Lost Adventurer, Aleks Kirilenko (3D)
LC #42 Pipers Alley

View Full Version : What is an alpha channel?

05-23-2003, 10:42 PM
I've seen a lot of use of the alpha channel, most of the time never reproducible myself ... so my question is... what is an "alpha channel?" And what exactly does it do?

05-24-2003, 01:46 AM
Check this out for starters: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/A/alpha_channel.html

Depending on what type of application you're using the alpha channel in, it can serve a couple purposes. But it has one specific characteristic in any case -- it contains only 256 levels of grey tones, including black and white.

In 3D for instance, it can serves and a masking tool.
In Photoshop, an alpha channel can store a selection, be used for a layer mask, or create a heightmap 'bump' effect when applied through the 'Lighting Effects Filter'.

Do a search on the term.
You'll find tons of specific info on this topic. :bounce:

05-24-2003, 05:11 AM
oooh, very cool, thanks for the nfo.

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