View Full Version : FRUSTRATED with alpha channels

The Raitenks
11-21-2003, 07:04 PM
it's not like i wouldn't have read through every damn tutorial mr.google showed me, but i can't seem to get alpha channels to work in order to make shaders not affect the entire image.

i don't know what i'm doing wrong:
i select all the metal parts in my skinmap, go to the channels menu, select "save selection as channel" name it alpha 1 or somethin, and then? the rest of them image is white, my selection is black and wehn i open up the image again, nothing has changed. but in images using an alpha channel, the certain spots are a bit more transparent then the others.

i thought i were a good, experienced skinner, but i#m really stuck with that, and it's kinda embarassing.

please, someone help me!

-kudos, rai

11-22-2003, 06:09 PM
What software are you using? :confused:

11-22-2003, 08:03 PM
nothing will be visibly different with your image when editing it in an image editing program such as photoshop. it is a channel and not a layer. if you go to channels and select all your color channels as well as your alpha channel, the channel will show up similar to the way a quick mask would show up (in Photoshop).

so your alpha channle is there. it is NOT supposed to look any different in the image you are editing. that is because the areas you select as part of your alpha channel retain their textures through color changes. if they were completely transparent, you would just have blocks of complete color. semi-transparency is not something you can see, (unless you have all your channels selected and then it will appear as a quick mask) but it is there.

people who are viewing alpha channels as completely transparent blocks do not have the proper .png plug-in.

so you should be fine.

The Raitenks
11-22-2003, 08:54 PM
yeah, but it doesn't work ingame, too. it's just a bit brighter.

so can you tell me exactly, for dummies, how to turn a selection on an image into an alpha channel and save it, so that the shader will on affect the stuff i selected.

i#m using photoshop 7.0 and it's a .tga image

11-22-2003, 10:07 PM
are you saving the file as a .png when you're saving? i think .png is the only file format that supports alpha transparencies.

the other thing is, any area you have selected as an alpha channel needs to be a very light color. if you notice all the .png's included with the game use alpha channels over white, or very light gray areas of the image. this is to allow the most amount of color show through.

as far as actually creating an alpha channel, open your image, go to the channels tab on your layer navigation floater, select add new channel(which will be a small icon near the usual delete(trash can) icon), title it Alpha 1(as that is what it is titled in the .png's from the game....other names could work, but let's go with what we know works). now the easiest way to visibly edit your alpha channel, is to make all your channels visible. then erase the red area(looks and works just like the quick mask) from whatever you want to be your semi-transparent area.

then save as a .png, and make sure there is a check in the box beside alpha channels in your save options.

that's about it.

but as stated before, the lighter the area you have selected as your alpha channel is, the more you will be able to notice the color changing.

one other thing, have you downloaded the plug-in for photoshop that allows Photoshop to handle .png's correctly? if not, it is located here:


11-22-2003, 10:42 PM
one other thing.

once you select to save as a .png with alpha channels checked in your save options, you'll get another options dialogue. one option will be interlace. for that select None.

your second option will be filter. for that select Paeth.

The Raitenks
11-30-2003, 05:03 PM
thanks bro, i'll try that

11-30-2003, 05:43 PM
Failing all that...and because it's easier for me, speak to me on ICQ and I'll help.

11-30-2003, 06:11 PM
normally it helps to speak in complete sentences, or at least coherent ones, when you want someone to know what your post is referring to. so "Failing all that...." means what?

11-30-2003, 06:43 PM
Failing in the dictionary (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=failing)
Google search of the phrase "failing all that" being commonly used (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22failing+all+that%22)

"Failing all that" means "If all the above information fails to help you", failing being a valid word in the english language (above link).

The Raitenks has me on ICQ as we're speaking about Final Fantasy 8 so he can speak to me about this problem too as I can probably help him, 'cause that's what I do on these forums, Gaming Forums, Map-Center, Raven Forums and others, I help people with their mapping/modding problems.

11-30-2003, 11:14 PM
the point being made, was that the phrase itself had no object. i never said use real words with real defintions. i said use complete sentences and coherent thoughts.

had you said, "if everything discussed for fixing this problem hasn't worked for you, feel free to im me, as it is easier to chat that way than on this forum." , then everyone who was reading this thread would have known what you meant without having to hypothesize as to what you meant in your vague three word reply.

i completely undertsood the im part, i just wanted to know what you meant by "failing all that" because if it had not worked for you, i was wondering why, when it has worked fine for me, and thought maybe there might be something i could help you with.

but since i had no clue what failing all that referred to, i had no way of knowing how to reply. if you're dead set on using as few words as possible, try "If that didn't work" or "if none of this has helped"

The Raitenks
12-02-2003, 01:09 PM
it's alrite folks, stop fightin :o

12-04-2003, 08:03 AM
I suggest you get the patches for .tga and .png plugins for Photoshop 7.0. The way the default plugins handle alpha channels is simply terrible.