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Alpha in Directx

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I have two questions... I''m trying to use an Alpha only surface and combine it with a normal texture, like using a alpha mask. But it won''t work. Someone who knows how to do it?? I don''t want to use 32-bit surfaces, so how do i use alpha in 16-bit color textures?? I hope someone could help me!

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...Ok... so you''re using ddraw or direct3d?
In ddraw you have to do the processing yourself,
and store the alpha values somewere else (a buffer, or another surface)
In direct3d, I don''t know how you do it.

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