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sarahvalka

can't see some alphas

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For some reason when i press Ctl+Alt+T, i can no longer see SOME alphas. Invisiprims seem to be there but alphas no... can anyone help?

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8 hours ago, sarahvalka said:

thanks Lindal Kidd

I have been a heavy SL user since 2006 and a full time pro builder for 5 of those years.. but thank's for putting me straight on my terms. FYI: an alpha is any texture using .png to create semi transparency... not just cloths. its an industry term , not just SL... but, thanks for the help.

anyone have a serious possible explanation?

 

Sorry if I offended you.  I too know about alpha channel transparency both inside and outside of SL.  It's not just .PNG files either...several image formats support an alpha channel.  I was just trying to distinguish between the various ways in which transparency is used/applied to things in SL.  Of course, I goofed too...I completely forgot about the alpha blending/alpha masking distinction.

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Let's get our terms right.

An "alpha mask" is a special sort of clothing layer.  When worn, it makes part or all of your classic avatar body invisible.  CTRL+ALT+T does not reveal these.

An "invisiprim" is a special sort of prim, with a script in it.  With the old viewer, when worn, this made the parts of the avatar enclosed by the prim invisible.  These too are not affected by CTRL+ALT+T.  Besides, with the Advanced Lighting Model which most people now use, they don't work at all any more.

Any texture which is applied to a prim or mesh object may be partially or completely transparent.  This can be done in detail by masking when the texture is created, in Photoshop for example.  You can also make a texture partly or wholly transparent with the "transparency" control in the texture tab of the Edit window, in the viewer in world.  It is this sort of transparency that is highlighted in red when you use CTRL+ALT+T.

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This is kind of important to state as not everyone realizes it.

While not suitable for everything .... 

ALPHA MASKING IS SIGNIFICANTLY FASTER THAN ALPHA BLENDING

.... and should be used everywhere you can.

When you press CTRL+ALT+T .. all those red textures are blended alpha, they are super expensive to render. RED = BAD !!

 

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No. BAD. Really. Really really bad.

Alpha blended texture rendering is one of the most expensive parts of the render pipeline. It should be avoided like the plague.

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7 hours ago, sarahvalka said:

anyone have a serious possible explanation?

Whirly nailed it on Saturday. ^^

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8 hours ago, sarahvalka said:

no.. he didn't

Yes she did... In your second photo, that foggy red stuff is "Alpha Blend" using a 255 tone grey scale alpha channel in the texture.

"Alpha Mask, is where instead of using a "blended" alpha, with all 255 possible values, you set a "floor" value, any alpha channel pixel value below the "floor" is trewated as opaque, no alpha, any alpha value above the floor is treated as completely transparent.

"Alpha masked" alphas do NOT show up in crtl-alt-t invisi-squint, at all.

On 08 May 2018 at 6:47 AM, sarahvalka said:

FYI: an alpha is any texture using .png to create semi transparency... not just cloths. its an industry term

Alpha channel is an industry term, but if you were part of that industry, you wouldn't claim it's a .png thing, alpha channels are found in many file formats. In addition alpha doesn't mean "semi transparency" at all, it means any level of transparency, from partial to full, you can have 1 bit alphas, simple on/off, for example.

On 08 May 2018 at 6:47 AM, sarahvalka said:

anyone have a serious possible explanation?

Yes... You are NOT a "pro builder" and don't actually know much about alpha channels and their use in SL, for reference, the water in the fountain, the foliage in the trees, and the attachments on your body are  is NOT "invisi-prims" but the use of "Alpha Blend" mode with alpha channel textures.

The explanation appears to be quite simple,  you've either messed with some obscure viewer setting, which viewer are you using? Might be helpful if you'd been "pro builder" enough to actually remember that different viewers can have different bugs in different versions that can affect how you see SL, or, your install of whatever viewer it is is corrupted and you need to reinstall, rather than blandly talk about "invisi-prims" and assume that you know better than the people you asked for help.

Reinstall your viewer, or better yet try a different viewer. Preferably a modern one, if you use Dr. Singularity's Frenkenviewer... STOP.

If updating/reinstalling your viewer doesn't fix it, and changing to a different viewer doesn't fix it, then you have some weird and unlikely hardware failure.

Personally, I think changing viewers would sort it, so either you are using some out of date crud or your install is corrupted. Check your hard disk.



