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How do you export as image sequence with a transparent background & shadows?

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  • How do you export as image sequence with a transparent background & shadows?

    Alright, so right off the bat I am aware of this post: Transparent Background + Ground Shadows? - SpeedTree Forum

    I tried that but the outcome image ends up having a white background rather than transparent which doesn't solve the export issue (I have provided a screenshot as reference). Tweaking the shadow opacity doesn't solve anything either as that still leaves behind a semitransparent background across the whole image which is undesirable at best. I would have to Color Range out the white in Photoshop for all 600 individual images which IMO is an unnecessary time-consuming process for just 1 animation.

    Maybe there's something that can be done in SpeedTree that wasn't mentioned in that forum post? Also, I am using SpeedTree for Unreal. Don't think the version matters though?

  • #2

    The problem with this is in order to have shadows on the ground, you need a ground. The ground itself isn't transparent. But perhaps we can make this easier in the future somehow. The original thread was close, but maybe could use some clarification.

    The first image is correct - Standard / Opacity with shadows and ground off.

    The second image should be Shadow / Shadow with shadows and ground on. When you load this into Photoshop, the transparency will be reversed from what you want. Choose "Layer / Layer mask / From transparency" to convert the opacity to a mask. Then select the mask in the layers panel and invert it (ctrl-i). THAT should be what you want. Put the first image behind it and merge, and you should be good to go. You could also do this to a plain shadow image, no opacity. You'll just copy the shadow from another channel into the mask and invert like the other method.

    Hope this helps

    the different steps in photoshop showing the opacities:

    Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by Greg Croft; 05-04-2021, 09:49 AM.


    • #3
      Yep, that's definitely what I wanted. Also, it would be a godsend to make all this happen at export, but I am a unique case so I'll just have to figure out a way to speed up the process in Photoshop. Maybe with macros or a plugin.

      Thank you for the assistance though, now I can start with animation.