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Thread: Broken Alpha Channels

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
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    Mels, Switzerland
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    3

    Default Broken Alpha Channels

    So, I don't know what's wrong. Both TGATool2 and AceIt always break the alpha channels. DXTbmp also doesn't work. Why is nothing working? If anyone can help me or had the same mistake, I really need some help. I mean, I have friends, who could convert for me, but I do not want to have to ask them or wait for them every time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    SW MO
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    458

    Default

    Not sure what you mean by "break" alpha channel.
    Here's the way I use these tools.
    I open an ace file using TGAtool2A then use the option under the File tab to Save as.
    This will create a .tga image of the .ace in the work folder I use.
    When you open the .tga in your image editor the alpha channel will show up as gray and white checker. Edit away.
    When you're done editing just save the image as a .tga.
    Now open the AceIt program and pick your file locations.
    The AceIt program has a dropdown Format menu that lets you choose a 1 or 8 bit alpha. A 1 bit alpha is all or nothing, an 8 bit allows for a semi transparent alpha. Pick one and click AceIt.
    You should now have an ace file with an alpha channel.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    .
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    2,557

    Default

    Seems to be a recurring problem with these tools lately.

    https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showth...-working-right

    My solution was to stop using MSTS so I no longer had to mess around with ACE, TGA, TGAtools, AceIt, DXTBMP, yada yada yada. I simplified my life and got rid of all that conversion junk.

    When working on content for ORTS, I open DDS files directly in photoshop (+ DDS plug-in), make any edits, and save back to DDS with all layers (incl alpha) intact. No conversions necessary.

    We all have our favorite painting tools, but I'm just shocked there has not been more shared discussion about the add-ons and procedures necessary for working directly with DDS files when using those other painting tools. The next gen routines and requirements have to be discovered and widely shared. Yet we can't get past the old tool products misbehaving on our modern OSes.

    Some day these old tools that allow the hangers-on to keep going with MSTS development are just going to stop working. Then what?

  4. #4

    Default

    That was my thread. I still haven't solved the issue.

    I love using .dds It is so much easier.

    But I want to make .ace files for BLWZT customers, many of whom probably would not be able to view the models in shapeviewer or otherwise want them.

    Christopher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Perth, WA, Australia.
    Posts
    567

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pascalgood View Post
    If anyone can help me or had the same mistake
    I use TGATool2A because on the top right corner of this program is a preview of the alpha channel. I have on occasion, exported a TGA file from GIMP, and due to errors on my part, the alpha channel was missing. Ensure that you can see the Alpha channel is present before exporting to determine if the issue is with the source file or with the export and conversion to ACE.

    Quote Originally Posted by geepster775 View Post
    When working on content for ORTS, I open DDS files directly in photoshop (+ DDS plug-in), make any edits, and save back to DDS with all layers (incl alpha) intact. No conversions necessary.
    DDS uses 'lossy' compression so you loose detail and colour information with each save. A better option is to have a 'master' file that you perform the edits on which is saved in the native format of the graphics program. The native format will retain the original detail and colour information. Then export from the master version to DDS when desired.

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