AnimationMaker 2: Techniques for Making a Transparent Background

As I mentioned in the first post, about this simple but magnificent application, one of its shortcomings is that they have no possibility of work and export with a Transparent background, which is called the alpha channel. If we have read the aforementioned entry, we should already know the basics and fundamentals of the application and how to make animations on a background (to decorate our videos) or make our animated images in gif format.

Now in this post we will see how to make what could be a video header, where the background of the texts is not a solid color, but a video clip.

It is true that we can do the same with the title assistant that video editors usually bring, but sometimes, as is the case with kdenlive, for example, its title assistant is very bad for making animated texts (we must do them with transformation and layer-based effects, that is, overlapping tracks). And this is where Animation Maker wins by a landslide, since in a simple way it allows us to animate each element that we insert in a personalized way. So, when it comes to making fixed texts, or with the same animation, it doesn’t make much sense use Animation Maker and yes the own assistant for titles of the video editor. But when we want to make a more complex and diverse animation is where Animation Maker will facilitate the production, giving us the possibility of making magnificent productions.

I anticipate that in this tutorial, more than explaining how to make a complex animation, I will explain how to make a project to insert over a video in our favorite editor. And I think I have already done a very extensive introduction to how simple this tutorial is going to be.

Luma or Croma?

To make a project to go over a background video, we have two options, offered by video editors, to convert a solid color background to transparent. These options are Luma and Croma.

Luma It consists of a project on a black or white background. Color that we will eliminate with the luma key effect of our favorite video editor.

Chroma consists of using a background color, usually a pure color, green, or blue. The most important thing about choosing this background color is that it be a color that we do not use in the project. This color is removed with the chroma effects of the video editor.

Important considerations

When we work in this way to get a transparent background, we must avoid using fades or gradients through opacity. Let me explain: it is not convenient to use elements that fade in or out through opacity. Although playing with the settings of the chroma and luma effects we can make these gradients or opacity entries look “good” (in quotation marks), if they are fast, it is better not to use them, because the result may not be as desired. It is the only downside to this way of working. So I recommend only using solid objects and avoiding fades, gradients and long inputs or outputs due to opacity.

When we use the opacity from its minimum value (0%) to its maximum value (100%) in a single frame, what we get is not a gradient, but rather it is like a switch that makes the object appear suddenly. In this case we can use opacity since it is a good way to make an object appear in the screen frame.

Chroma Technique

I am going to make an example with the chroma technique. In other words, a background color that I am going to remove later. I omit the animation, since in the introduction about this application I already explained the basics to make the animations.

Our video will be a FullHD 1080, so I prepare the basic scene of our project with this resolution, at 25 frames per second (FPS) and in this case I will use the pure green background color. The hex code for this color is # 00ff00. That is, 0 for red, maximum level for green and 0 for blue. In fact in RGB your code is, R = 0, G = 255, B = 0.


With these simple adjustments we already have the base of the project in which it will be very easy to eliminate the background color.

The only requirement for this technique is that the background color cannot be used for other elements of the project. If we need to use green elements, we must use another background color, such as blue. If we need to use green and blue then we will use a color that is neither of these two. We can also make a combination and go exporting by clips changing the background color, to later eliminate each background color in a video editor.

Below we see a sample of the simple animation that I have made on the pure green color, which we will later eliminate in a video editor of our preference. As I have indicated above I have not used any gradients.


Once we have our animation finished we export it as a video. Next we insert it in a track above the clip that will be its background and we apply the alpha color removal effect to remove the green background. I have used Olive Video Editor to make this simple example montage, which consists of two tracks, the background video and the clip with the animation that we have made in Animation Maker on a top track. Below we can see the settings for the Chroma Key effect of Olive Video Editor, which today is my favorite video editor.


See the video resulting from this example in which the green background has been removed and a clip on which the animation appears has been inserted.

Luma Technique

It is exactly the same only that the background color will be black. In fact I am going to use the same animation that I have used before, but to which I have changed the background color. But this time instead of using the Chroma Key effect we use the Luma Key. In this specific case we cannot use black elements. When using the same animation as before, but with a black background, what happens is that the shadow of the initials AM, which comes out at the end, disappears, because it is black. So in this case the use of the green background color and the Chroma Key effect would be more appropriate.


Luma Key effect parameters


Y the result, we can see it in this link, It is the same as the previous one, but if we look closely between the chroma version and this one, we will see that the shadow of the initials, AM, in this version has disappeared because it is black.

Detail of the frame where the initials are seen. The first corresponds to the montage using the green background and the Chroma effect to eliminate it, and the second one uses the black background color and the Luma effect to eliminate it.

04 chroma.png

05 luma.png

In the Luma version I forgot to put the texts in italics, but what I really want it to be seen is that in this case if we use the luma technique we lose the shadow of the initials of the logo.


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