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I originally saved as a tiff but I couldn't find an option for transparency. What are the best file types to save as to maintain high quality and have transparency.

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  • $\begingroup$ PNG files are very high quality, support an Alpha channel, and do not lose quality after editing (like JPG) $\endgroup$ – VRM Jan 14 '15 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks NoviceInDisguise! Are they as high quality as a tiff/targa? $\endgroup$ – Animatoring Jan 14 '15 at 15:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Animatoring Higher $\endgroup$ – Scalia Jan 14 '15 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ Looks like that is the best option then. Thanks! : ) $\endgroup$ – Animatoring Jan 14 '15 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ Go to Render > Film and check Transparent $\endgroup$ – VRM Jan 14 '15 at 16:01
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I would personally recommend the .PNG file over TIFF or TGA. Here is why:

Max Colors:

  • PNG supports 256T (48 bit)
  • TIFF supports 16M (24 bit)
  • TGA supports 16M (24 bit)

PNG files support more colors per file, resulting in higher quality files.

Transparency:

  • PNG supports single color/Alpha methods
  • TIFF supports none
  • TGA supports none

The only major downsize is the resolution cap.

Max Pixels:

  • PNG 2Gx2G
  • TIFF 4Gx4G
  • TGA 32Kx32K

If you need more than one quintillion pixels (a 1 with 18 zeros behind it), then the TIFF file might be your best bet, otherwise, go with a PNG file. I also find it easier to work with a PNG file (more programs support it).

For more information visit this chart, this discussion and also this discussion.

Another viable high-quality file type would be the openEXR type, a good solution for production.


Important: Also make sure you have transparency enabled in your render settings as well, as no file type will export from Blender with a transparent value unless it is enabled.

enter image description here

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PNG TGA TIFF openEXR and JPEG 2000 are the image formats that blender can render to that support transparency.

Here they all are in order from best to worst.

PNG

  • Universal support
  • 4 channels
  • Only sRGB color space
  • 8 or 16 bits per channel
  • small file size, with little compression to image quality.

openEXR

  • Good support among 3D, image editors, compositors, and editor programs.
  • Multi channeled, can store an unlimited number of channels.
  • Any color space
  • up to 32 bits per channel
  • Large file size, variable amount of compression.

TIFF

  • Very good support among 3D, image editors, compositors, and editor programs.
  • Multi channeled, can store an unlimited number of channels.
  • Many color spaces Grayscale, RGB, CMYK, CIE Lab*, YCbCr
  • up to 16 bits per channel
  • Variable file size, variable amount of compression.
  • Older, openEXR has become the mainstream replacement of TIFF.

TGA

  • Very good support (because it is old)
  • 4 channels
  • sRGB
  • only 8 bits per channel
  • Large file size, variable amount of compression.
  • Older, openEXR has become the mainstream replacement of TGA.

JPEG 2000

  • Very good support
  • 4 channels
  • sRGB
  • up to 32 bits per channel
  • very small file size, however with compression to image quality.
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