I just had an idea for the future of graphic formats and styling. About 20 years ago, or so, the RGBa concept was designed to allow an additional channel to define image transparency when layered with other images. This has allowed us to define the transparent form of images regardless of how they're used. But why not take it to the next level? What about a dynamic format where any number of additional 8bit channels could be added to define any number of compositing attributes? For instance, often times it's nice to blur out a background when overlaying a line graphic. What if this could be done without even having the background in the same file? Add a "blur adjustment channel" to the bottom of the image file, and it would blur out whatever background files it sits on top of. And transparency is one thing, but what about transfer modes? Dynamic channels could be used to define inter-file transfer modes. For instance, create a logo frame that produces an "Add" (classic color dodge) transfer mode to whatever background is behind it.
OSs have been doing this kind of stuff for years now (often with garish results), think about the "darken and blur" effect of Windows 7s title bars? If that kind of thing could be designed into a PNG, targa, or tiff file type, think of how useful that could be!
As a video editor, I'm commonly working in situations where graphics are going to be layered on unknown backgrounds. No problem in using After Effects to do this, but if I could build these processes right into the graphics files, it would be really useful.
KTVF-11 Fairbanks, Alaska