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not loading the white space

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hey i am currently making a tile based game and have three layers... bottom being the terrain, the second being the things you can''ty walk on (trees etc) and the top being the char and baddies... wht i need to know is, is there a way of editing out the whitspace of bmp images... eg my trees on the second layer are completelty blocking out the tile beneath it on the bottom layer, when i really only want the tree present, not the white space around the tree... if u get what i mean (i know i haven''t made this very clear, sry) please help... thanx guys

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In OpenGL, probably the easiest way would be use alpha channels in your bitmaps. So instead of using .bmp files use, for example, targas. Then you can encode the transparency information directly in the image.

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