While processing my first Game On! video I came across a bit of an issue.  I had rendered a lower 3rd banner in After Effects and wanted to import it as a layer into Sony Vegas which I use to do the final processing of my videos.  The problem was when I imported the video, it usually imported with a black background.

I had done a search for this in Google and surprisingly found very little in ways of importing transparent videos, all I could find was how to import transparent backgrounds (usually involving a PNG file).  I did how ever find one saving grace, one of the youtube videos explained exactly how to do it. Trollshopping published a video entitled Tutorial: How to render transparent clips in After Effects & the tricky ìmport in Sony Vegas

In the comments they state what needs to be done (I reformatted it to make the steps more clear):

In After Effects

  1. Have your Transparency Toogle Grid in transparent mode enabled
  2. Add composition to render queue
  3. Go to lossless-option
    • Go with a format supporting alpha-channels (like AVI)
    • Set RGB to RGB+ALPHA in the channel option!
    • Press OK
  4. Render


Note: The size of the video is going to be quite large and take a while to render as it is rendering both RGB and Alpha at the same time. My export was only a few seconds long but took 5 minutes to render and was over 1GB in size.

In Sony Vegas

  1. Import your clip rendered in After Effects into Vegas like you import every other file
  2. Drop your clip on the timeline. it will not be transparent.
  3. Right Click on it
    • go to Properties
    • Select the Media tab
    • Change the AlphaChannel option from Undefined to PreMultiplied.


Note: Because the file size is very large for your transparency, preview may be jittery and rendering will take a bit longer to process, however the output is amazing.

Hope this helps people find the answer quicker as this does not seem to be a very popular question on the net.


  1. I’d like to say that this post was a life saver. Great job explaining it. I got to the point in vegas where the clip was just black, and this was an easy and simple solution. A+

    • Matthew says:

      Glad it helped you out, as I said I could find almost nothing on it, so if I am able to help others I’m happy.

  2. Kev says:

    I’ve downloaded trials of After Effects and Zaxwerks Flag 3D to make some, well, animated flags for a game!

    So I’ve 30 days to get as many flags as I can animated.

    I haven’t got time to trawl through up to 8 minute videos in the hope it will answer the question required, when all I need is a written solution on t’Interweb that will take me under 30 seconds to read.

    And here is just that solution I required.

    Excellent work Matthew! Why type 3000+ words when the minimum required gets the objective across.


  3. Nemere says:

    Say the truth, I search for this solution for years. I want to edit a ten days Denmark trip and want to use in it a lower thirds, but always stuck in this black backgrond problem. I now here is the answer. Thanks you Matt for this post! I think my wife will be happy now! (And stop saying every month “When it’s done the Denmark video? :-)) Thanks again!

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