Alpha Mask Import Plugin (2.0)

Recommended Posts update! Thanks Illnab! :D

I am really late to this "game" and the Alpha Mask 2.0 plugin is no longer available. Would someone mind emailing it to me at This would be a very helpful tool!

Currently using Paint.Net v3.58.


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I'll contact the author and see if he'll post it again.

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Thanks for creating this plugin. This is the ONE-AND-ONLY feature missing in Paint.NET that kept it from being my primary editor of choice for making game textures (normal maps in noted by my tutorial below).

If I can make a suggestion, please include readme files in your archives. They are very important since they will become detached from their source location (such as this thread).

Including a readme can provide very helpful information as well as keeping credits with the file and your permissions/licensing info too.

Here is a readme file I put together and have with my local copy. Feel free to use.

Name: Alpha Mask Import Plugin
Version: 2.0
Date: 10/15/2009
Author: Illnab1024

This plugin allows you to import an image from a file or the clipboard and make it an alpha mask. If the image has color, it will be converted to greyscale.

The supported image types at the moment is kinda sketchy, but the kicker is it works for stuff copied inside Paint.NET, which is 99% of this plugin's use, anyway.

NOTE: The Effects API cannot handle layer information so the image used must be flat and non-layered.

Copy the .dll file to the "Effects" sub-folder under Paint.NET's installation folder.


C:\Program Files\Paint.NET\Effects\AlphaMask.dll

Let's say we have a color map (texture) and a normal map and we need to get a slightly darker version of the color map copied into the alpha channel of the normal map so we can save it to DDS (DXT5+Mipmap) format.

1. Open both files in Paint.NET (you should see two thumbnail images in the top-right corner)
2. Select the color map image, click Adjustments --> Brightness and reduce the brightness by -20 and click OK
3. Press CTRL + A to select the entire image and press CTRL + C to copy it into memory.
4. Select the normal map image, click Effects --> Alpha Mask and make sure "paste from clipboard" is checked and click OK
5. Your normal map now looks partially transparent which means the alpha mask worked.  Save your image in the native .pdn format so you can edit it later if necessary.
6. Now save your image to DDS format and choose DXT5 format and make sure "Generate Mip Maps" is checked and click Save.

Clipboard idea courtesy BoltBait.
The file import is based from pleska's Photo Flood Fill Plugin.



Edited by LHammonds
  • Upvote 1

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Hi everybody,


this is a great plug-in. I was exactly looking for something like that.

I like to apply maskes like keyholes, of blur-style frames on the pic and thats what i can do with it.


If i may suggest some enhancement:

If the mask and the picture are not of the same size, the mask will be "tiled" amoung the picture.

It would be very handy, if you could choose between stretch and tile.


Now, I manually adapt the mask size to the pic size, before i apply it. This is not a big deal, however, it would be nice, if the plug-in did that for me :-)


Best regards

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I joined this forum just to say thank you, the plugin is awesome!! I've been using an alternate program to do this effect for ages. This makes things so much easier :)

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An update to support HighDPI (Screen scaling > 200%) would be fine. In the moment the plugin is only usable if you know the settings.



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have installed alphamask.dll into folder.  Attempting to use, have followed AWholeCanOfCranky's youtube tute but get to 'copy from clipboard' in doing the alphamask but the option is not available - have invert mask and mix alpha as the only options.


running windows 7, 32bit; and v4.0.9


if alphamask is showing when running I assume it is in the correct folder ie.  Are there any other .DLLs required?


any and all assistance would be appreciated.

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I'm having trouble installing this plugin , I've tried several times and it doesn't seem to be working .

Does it go in the effects file ? As it doesn't show up there .

Is there a different plugin I should be using for Alpha mask ?

I have PDN 4.0.19


Edit - Found it !  Please ignore .

Edited by TooOld

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