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"masking" instead of blending?

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Is this called masking? A texturemap has an alpha channel with a bit depth of 1 bit. As a poly is rendered, its only drawn to the depth buffer if the alpha bit for that texel is true. Is there a way to do this? What is it called? It seems like some games can intersect quads this way without the z-sorting issues inherent in blending.

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