Alpha channel from layer

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  08 August 2017
Alpha channel from layer

Got a question here that I've wondered for a while.

Say I make a new image. Create a new layer, and start painting on that layer. Obviously there's some sort of alpha mask at work at I paint, as everything on the layer below appears correctly below what I've painted, including different transparency levels.

Now I'd like to save the image out as just what I've painted on that second layer, with an alpha of that layer included. So far the only way I've heard to do this is select the layer and then make a mask from selection, but this seems messy and doesn't include different levels of opacity I might have working in the layer. Is there a clean way to export the painted layer with the alpha mask photoshop is already using in the layer setup?
  08 August 2017
Of course, there is a way to export the layer. Several ways, in fact.

File> Export > Export Layers To Files will give you at least two files: one containing the layer you want and the other containing the layer below.

You can copy the layer to clipboard with CTRL-C and paste into a new document and save that.

You can hide the layers you don't want to see and then export the image.

What's important is using the correct graphics file format that supports alpha transparency: PSD, PNG, TIFF, or TARGA. JPEG doesn't support alpha channel, and GIF's alpha is either 100% transparent or not at all.
  08 August 2017
Wow always thought there'd be another step to it, so simple. Thanks for the help!
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