What I am basically trying to do is use the transporter effect to transport me out on a video I have. The only problem is that I need to shape the effect in the exact shape as my body. I understand this was done with alpha channels and I have tried everything in photoshop to get it to work, I have made the alpha channels and saved them as PNG or TGA and when I goto area emitters and choose an image and then select the image the effect just dissapears and doesnt work until I take the image off. Does anyone have any idea what I am doing wrong, I really want to get this working. Thanks in advance
Is it possible your alpha channel wasn't saved out of Photoshop properly? I know that with TIFs in Photoshop, there are two places you have to check a box to export the alpha, the Save options in the Save As dialogue box, and in the Tiff Options box. I don't have Photoshop here, so I can't say for sure if the same is true for PNGs or TGAs.
The other thing you can try in pI is to load the image with the alpha as your Background image, and turn Get Transparency from Layer on in your emitter's color options. It won't give you exactly the same effect as Area Emitter Masks, but it should at least let you know if your alpha channel is loading up.
With Area Emitter Masks, you should always make sure that the emitter is in the exact center of the stage. Since the image is loaded into the emitter, it gets tied to the position of the emitter. This might not explain your problem, but it's possible that if the center of your emitter is too close to the edge of the screen, your particles are appearing off screen somewhere.
Whenever I have a question about what the alpha channel looks like in pIllusion, I'll load the image on a layer, then turn on transparency for that layer. Then I'll select a crazy background color and see if the alpha channel is what I expected.