Tutorial: How to export a video with transparency

In this video I explain how you can export a video that will keep it’s transparent parts when you use it in other projects. You’ll also learn how to remove the green background from a video and export it with transparency.

One of the advantages of exporting with transparency in .mov format is that it avoids the possible problems caused by using a MLT of size X in a project of size Y

Another reason someone might want to export as a .mov is it makes it possible to share your animations with people that use other video editors.

I hope this will be useful to some of you.

Sorry again for using an artificial voice for the voice-over. I tried the newly available US English voice this time.


Tutoriel très utile et bien fait.
Merci @MusicalBox
Elle est très bien cette voix off, peut-être un peu trop rapide pour moi, mais c’est certainement du à mon très mauvais niveau linguistique.
Où l’avez-vous trouvée?

Very useful and well done tutorial.
Thanks @MusicalBox
This voice over is very good, maybe a little too fast for me, but it’s certainly due to my very bad linguistic level.
Where did you find it?

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Merci Namna !


Thank you for this practical tutorial.:blush:

In relation to this, I used a different strategy to get a transparent video which I was then able to incorporate into Shotcut again.

I recently tested WebM VP8 and WebM VP9 (with alpha channel) export.
I didn’t need to add a green color track for the chroma key because I only exported a video track with audio-only and the audio spectrum display filter. With this, I got a video with a transparent area without the need for a chroma key.

That’s how I managed to finish my project

Thanks for the comment @ejmillan :slight_smile:

I tested it also. The exported files are smaller, but took like 3 times longer to export than .mov
Strange. And I think it didn’t work well when there were more than one track in the project.

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I had several tracks in the project, but I hid them all and only exported the video track where I had the audio (it was mandatory to place the audio on a video track to use the audio spectrum display video filter).
I didn’t try Quicktime, so I don’t know if the export duration is much longer. I chose WebM VP9 to try embedding in the forum and observe if that transparency was maintained or if it was replaced by an opaque background (white or black).
And as you see in the post I linked, there is a short clip with the white audio spectrum shape and the rest is transparent.

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Nicely done @MusicalBox

Must say, that generated voice ain’t bad and quite liked your synth intro.
All in all, I thought it was nicely narrated and the pace was good.

Well done.

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I use the Balabolka app for machine reading/recording. Here is an example with 2 female voices, one with a “British” accent, one with an “American” one (taking the text for “Voicebooking” as an example…

I also tried Balabolka. However, as I suck at narration, I chose to make videos without voice, hahaha. :sweat_smile:

If there is not too much narration, you can always type it and get Balabolka to read out loud what you typed.

I thought the artificial voice sounded quite good! Nice find.

This video taught me about the Alpha Adjust filter instead of using the Key Spill filters. Much simpler to clean up edges.

@Hudson555x clued me into the technique of adding Chroma Key and Alpha Adjust filters to the Output track of the project. This way, if the Alpha Adjust value is ever something other than 50 for a perfect key, I don’t have to memorize that value if I come back to the project to make edits. The value is now saved with the project. Works great for a lower-third template where I want to change text, hit export, and be done. No memorizing values or filter orders or Copy Timeline to Source.

VP8/VP9 save video in yuva420p mode, which means the color plane is a quarter of actual resolution due to chroma subsampling. It may be difficult to get super-clean edges and keys due to this reduction. QuickTime Animation and Ut Video operate in RGBA mode, which is a larger file, but retains full color information for flawless edges. They will also be way faster to export because the compression scheme is much simpler.


Yes, I know.
I remembered that even in my native language I am not good at narrating. My scripts are pathetic. I watch a lot of videos on YT speaking naturally, they don’t even look like they need something like a Teleprompter.
I started a tutorial some time ago and the main stumbling block was my voice, and the continuous voice recordings that slowed down all the work. I even asked my son to speak something explaining what was on the video and without rehearsing he did much better than me.
At that moment I decided to dedicate myself to something else, hahaha.

One more thing I learned today.
Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of different formats is good for choosing among so many options.

Sorry to say, but the Balabolka voices sound awful.
Too raspy and synthetic.

The one from “Voicebooking” is much more pleasant and more natural sounding.

If you have a Mac, the standard built in TTS voices ain’t bad.

MacVoices.mp3.zip (228.8 KB)

Awesome tutorial, nice job @MusicalBox !

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Free Text-To-Speech and Text-to-MP3 for US English

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Thank you @UbitronicsUK. Glad you liked it. Also glad to see a comment about the actual tutorial :grin:

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Was there a tutorial?
We stole your starring role, hahaha.
Now you’re just the guest star of the show. :grin:

@ejmillan I’m the one to blame, I started it by mentioning the voice-over in my post :slight_smile:


You’ll be left with the lead role. Better pay, more screen share, fans will love you, etc.

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