Video on transparency?

Hi, I’m seeking something that may not exist, any would be feedback appreciated.

We can now layer images with Memory Palace, and most interestingly to me - images on transparency.

I have been wondering for some time, if there is a way to display video on transparency, for example; a talking head on a transparent background. I was hoping this could be done live as well.Is there an actual format or any way to achieve a video on a transparent background that I could mix with other video or send through my video modules?


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Hi @Traviss The first thing that comes to mind is making your background in the video black where you want it to show through, and using the Luma keyer in the Memory Palace. It’ll give you the ability to remove the black from the scene while leaving all higher-brightness pixels, effectively accomplishing what you’re asking.You can also use Chroma keying.

But I’m not sure the Decoder for bringing video into the Memory Palace will handle an alpha channel properly. I think you’d end up with a solid background. If you had a second Decoder, like the two inputs on the TBC2, you could bring in a second, masking file to use as an alpha channel.


isn’t this just ‘greenscreen’???

shoot the subject (talking head) with a green or blue background and then use a keyer to replace the flat (blue or green) background image with whatever you want

visual cortex, vidiot and memory palace have keyers built in

marble index, doorway and cadet 8 are dedicated keyers

also most external video mixers would probably do the job (definitely v4, for example)


I do not have Memory Palace though it could be an option if I needed it. I do have a TBC2 on order, specifically for synchronising my two Visual Cortex’. Maybe with these I could accomplish keying out a black background?
Can keying like this work well, or is it a bit messy / unprofessional looking?


Hi thanks for your input.

A green screen set up would be ideal but I’m thinking more about things that do not need to be filmed. I am planning on getting into an animation program (Toon Boom Harmony), where I could easily animate on a blue background, but I’m more interested in cutting things out of films, like a talking head or a car driving past, not actually filming it myself. It’s a tedious frame by frame cut out process as far as I know, and that’s why I was hoping there was a way to print the video on transparency once that is complete. I guess the best or only option is keying.


What you’re discussing in your reply to Agawell would indeed require some manipulation in a digital processing suite to prepare it for the video synth system. Lynda has an excellent Adobe AE VFX course that teaches multiple methods for generating moving masks. And you’re right about the crux of the issue, saving the transparency data after the treatment. Quicktime MOV and some other codecs/containers are capable of saving an alpha layer, but I’m not sure how that information would be conveyed via a media player into Visual Cortex/Vidiot/TBC2. Maybe the TBC2 will allow opacity channel output via the 1V DC Luma output? Maybe Luma output already serves that purpose in a sense and I’m a total scrub? All very possible.

That’s what has me arriving at the conclusion of a luma or chroma treatment for the background, which you can process for keying inside of the LZX system with any variety of modules. To use the alpha video channel approach, that’s where you’d want the second decoder input with synchronized play of a grayscale mask layer for the main video. That luma data could then be used in various keyers as opacity data.

I’d imagine the quality of your final output will rely on the processing work you do to prepare the masked video file. After that, there are multiple hard and soft keyers available in LZX modules to achieve different looks for your foreground. Visual Cortex is hard-keyer only, which might look a bit jagged or obvious for things like hair on a person’s head. Soft keyers will allow for partial transparency at edges to achieve a more natural look for photorealistic masked objects over a non-original background.


Well at least I know there is not a solution already out there. It is pretty wishful thinking what I am wanting, especially for it to happen in a live sense. Even if I could find a software capable of this it would still introduce a problem conveying that information through a player into the synth.

Keying is definitely the best option I have, thanks for explaining the difference between soft and hard keying I’m not too familiar with it at this point.

Thanks both of you for your input, it’s much appreciated!! : D

The Orion series sampler will focus on being a very versatile tool for compositing and layering, kind of a “video collage” tool is how we’re theming the early concept work.


Sampler, you say?

Well, this sounds promising. (And, by promising, I mean exciting, natch.)

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