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Guest artmartin

Alpha Masking Scenery Tiles

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Had an interesting problem last night trying to alpha mask some of my scenery tiles to cut out a lake. Created the black/white masks of each of the pictures and used FSTexConvert to create the DXT1/Alpha files for FS9. Nearly all the images converted just fine but a few of them balked and wouldn't mask properly no matter what I did to the alpha mask image. After many hours of pulling my hair out I finally tried to image them as DXT3 files and they worked just fine. Used the image tool utility to then convert them into the DXT1 format. My guess is that those particular images had too many colors used in them for FSTextConvert to deal with. Am I right in this case? What's the advantage to using DXT1 over DXT3?Thanks,Art Martin

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Hi Art,The only difference between the DXT1 and DXT3 texture format is the size of the alpha channel. A DXT1 texture has a 1 bit alpha channel, so you can only have on or off there. A DXT3 texture has a 4 bit alpha channel, so you can set different levels of transparancy with this texture format.For the amount of colors used in the texture there is no difference, both are 16 bit formats.

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Hmm, wonder why FSTexConvert balked at those particular tiles then. They did have more complexity than all the others I tried. Of course the error message is generic, basically only telling you it couldn't complete the action. At least the workaround is valid.I presume that there's a performance hit for the DXT3 format if you really don't need it. For opening up water texture, all I need is full transparency.Art Martinps: I've raved on here about the FSTexConvert and the FS Resample Tools by Elrond Elvish. Is he still active in flight sim? I'd sure like to see more of his work. Any reason for the seemingly phony name? If I put out stuff of such quality it'd be strange to do so anonymously.

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