Best practice for overlaying a video animation

I’ve just discovered Natron, and I’m using it to create some callout animations like the ones in this video.

My question is, what’s the best way to use these in Shotcut? I have a video file that I want to put the callout animation on top of, at a certain part of the video. I’ve exported the file from Natron as an MP4 video with a green background, then I use the Chromakey filter in Shotcut to make this transparent.

Although I’m not new to Shotcut, I’m just getting started doing things like this. Is this the best way to do it? I’ve seen other options like doing it using an image sequence instead. Is there a recommended way to do this? The base video is 4k 60fps, and I have many doubts, like if the video overlay should be the same fps, same size etc. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Check and see if Natron has an export mode available of 4K 60fps Quicktime-with-alpha.

Of course, the file size will be enormous.

Search this Forum for threads discussing how to use input videos with alpha (transparency), generally it must be done using the Timeline, and I believe there are some guidelines which MUST be followed about what is in the track directly beneath.

1 Like

Hi @dhsh

From Natron, you could export your animation as an image sequence.
In the example bellow, I made a simple 50 frames animation and you can see the Render settings I used.

Make sure:

  1. Output Components is set to RGBA
  2. The “#” sign is in your file name. Natron will replace this sign with a number on each image rendered.
  3. Give the PNG extension to your files.

Then hit the Render button. Natron will export 50 PNGs with transparency.

Then launch Shotcut and import the FIRST image of the sequence in the Source pane.
Then go to Properties and tick the Image Sequence box. Shotcut will import all the other PNGs and built a video clip in the Source that you can then drag into the timeline. No need to use the Chroma Key filter.


Thank you so much for the detailed instructions @MusicalBox ! Worked like a charm. (I also didn’t know you could drag from the preview window to the timeline, I thought you had to put media in the playlist first :slight_smile: )

1 Like

You’re welcome. I’m glad it was helpful to you.

You can also do the same when you need to use video files in Natron: Export a video as an image sequence from Shotcut using one of the stills Export presets (the stills > PNG preset is the one I prefer) and import the sequence in Natron.

Some applications will work better if you provide them with an image sequence. Natron analyses individual frames. If you supplied it with a video, whilst it might be smaller, interlacing or compression effects makes it harder to process than a series of individual images.

To import an image sequence in Natron:

  1. Create a Read node
  2. Specify you want to open a Sequence
  3. Locate and select the folder where the images are.
  4. Select the image sequence
  5. Click Open

1 Like

Cool :slight_smile: Although there seems to be some overlap between Natron and Shotcut in terms of functionality, I’m beginning to learn which one I want to use depending on what I’m doing, and how to use them together. I’m using Shotcut for the main edit, and Natron for overlay animations. So far all is going very well! Thank you again for your help!


This topic was automatically closed after 90 days. New replies are no longer allowed.