FAQ:Why am I losing alpha channels in targas?


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i am trying to open up targa files with CS3, with the transparency already apllied to the image just like in ps 7.

i tried replacing the CS2 targa plugin with PS7 targa plugin but it’s not working.

am i missing a step?


Hello, I am new to this forum and need some help. I am currently going back to school for Digital Design for a career change. I have a .jpeg pic that I removed the sky and need to save transparency in a .tga. I have tried several things but no luck. So as I said, I am new to Photoshop as well so can anyone walk me thru this? I am using Photoshop CC which is CS6.

**Retract the above post, I did some more research and figured it out. Thanks again anyway.


Try ctrl + clicking on the Layer, right where it shows you the little thumbnail of it. That should select the transparency in that layer. Then go to the top of the screen, click “Selection”, and then “Save Selection”. When asked for options, just click Ok. Try saving it as .tga (make sure it’s 32-bit and not 24-bit) and see if that works.

if that works I’ll explain to you what’s going on.


Thanks, I will try this as well.


Worked perfectly and quicker/easer than the way I came up with. Now I know 2 ways, Thanks


Glad to hear! Basically when you ‘save selection’, it creates an Alpha channel. You can see it in the Layers window if you click on the “Channels” tab. You’ll see Red, Green, Blue, and the new layer you made.

Now there is something to be mindful of, here. If you ‘save selected’ again, it’ll create a NEW Alpha channel. Meaning you’ll have TWO of them. So if you save that TGA again, it’s likely the transparency won’t work. If that happens… don’t panic. Just go into that channel delete all but the one Alpha channel you need.



Your file must be in .tga first. Open it in PS. Channels panel - Add new channel. It’ll get added as ‘Alpha 1’. If you fill it Black, you’re hiding content, adding alpha. if it’s white, you’re negating alpha, showing content - pretty similar to layer masks.

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