View Full Version : designating a mask as the alpha channel?

02 February 2004, 07:30 PM
I'm using photoshop 6

I'm trying to figure out how I can designate a mask to be the Alpha for the file. Everytime I create a transparency mask for a layer (in a single layer file I might add), and then save the file as TGA (32bit) for example, I always lose the mask. So I reopen it, and there's an alpha mask in the channels box, but its blank!

I have a ridiculous workaround, but its a major pain, and involves saving the file tempoariliy as a tga, then reopening, pasting my mask on the alpha lyer and then resaving! (ugh).

So what this boils down to is, when I've applied a transparency mask to a layer and then want to flatten the stack, how can I make the layer 0 mask become the designated alpha?

02 February 2004, 08:51 PM
if i understand this
you are working with a mask that is associate to the layer

if im right

1 select the transparency of your mask (ctrl left cik)

2 open the channels box (window/channels)//this where your red green and blue info are.

3 click on the icon that look like a white circle in a grey square

4 you have NOW an alpha channel

5 can save it now (be sure to be in 32 bits and that the alpha
box in checked in the save control panel

hope that helps

02 February 2004, 08:52 PM
targa's dont support layers, not even just one. Your layer needs to be flattened, which of course loses your layer mask.
If you want an alpha on a targa, then you do need to copy it into an alpha channel.
A simple way of converting your layer mask into an alpha channel without copy paste is to control click your layer mask and save selection :)


why you may think that targas do support layers, is because adobe changed their interpretation of targas with alphas in 7. They decided that instead of seeing an image and an alpha they would make the image a layer and the alpha its mask. But it doesnt work when you save it and everyone complained about they changed it back by offering a new targa plugin for download at

02 February 2004, 08:59 PM
great, I'll give this a try right away. thanks guys!

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