Decreasing opacity of a smoke image w/alpha

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  04 April 2013
Decreasing opacity of a smoke image w/alpha

I have rendered a steam effect in 3dsmax and saved it in PNG format with alpha. In 3DS Max during render, the steam was fine in opacity and whiteness. When I rendered as a layer in AE, it is barely visible. I changed alpha interpretation but didn't help so in order to make the semi-transparent steam I added a number of effects including brightness contrast Hue sat. Levels etc. None of them helped make the steam a bit more visible.
I started to think I applied the effect to some other layer but that's not the case. How do I make this steam with alpha channel a bit more visible? (More white or opaque)
  04 April 2013
It's aproblem on the 3ds Max side, something called additive opacity(you might want to check that, it has an extra entry in the 3ds Max manual).
What you could do is duplicate the layer in AE and use the upper smoke layer as a luma matte on the lower smoke layer.
  04 April 2013
Thank you very much indeed.

I'm familiar with those transparency types actually. I do use additive for white smoke or volume effects but this time I used filter type of transparency with grey colour and even decreased the visibility of the particle to 0.2, because it wasn't transparent enough.
  05 May 2013
you can also use levels and set it to affect the alpha channel instead of RGB and then crank it up
  05 May 2013
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