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Alpha Mask Import Plugin (2.0)


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You can experiment a bit in prepping the mask.

The Alpha Mask effect is responsive to variations in gray-scale,

so try partial coverage with blurring and brightness adjustments.

Top menu:

Adjustments > Brightness / Contrast

You can control where and to what degree the texture is

apparent through a bit of trial and error with ongoing

adjustments to the mask.

Get the outlying areas of limbs and clothing looking right,

then do the face area in full black as a final step.

(I got tired of looking at lizard skin) ---

http://www.LupiUpload.de/images/2010/02 ... 4d2e18.png

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When ever i use alpha mask the image never shows up i have tried every way with the 3 buttons any one can help that would be great.

Edited by 1337Chris


98% of teenagers listen to rap, if your one of the two percent that still listen to real music, copy and paste this to your signature.

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Sweet...an 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 Orgsitesinfo@aol.com? This would be a very helpful tool!

Currently using Paint.Net v3.58.


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  • 2 months later...

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 particular...as 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
Source: http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?showtopic=1854

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

FYI - I'm not using signature for "signature" links since it can get you banned on this site.

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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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have installed alphamask.dll into paint.net/effects 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 paint.net v4.0.9


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


any and all assistance would be appreciated.

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  • 1 year later...

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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On 12/28/2017 at 1:48 PM, Eagle1 said:

I am trying some of the tutorials and they require Alpha Mask v 2.0.

The link for that version is broken so I could only download v 1.14 which does not have the paste from clipboard option.

Is the Alpha Mask v 2.0 file available somewhere else?


On 12/28/2017 at 2:25 PM, Djisves said:

@Eagle1, it seems to be a common problem for files uploaded through the forum.


Just download the file on the first post and save it on your desktop. Then re-name it to anything you like and add the ".zip" extention. You should then be able to extract the dll.  


Hi Djisves, 

Thanks for that info. I managed to get the file successfully using your tip. 

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  • 7 months later...

I've just been using a tutorial here for creating gold text and installed both this Alpha Mask and the Multi Color Gradient ones recommended for the purpose.


I've installed plenty of Paint.net DLL plugins/packs manually before, its not rocket science, but these are the first ones I've used that have just been added straight to the main "Effects" menu. Indeed the tutorial says the "Alpha Mask" is found in "Effects > Object" and the Multi Color Gradient in "Effects > Render". That makes sense too because there are other related plugins in "Object" like Switch Alpha and Paste Alpha and similarly in "Render" there is another Gradient plugin.


The question is there anything to be concerned about in them not having installed where they 'should' be? As far as I've been able to test them so far they're working correctly. I've tried deleting and re-installing but when Paint.net reboots they're still in the same place. So is this just because they're oldish plugins and not as compatible with recent Paint.net builds as they were meant to be?







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The plugins in this thread are old, the newer version of Alpha Mask (https://forums.getpaint.net/topic/8677-illnab1024s-plugins-v11/) is not compatible with PDN 4.


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6 hours ago, IHaveNoName said:

... they're still in the same place. So is this just because they're oldish plugins and not as compatible with recent Paint.net builds as they were meant to be?


No, paint.net version compatibility has nothing to do with menu placement. Plugins are placed in the menu that the developer(s) have designated in their code.

If a tutorial or some documentation claims they should be in another menu, that information is simply incorrect or out-of-date.

(June 9th, 2023)  Sorry about any broken images in my posts. I am aware of the issue.

My Gallery  |  My Plugin Pack

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