This might sound like a fairly uneducated question, but I'm asking the question because I'm uneducated. My uncle works in the visual effects industry, and he told me that Avid makes a video codec that has great quality and can even render with an alpha channel. Does this codec exist (I haven't been able to find it)? If so, how can I install it on a Linux Mint machine for use in Blender? Thanks!


The later era Avid format is DNxHD, with the more recent DNxHR.

FFMPEG is capable of decoding DNxHD. If using proper libraries, Blender would import DNxHD as an 8 bit per channel image, likely sub-optimal. Blender relies on swscale from FFMPEG to convert the (typically) YCbCr planes to RGB, at 8 bits per channel.

DNxHD is not a reliable format for visual effects, nor is any codec for that matter.

  • $\begingroup$ Once the DNxHD codec is installed on your system, (i don't know if it there are a any linux versions) you can decode images stored in that format and use them directly in blender. I don't think you can write images out though. Using FFMPEG you should have no trouble encoding an image sequence into DNxHD $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Mar 25 '16 at 2:19
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, sounds good. Thanks for the answer! Do you know of any other video format that can carry an alpha channel? I understand that this can be accomplished with .png image sequences, but I'm just curious. $\endgroup$ Mar 25 '16 at 3:24
  • $\begingroup$ No. QuickTime on OSX permitted a variant, but it is wiser to use a still image format for inter-pipeline work, in particular EXR. Remember that PNG is a janky format due to alpha storage and the nature of this quantization. $\endgroup$
    – troy_s
    Mar 25 '16 at 3:57

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