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OpenGL Transparent protions of textures in OpenGL (simple)

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Hi, I've been searching for a few hours, without success, on how to easily implement textures (preferably bitmaps) that have transparent portions. I'm writing a simple 2d bomber-man clone and right now, because I have no way to eliminate the background portion of the bitmap textures I'm using, it looks very unclean. At the moment I have no image editing software on my PC so I'd have trouble preparing the images like i was used to doing for other simple games I've made. I was wondering if there was a OpenGL command similar to something like: glEnable(GL_ALPHA_TEST); glAlphaFunc(GL_Greater, ...); ... that would allow me to "ignore" the completely black portions of my bitmaps. If this is not an option, can someone point me to, preferably, the simplest solution they know of? Thank you

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You can try masking which is demonstrated in this NeHe tutorial. It allows for completely transparent areas and completely opaque areas.

I prefer having an alpha channel as part of my images which allows for each pixel to have a different amount of transparency. You'd have to use an image that supports an alpha channel, like a 32-bit TGA or a PNG. When you draw it, set the blending mode to this:

EDIT: The GIMP is a free photoshop-like program (Google it). You will be able to add an alpha channel to your images with it.

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GL doesn't support "colour key" transparency (which is where you say "black == transparenct", etc...), so you've got to do this yourself by filling in the alpha channel.

How are you loading your bitmaps currently?

You need some image-processing code to convert your bitmaps from RGB to RGBA *before* you give the image data to OpenGL. In pseudo-code, it might look like:

RGB source[][]
load source from file
RGBA dest[][]
for each pixel(x,y) in source
dest[x][y].RGB = source[x][y].RGB
if( source[x][y].RGB == BLACK )
dest[x][y].A = 0;
dest[x][y].A = 255;
discard source
send dest to OpenGL

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You can also write a very simple GLSL shader:

//Fragment shader
uniform sampler2D tex0;

void main ()
vec4 frag = texture2D(tex0, gl_TexCoord[0].st);
gl_FragColor = frag;
if (frag.rgb == vec3(0.0)) discard; //Discard fragment if the color is black

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