Transparent gif background

I’ve been beating my head against a wall and can’t find the solution anywhere…How do I make a gif have a transparent background?

There’s an export as gif option, but it turns the transparent background into black.

please help!


I got the same problem, while I tried to see his problem.

This is not supported and GIF is antiquated with only a 1 bit transparency mask. A more modern solution is to use VP9 with an 8-bit alpha channel.

Export the gif.

Use the online gif editor Ezgif to make the background transparent.

Alien Head


Alien Head Transparent


If project requirements allow, Animated PNG is a good alternative. Compared to GIF, it can sometimes produce smaller file sizes along with color and transparency depth up to 24-bit.

Browser support for APNG is documented here:

To export as APNG, go to the Export panel and click the Advanced button. Then:

  1. Uncheck “Use hardware encoder”

  2. Change “Format” to apng

  3. Video tab: nothing special is needed for APNG; use your normal settings

  4. Codec tab: change “Codec” to apng. The other settings on this tab don’t matter.

  5. Audio tab: check “Disable audio”

  6. Other tab: remove all contents then add this line: pix_fmt=rgba

  7. Export and give the filename a .apng extension

Also on the “Other” tab, a line can be added for plays=10 to make the APNG loop 10 times. plays=0 causes infinite looping. The default is plays=1.

Remember that for transparency to work in Shotcut, all material must be on a single track. Multiple tracks will eliminate the transparency information and it’s back to the same boat we’re in today with GIF (transparency replaced with a black background).

Animated PNG has really grown in browser support in the last few years. I’m willing to create an Animated PNG export preset if there is interest.


Works very well with OBS.
Excellent tutorial, ty @Austin! :+1:

Screen recording of use within OBS as a media source.

1080x1080 apng image (zipped because forum software doesn’t allow for this extension) (2.5 MB)


Personally, I export the frame and do it on Photoshop, but save it as a PNG.

GIFs are highly compressed, which is considered “Lossy” and are not good for high-quality videos. These are good for meme videos.

PNG supports lossless compression, so you retain more of the information

We assume the OP is making a GIF animation rather than a still image. Otherwise, the entire workflow could have been done in Photoshop or GIMP with no need of Shotcut. I haven’t seriously looked at Photoshop since 2018, and back then it didn’t support APNG without a third-party extension. Does Photoshop have native APNG export now?

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Not without a plug in

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Thanks for checking.

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Using Photoshop’s “animated panel” you can save the images as a sequence of PNG files then use a tool like:


Animated PNG files are excellent for high-quality animation. Unfortunately SC 21.02 does not support the media. Animated PNG media is unseekable and will need to be converted. When converted, the transparency is lost.

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You actually don’t need to create an APNG. Just save yourself the trouble and keep them as individual images then load them into Shotcut as a sequence. Shotcut will do the animation for you.

Though not ideal, with multiple tracks, Chroma Key: Simple (Black) on Output allows the use of multiple tracks, as long as you don’t need black as a color.

Using the apng with OBS Studio as a Media Source.


Agreed, but I would think the intended target of usage is with other applications like OBS; not to be used with Shotcut after export. Referring to APNG.

The OP’s goal is to export a project as a single animated image (GIF or possibly APNG) for use on a web site or e-mail footer or OBS overlay or whatever. This is not about how to get source material into Shotcut.

True. Hopefully that won’t affect most users. I kinda saw GIF or APNG as a one-way end product to be used elsewhere, not as an intermediate file to be brought back into Shotcut. If somebody has an APNG source that they want to edit further, it could be converted to FFVHuff format with ffmpeg command line to preserve the transparency then brought into Shotcut.

Interesting. Is this new functionality? I don’t remember this working before.

EDIT: Ooooooooooh, Chroma on the Output rather than individual tracks. Clever!

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Not sure how old or new it is.
I used it in this tutorial for nesting MLT’s with multiple tracks.

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