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Varmint007

Alpha on 2D panels - the frustration mounts

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ok, so I've read every message in the forum pertaining to the use of alpha images (images with alpha) in 2D panels, and I'm just about at the end of my rope here...There doesn't seem to be a procedural answer anywhere, and the SDK instructions just don't work as advertised. I'm just trying to place a highlight on top of a gauge and it just shouldn't be this difficult. I've tried:In photoshop: Create an all white image with an all white alpha channel, over which I airbrush black.Save as .psd (or .bmp 32, or .bmp 8, or anything you can possibly think of,) and open in Imagetool.In Imagetool, all I see is the alpha, but I try saving as both 8 bit and full color with alpha.Once loaded the images usually end up magenta with a hole in them (or the inverse), or a solid color. Different variations result in lots of wrong renderings, but nothing is even coming close to simply looking like a highlight.I've tried literally 20 combinations, and nothing works, certainly not as explained in the SDK.If anyone has had any sucess simply placing a highlight (or a shadow) on a gauge, could you please explain the process in detail?Thanks--Jon

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Jon,I went thru the same frustrations several months ago, and you're right; it shouldn't be this hard, and following the SDK is no help.I eventually got highlights working as follows, if memory serves. I hope this helps you.1. Create an all black layer in Photoshop, and use shades of white (gray) to draw your highlights.2. Copy the layer and paste it as channel #4.3. Invert the channel #4 (alpha channel) values.4. Save as .psd, open in Imagetool and save as 8-bit .bmp with alpha.My experience was that the main PS layer HAS to be exactly the inverse of the alpha channel, pixel for pixel. Change one or the other and you'll get odd results. The above applies to highlights; for shadows, I think you want the main PS layer to be solid black, as described in the SDK.If it's still not working, reply here and I'll dig out my .psd files.Douglas

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Oh, thanks very much Doug! I'll try it out as soon as I can. I was about to kill myself:) I've been building this same project for almost 3 years, and I've never tried to use alpha for anything yet. I never thought it'd be more difficult than simulating an INS or radar system:) Why couldn't they just tell me that in the SDK? "The RGB space must be the inverse of the alpha channel" But no, I need to spend 3 hours tearing my hair out wondering why the image looks like a cheap tie dye shirt:)I haven't even done panel lighting yet because I've been so busy with the functionality and feature set things, so I'm not looking forward to that fiasco either.Thanks again and I'll try it...--Jon

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