Alpha Channels


PS Specific

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Easy Alpha Channels

If you've been confused about how to make Alpha Channels for Second Life using Photoshop, hopefully this 4 minute video will clear it up.

The process is simple, and takes just a few steps, working from an image with transparency in PS.

Watch the movie to find out a very easy way to do it! You can download the movie here, if you have a hard time watching it on line.

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All you need to do is make your file, with the layers showing whatever opacity you want.

Then select the top layer, hold down Shift Option Command on a Mac (Shift alt ctrl on a PC) and tap the E key. That makes a composite above the selected layer. (Note: for Photoshop 7 and lower, you'll need to make a new layer first, to hold the Composite. PS CS and above do that step for you.)

Then just go to Select > Save Selection, make sure that you only have a single Alpha (if you already have one, Replace the one that's there,) and you've just made a perfect Alpha Channel.

Finally, to totally eliminate the white halo in SL™ duplicate the Composite (hold down the Option key (alt on a PC) and drag the layer down to duplicate it below the original Composite.)

Then run any of the Solidify filters from Flaming Pear by going to Filter > Flaming Pear > Solidify B (for example.) You can get the Flaming Pear FreePlugins filters here, if you don't have them. You'll find them near the bottom of that page. The Solidify filters are just 3 of the many fine filters in that set. While you're on the site, check out some of the other filters there. I can highly recommend all of them.

Then just save as a 32 bit targa (.tga) file, and upload to SL. You'll have a perfect alpha, with no muss, no fuss, and only 4 mouse clicks.

How easy is that?