… for Codecs & Media

Tip #884: Include Transparency in HEVC Video

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

HEVC supports transparency, if you know how to create it.

Be sure to check Preserve Transparency when creating an HEVC movie.

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Dan D. found a way to make much smaller files with alpha channels using the HEVC codec. This is a process that Apple introduced just  last year, and it’s only supported on devices running iOS 13, tvOS 13, or macOS Catalina; or later.

The can be used for any video created in any Mac application that includes transparency. Here’s how:

  • Go to System Preferences > Keyboard. Click the Services category on the left, then enable Encode Selected Video Files on the right.
  • From any video application, export a project that contains transparency directly using the ProRes 4444 codec.
  • In the Finder, right-click the resulting .mov and select Services > Encode Selected Video Files.
  • Wait a few seconds for the next menu in the screen shot to appear.
  • Choose HEVC from the menu and pick the frame size that matches your project. Click the check box that says Preserve Transparency.

The resulting movie will be much smaller and retain the transparency information. This technique will work for any video that contains transparency, but requires macOS Catalina or later.

Here’s a tutorial from my website that describes this in more detail.


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