Ture Transparency and AO for compositing

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  05 May 2013
Are you making sure to apply the mask to a solid color layer and not to you original ao layer?
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  05 May 2013
Crap yeah, that does the trick indeed! Thanks! (You're right, I was using the original AO layer)
Now I'm cracking my brain trying to figure out WHY it works this way…

When I pick my selection from the combined RGB channel it's no good, but picking it from any of the other single RGB channels seems to work fine…? (probably obvious, but anyway)

Anyhow, it works fine, add create an action for it and it should be an easy + quick way to do this.

  05 May 2013
You might be interested in this shadow matte catcher, similar to the shadowcatcher plugin, but it uses a tweeked Sketch&Toon cell shader in the alpha channel.
**Edit, I can't seem to get it to work with area shadows, and I don't think it catches AO

Last edited by Greasemonkey : 05 May 2013 at 06:54 AM.
  05 May 2013
A similar way to convert your b/w-Alpha mask (mostly Shadow / AO / Object Passes) is:
  • Insert your b/w alpha layer onto your project (white areas will be transparent at the end)
  • Select all (STRG+A) and copy this layer to clipboard (STRG+C)
  • Create new layer and fill it completely black. Your "select all"-Selection should still be there, so you just fill with default black (ALT+DEL). Another neat shortcut would be (D) here to reset your colors to the original black / white
  • Enter quick-mask-mode (Q)
  • Paste your b/w-mask from Clipboard (STRG+V)
  • Quit quick-mask-mode (Q)
  • Hit DEL to reduce your solid-black layer to your alpha mask
This sounds like a long way, but either you make a macro for it or you'll get the hang of these keyboard shortcuts and you'll soon be able to convert your b/w mask to alpha masks within mere seconds.

Have fun!
  05 May 2013
Thanks everybody for the responses.

The layer mask derived form the AO and shadow passes did the trick.
I was doing it a little bit wrong but good enough for what I needed.

Your method worked better. Appreciate the workflow suggestion.
How I wished I could use the plugins that were mentioned before and do it all in one simple click.. ja

Fernando J. Velarde

  05 May 2013
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