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What is an alpha layer for?

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Read BoltBaits's link, but here's a very brief explanation:


The alpha value determines how much of the lower layers show through. For a fully opaque layer, if a pixel's alpha is the maximum value of 255, the pixel is opaque. If the pixel's alpha value is 0, the pixel is completely transparent. For alpha values between 0 and 255, the pixel is partially transparent, with the opacity increasing as alpha increases. (Note: the layer itself has an opacity value which changes the transparency of all the pixels in the layer. The layer opacity is combined with each pixel's alpha to determine the transparency. If either is 0, the pixel will be transparent.)

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Even more basic: Alpha = the amount of transparency/opaqueness. More Alpha = more opaque (less transparency).


Alpha can be applied on a per pixel basis (there is an Alpha component to every color you use in paint.net). Alpha can also be applied on a per-layer using the Opacity slider in the properties dialog (press f4).

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Thanks for the responses and the link. Guess I am going to mess around with it to see what kind of effects I can come up with :D If I wanted to post a couple things I have done for some advice... or just to show off a little bit lol, what forum would I use?


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