Beginning in Switcher Studio 5.6 you now have access to videos with alpha channels limited to those saved using the HEVC codec.
Not all videos with alpha channels will display properly in Switcher Studio, and currently this process is only available on Macs running High Sierra or later. While there is a HEVC codec available for PC it does not retain the necessary alpha channel information after compressing the video.
HEVC with alpha is a great way to use custom branded animations to elevate your videos and livestreams.
Note: Creating HEVC supported video files does require advanced knowledge. Please be cautious if you are paying someone to create these files for you, as there are very specific requirements and limited support.
Creating a Supported File
Switcher Studio does not support all transparent videos or videos with alpha. While we cannot troubleshoot creating animations, this workflow has proven successful for our team.
Creating the Animation
You will need to have a video file containing an alpha channel to begin this process. We will not be going over the steps necessary to create these animations but they can be created with programs like Adobe After Effects, Apple Motion, and Fusion.
Transferring the file to a Mac
You can use any method applicable to transfer your video file to the Mac for conversion. Email, AirDrop, Google Drive and Drop Box are all verified transfer methods, but anything will work so long as the file ends up on the hard drive of the Mac that will be converting it.
The Mac needs to be running High Sierra or later in order to convert your video file with alpha to HEVC. Be sure to check for the latest updates to ensure you computer is compatible.
Open the Video File in QuickTime Player
Double-click on the video file once it is on your Mac to open it in QuickTime Player. If this method does not open the desired program, search for "QuickTime Player" in the top right-hand portion of your screen to load the application.
From there, you can navigate to "File" at the top of the window and click on it. Then choose "Open File" from the drop down menu. Find your file and double-click to open.
Now, with your file open, navigate back to the File menu and choose "Export As" and choose 1080p. Make sure to rename your file as needed so you can distinguish it from the original. You will also need to select "Smaller file size (HEVC)" from the drop down menu at the bottom of the dialogue box and check "Preserve Alpha" before clicking "Save".
Importing the Converted File into Switcher Studio
We recommend using AirDrop to transfer the file from your Mac to the iOS device running Switcher Studio. Search for AirDrop, wait for your device to show up in the box and then drag and drop your converted file onto the desired device.
Your file should open up in photos on your device and play. If you file does not automatically play in photos you may need to recheck your original file and make sure there were no issues in the creation or conversion to HEVC process.
Once you have confirmed the file is on the device, import it into Switcher Studio as follows:
Tap the blue + button.
Tap Photo Library (if you used Airdrop, otherwise, select the location of the file).
Tap the file you want to import.
Removing the Background from the Video in Switcher Studio
Once the file is in the Sources/Production panel, you will need to remove the background.
Tap and hold the thumbnail in the Sources/Production Panel. This is also known as a "long press."
In the Video Properties menu, next to Layering, choose Overlay.
Your video will shrink when you switch to "Overlay", so make sure you resize i appropriately and position it where you want it.
If the animation was designed to be exactly where you need it you can press the midd icon in the "Framing" section to reset the size and position.
If your animation has immediate movement when triggered, you will need to change the Transition Duration from 1.0 second to 0.0 by rolling the dial counter-clockwise one full rotation.
The final step is to choose a live source, picture or video as your background and test your video out by triggering it the same way you would any asset or source.
Remember to tap your video again after it is finished to release it.
HEVC is still in its infancy and will continue to grow over time. As such, there are a few extra steps to take when implementing this file type into your videos and livestreams. Switcher Studio is able to offer limited support regarding HEVC and cannot create animations for you.