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Tutorial on how to use alpha channels in photoshop


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#1 whopper

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 05:53 PM

Tutorial on how to use alpha channels in your skins using photoshop

This tutorial is for those who want to get alpha channels in their skins wich can make parts of the skin transparant. This is used by EA in many buildings, trees and the top of banners but also in the hero icons on the bottem of the screen so you don’t get simple squires.

For this tutorial I’ll use a simple texture of a leaf on a black background, on this leaf I want the get the background to be invissible.

1: open the image you want to include an alpha chanel in with fotoshop
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2: go to the tab “channels” in your layer window
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3:If there is not an alpha channel already present you have to make one to press on the button “create new channel”
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4: Ok, now there is an alpha channel present, if you just created it then it will be completely black. The most important thing that you need to know is that white = vissible, black = invissible and between that it is the level of transparency. (closer to white is less transparant closer to black more transparant).
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5: Now what you have to do is to make sure that the parts that you want to show up are white and the parts that you don’t want to show up are black (and the parts that you want transparant are on the right greyscale). I did this by first going back to the layer and then selected the parts that I wanted to show up (using the magic wandtool to get the black part that I wanted to become invissible and then using the right button on the selection and choose the option inverse selection) and then paint my selection white (simply with the paint tool).
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6) Now all you have to do is save it in the right dds format, I always use “DXT3 ARGB (explicit alpha)”, but there might be more formats that work.
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#2 Hostile

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 08:33 PM

Nice addition. I never tried the .dds export alpha. I always just used TGA when using an alpha channel. Good work...

#3 Josuhaz

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 03:20 PM

Does anyone know how to do it in paint shop pro? Ive tried to do it with alpha things too. But it showed up really bad in game. All green red and other weird collors.

#4 EggyDan

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 09:40 PM

Wow this tutorial is pretty handy, but it wouldn't let me export as dds, it came up with an error 'too many channels' so i just use tga. i use photoshop 6 (coz my dad wont give me cs2!) but it doesn't really matter. nice tutorial though!

#5 Thorin

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 09:26 PM

*Noob apologises for bringing back old topic*

Are mip maps needed? I did it in DDS using Paint Shop Pro, got mip maps and alpha shading and that lot. But then in the adding custom images tutorial on the main site, it says the co-ordinates just for tga stuff. So, I changed the DDS image back into tga, but it kept the mip maps. Should it keep them? Do I need them? Do they work in tga?

#6 Celeglin

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 08:15 PM

When opening a DDS, never choose to show Mip Maps... There's no real point in doing so and it just gives you a lot of extra work.

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#7 Thorin

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 08:25 PM

I got it working on Paint Shop Pro, all that alpha shading and channels and mip maps. I checked the textures for the heroes currently ingame, and they've got mip maps. Anyway, I only generate the mip maps when the palantir pictures are complete so I won't be looking at them again (unless I need to do the co-ordinates).

#8 Hostile

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 11:49 PM

Pinned topics can always be revived so NP. Actually happy to see the traffic for such a tutorisl. I need to add this to the site anyway.

#9 |MeMw|Elessar

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 07:59 PM

so how can u export tga as a alpha channel? and how do u open that window up there

Edited by |MeMw|Elessar, 19 February 2006 - 08:05 PM.

w00t the mighty leader TKelly has returned!
Eldarion a blessing to The Hobbit Mod
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#10 Jsmooth13

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 08:04 PM

Actually, we love it when people bring back old topics for two reasons:

1) We can be like, "Yeah, I remember that."
2) It shows that new commers are using the search button instead of posting new topics (Which, BTW, when they do that, really pisses us off.)

#11 Fingulfin

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 11:47 PM

LOVELY tutorial, but it can be ALOT easier for Photoshop CS2 users. Instead of using the magic wand tool or any of that junk, just show all channels, while keeping Alpha Selected. It makes it so you can see what your doing, without any useless hassle :p
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#12 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 10 November 2006 - 10:22 PM

great tutorial, it really helped me and it's really clear to understand, which is suprisingly difficult for most people. so thanks :D

Edited by 2playgames, 11 November 2006 - 04:23 PM.





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