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Alpha channel help

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Steve D
Alpha channel help
on Jun 14, 2005 at 4:57:36 am

I'm trying to use a pic with an Alpha channel to mask the the effect. OK, I know how to go into properties of the effect, and choose the mask emitter thing, and all of that, but I can't seem to make a pic work consistantly. I've tried every way I know to make a pic with an Alpha channel, and when the pic saves, it even say's saving with Alpha channel. When I try to import the pic into the -mask emiter area mentioned above (in PI)- I get either no Alpha channel or it loads with out saying "no Alpha channel" but nothing happens. Then, all of a sudden I'll try another pic, and it works!!, and I don't have a clue to what I just did to make it work. Then, the next 10 times I fail.

Sorry this is so long, but it's really driving me nut's.

Is there a standard, simple way to edit a picture, and save it to a .png, .tga or what ever with an Alpha channel that will work in PI? I'm using Paintshop Pro 7.2, Photoshop 5.5, and PhotoImpact 10, I even followed the exploding Frog tutorial step by step, and still can't create a mask that will work.

Thanks
Steve D


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Elvis Deane
Re: Alpha channel help
on Jun 14, 2005 at 4:35:56 pm

This is how it should work in Photoshop. Create a mask around whatever you want to keep solid. In the Channels palette, select Save Mask as Channel, and then save the image as a TIF file.

I use Corel Photo-paint on a daily basis, and the only format that it seems to export alpha channels with is TIF. Even though other formats do support alpha channels, your photo program may not be writing out the alpha with certain image formats.

--
Elvis Deane!
The particleIllusion FAQ
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Steve D
Re: Alpha channel help
on Jun 14, 2005 at 6:35:12 pm

Thanks, that's good information to know. However, I did find out what was causing my particular problem. Out of the hundreds of emitter's that there are to choose from, I chose the few emitter's to experiment with that DON'T respond to the masking effect well.

I discovered this by choosing the robot pic included with PI that was used in the Help section to demonstrate the mask emitter's effect, and it didn't work either! Hmmm, well, long story short, the Blue, Watery, Dreamy emitter effect that I was using, seemed to just float over the image over-riding any definition, making it impossible to see the effect. I switched to a fire emitter, and BAM! most of my pics worked fine. It seems that the masking emitter effect only works well with certain emitters.

Again, thanks for the Photoshop info., that's very helpful to me.

Steve D


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