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How do I implement the Alpha channel in textures?

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how do i implement the alpha channel in my textures rather than just using a one colour total transparency colourkey. and how do i put these alpha values into my image? what programs allow me to do this? i am currently using Corel PhotoPaint 9, is that crap? [Edited by - _Phalanx_ on August 19, 2004 3:23:33 AM]

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You can either use an image program that supports an alpha channel (be careful, some programs support alpha channels internally, but when saving to standard file types, like .bmp or .png, lose the alpha channel), or you can use the DirectX Texture Tool that comes with the SDK to combine a normal image, with a gray-scale image that represents the alpha, and save that as a .dds file.

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Some formats that support a alpha channel: Bmp (32-bit), Png, DDS (my favorite) and TGA.
I never used Corel PhotoPaint 9 but I think it supports at least Png files.

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