Is there a way to make the viewport reflect an animated alpha of a texture (not material)?

  • I create a texture with Z-transaprency and Alpha set to 0.
  • I create a png texture that has transaprent parts and apply it.
  • I then animate the texture influence on "Color" and "Alpha".
  • Everything renders fine viewport - but only when I change values.

Scrubbing the timeline does not display the fade-out animation, which renders fine in the final output.

  • $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of How do I make a transparent material display in the 3D view? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 15:17
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of Material Opacity in viewport? $\endgroup$
    – Shady Puck
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 15:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately neither is a duplicate. My problem is the animated display of a transparent texture. I'm doing motion graphics and try to see a fade-out in the 3D viewport. $\endgroup$
    – mray
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ As far as I know Blender has limited to no support at all for animated textures in the viewport. GLSL/Blender Internal textures can be animated only for 'offline' output In the viewport they are optimized for speed and hence loose any aut-updating capabilities $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 29, 2016 at 3:24

1 Answer 1


I use OpenGL constantly unless Forced to do otherwise. I've also used it to fade out alpha layered texture pretty much as per your question, albeit with a 'mirror' or two. You may have already done this, but others may find this useful.

enter image description here

The method is always to animate everything in the 3D window but place the textured model to be faded out in it's own layer. This allows precise placement/scaling etc. Objects that will conceal the fading object when it moves behind can be either duplicated in the extra layer, or masks setup to conceal it.

The cloud in this case is our fading object.

Once set up and animating properly, switch off the extra (cloud) layer and render the rest.

We render the cloud's layer next, only output that to alpha layered PNG files, and INTO A SEPERATE FOLDER! Ensure you are indeed rendering with an alpha layer. (transparency) At near top left of the 3D window is the "Render" drop-down. "Render OpenGL image" most often gives you what's going to end up on the video.

Reset your output to it's final rendering folder, file type etc, and ensure the "Post output " is set to "Sequencer".

Go to the Video Editor and bring in the main video render onto the lower strip, the Alpha layered PNG files (as an image) onto one above it, and set the upper strip to "Alpha Over"

All that remains is to set keyframes on the upper strip to fade it in and out at the appropriate frame numbers.

Render that. All of the renders only takes seconds, including the final one which of course must be from Blender's internal Renderer.

Hope this solves your problem...

PS: It's also possible to mix the PNG video strip with a "Scene" strip and get the same result. Unfortunately that has given me some grief in the past so I prefer to use two video strips.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer, but it looks like you don't actually solve the problem. You seem to be applying the transparency manually via rendered animations. I want the viewport to do the "work" for me, since I rely on getting feedback on animating things directly. $\endgroup$
    – mray
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 1:05
  • $\begingroup$ That's an odd one Mr Zak. To date I've not had any problems storing alpha animations in PNG format. I simply zip them to a single file if I want to use them again, or re-render them from the archived Blender file. - interesting to read your comment. $\endgroup$
    – Edgel3D
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 21:42

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