s Motion, but any compositing software will do, and brought in this Vortex movie and then put a colored solid background behind it. The Vortex movie plays and the alpha channel is there and there is the colored background, it all works fine.

Unless I am not understanding what you want exactly. Do you just not want the black background but a different color? You can choose a color card, to make the background anything you want to read the character/animation better.


I’m using windows. When I tried to change the export QuickTime Movie option to Movie file with Alpha Channel, it didn’t show up :frowning:

To have the prores 4444 show up in your options you need to own Final Cut Pro, Motion, or Compressor. If you don’t have these you’ll need to export with the animation codec and make sure compressor depth is set to millions of colours+


export as an image sequence selecting png4 as the file type and put it together in video editing software.

There are ways to get the prores codecs without owning the above software but I only know how to do it for Mac, sorry.

Which version of Harmony are you using?

Yes you are right about the ProRes being more difficult to do on Windows. I know some people do fancy command line tricks with ffmpeg or buy some third party software to get the ProRes functionality with their Windows based video editing or compositing software.

On the Mac side $50 will get you Apple’s Motion, so you get the ProRes codecs and a great little motion graphics/compositing application to boot. One of the best purchases I have ever made.

The Animation codec should allow both Mac and PC Harmony users make a video file with an alpha channel. I say should, because for me, it is a bit iffy. Sometimes it does not work out and I end up going back to using ProRes.

And now with Quicktime coming to an end, Toon Boom really needs to find a new solution that allows both platforms to export out movies. I hope this is fixed and that they have a solution for Harmony 13.

Yeah I’ve never gotten a movie to work with the animation codec for some reason. Every time I try to export a movie it’s an unplayable file so I just export image sequences instead.

I’ve never checked out Motion before so thanks for bringing it to my attention scungyho! Unfortunately for us in Oz it’s a bit more pricey at $80 but it definitely looks interesting…

Even at $80 it is still a great deal. I for whatever reason just click more with Motion than I ever did with After Effects. I appreciate all that After Effects can do but Motion is like the little engine that could, it is very under rated and can be very fast in getting things done.

You should check out Simon Ubsdell and Mark Spencer on Youtube for their Motion Tutorials. Mark has comprehensive training on Motion at RippleTraining and I think they still have that 40% off sale still going on until the end of the month.

There is also pretty good 3rd party plugins for Motion as well, MotionVFX makes a lot of the best plugins for Motion.

When it comes to compositing I love Motion for smaller things and when I need to do larger upscale projects I turn to Blackmagic Design’s Fusion.

It is funny, but I am learning more about how to use Harmony’s particle system by following tutorials for Fusion’s particle system. Both use nodes that you have to string together and so that helps wrap my head around Harmony’s particles.

Yes! Particles! That’s exactly what made me go “oooooh” when I looked at Motion. I still haven’t had the time to learn Harmony’s particle capabilities and I thought to myself, hmmm, reckon I could use a shortcut here when I need some effects. I’m all about shortcuts in the middle of a project lol.

What you said reminds me of how I edit in Adobe Premiere but when I need to whack something together quickly with a simple effect I use iMovie. Because iMovie is stripped back and user friendly it’s easy to find what I want. Is Motion similar in that regard?

Anyway, thanks for pointing me in this direction. I’ll definitely be checking out those tutorials :slight_smile:

For me Motion was easier to learn than After Effects but it is different. Simon Ubsdell and Mark Spencer are the two Motion gurus that I follow and eagerly digest every new tutorial they post. I have bought nearly all of Mark Spencer’s Ripple Training Motion material and it is just the best. He just gets right down to it and you have scene files and whatnot to follow along, can’t recommend it enough.

As much as I love using Adobe’s products, there is something to be said for these smaller, quick, nimble programs that let you get stuff done fast, and don’t cost that much. I pay for Adobe CC Photoshop/Lightroom plan and also the Illustrator app, but you want to know something, I have been using Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo more and more. I bought each of them for $40. Some may raise an eyebrow and say you must be high, how can a $40 program compete with Illustrator or Photoshop, check them out and it is hard not to become a fan. And once Serif releases the fully functioning iPad Pro iOS versions I will be using them even more.

To be able to use my Apple Pencil and iPad Pro in Affinity Designer (a vector app like Illustrator) and then stop and continue on later with the Desktop app on my Mac Pro? Or vice versa? To start something on the Mac Pro using Designer and then go out and about and finish it in a coffee shop using the iPad Pro and the Pencil? Heaven! Affinity Photo (an app like Photoshop) for iOS will do the same thing once they release it.

Yes, Photoshop and Illustrator have all of these great features but sometimes a smaller app can get things done faster. What good is all the features of Illustrator when I can’t export all of those cutting edge features and have to export out in old legacy versions? And then still end up cleaning up the work when imported into Harmony?

So, I do support the big boys, like Adobe, but I also support the little guys, like Serif, competition is a good thing and helps keep Adobe on their toes.

Absolutely 100% agree with everything you said. I use the Adobe products because that’s what I started with and know best but I am up for learning anything new especially if it’s easier and more efficient. It’s just finding the time in between projects to sit down and learn, sigh. But you’ve inspired me scungyho and I’m looking forward to this project I’m working on to be over so I can really throw myself into having a play with the software. I’ve never ever heard of Affinity so thankyou! And THANKYOU for being such an active and helpful member in this forum. It’s great to have someone in here so knowledgeable and willing to help out!

you will not see Alpha Channel option, just select PNG and it will render a QuickTime Movie with an Alpha Channel if it has no background, then you can composite a background in premiere or after effects if you use those programs