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Applying an 'alpha map' to layers (GIMP)

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Hi all, I was wondering if there is a way to apply a kind of, what I call by lack of a better term, 'alpha map' to a layer. By this I mean: say you have a gray-scale image that specifies the alpha values, is there a way to apply this bitmap to the layer as the alpha component? Thanks in advance.

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Add a layer mask to the layer and then paste the greyscale image into the layer mask.

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