 

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6 minutes ago, sarahvalka said:

yes... but that doesnt answer my question

Which part of your question was not answered ?

The screenshots clearly show you seeing alpha blended objects (so that is working .. it doesn't half work, it's all or nothing). Alpha masked objects do not show as red so you wont see them (again, as expected).There are other ways to hide something other than just making it alpha.

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2 hours ago, sarahvalka said:

every tool i know will switch all alpha highlights off.. not just some.. in the advanced menu there are the options under "highlight and viability" and of course "alphas" under" Render types" those and all others i have tried will switch off the ones i can still see only. all the other alpha blends remain un-highlighted.

Its not the end of the world, I can always do a fresh install.. but, i was interested to know what it was that did it.

You're missing the point. CTRL+ALT+T - HIGHLIGHTS BLENDED ALPHA

No more. No less. It's not broken. That is literally it's one job.

... probably it was never updated to include alpha mask texturing, or maybe they thought about it and decided it would be more useful to only see the alpha blended textures that have the highest impact on rendering, as I mentioned elsewhere in this mess. Alpha blending textures are REALLY EXPENSIVE to render.

Reinstalling wont change anything and every Second Life client will behave exactly the same.

If you are still unhappy, I suggest you file a JIRA and ask LL very nicely to allow you to highlight alpha blended textures. honestly, I don't really fancy your chances so maybe the best option would be to download the viewer source, fix it yourself and see if any TPV's (like firestorm) will take your patch.

 

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The terms are fine.  There are two modes of applied transparency.  If you are using the transparency control in the editor, you are using "Alpha Blending".  If you choose instead to create transparency by applying the Full Transparent texture that's in your inventory's Library folder (or one like it), then you are able to use the "Alpha Masking" mode.

With alpha masking you avoid the problems of the "alpha glitch" that sometimes makes 32-bit textures interfere with each other when you use the alpha blending method. You can also hide your transparent object completely, because it will not show up if someone uses CTRL + Alt + T.  The only disadvantage is that you cannot get partial transparency.  You get all or nothing.

Edited by Rolig Loon
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Well, perhaps, Coffee.  But dang if I am gonna use alpha masking on my hair and go around bald. O.o

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26 minutes ago, CoffeeDujour said:

You're missing the point. CTRL+ALT+T - HIGHLIGHTS BLENDED ALPHA

No more. No less. It's not broken. That is literally it's one job.

... probably it was never updated to include alpha mask texturing, or maybe they thought about it and decided it would be more useful to only see the alpha blended textures that have the highest impact on rendering, as I mentioned elsewhere in this mess. Alpha blending textures are REALLY EXPENSIVE to render.

 

It really, really should highlight alpha masked textures too.  There is a scam where thieves put a transparent prim over a seller's vendor, and trick people into paying their invisible prim.  I'm gonna head over to the JIRA and put in a request for it.

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50 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

It really, really should highlight alpha masked textures too.  There is a scam where thieves put a transparent prim over a seller's vendor, and trick people into paying their invisible prim.  I'm gonna head over to the JIRA and put in a request for it.

In which case alpha masks should show blue or green, that way were able to distinguish between good and bad alpha usage.

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2 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

It really, really should highlight alpha masked textures too.

There are plenty of times when it's really important to be able to make a prim as undetectable as possible.  If you are designing a game setting, for example, and want to have traps and perils be effective, you won't want players to be able to detect them by simply using CTRL + Alt + T.  Yes, there are ways to use transparency for evil as well, but that doesn't mean that all (or even most) applications will be evil.  In the specific case you are worried about, BTW, the easy solution is to be sure that you don't allow rezzing or bringing outside objects into your shop to drop over the vendors. 

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1 hour ago, Rolig Loon said:

There are plenty of times when it's really important to be able to make a prim as undetectable as possible.  If you are designing a game setting, for example, and want to have traps and perils be effective, you won't want players to be able to detect them by simply using CTRL + Alt + T.  Yes, there are ways to use transparency for evil as well, but that doesn't mean that all (or even most) applications will be evil.  In the specific case you are worried about, BTW, the easy solution is to be sure that you don't allow rezzing or bringing outside objects into your shop to drop over the vendors. 

You're correct that this scam is rare these days, but it still does happen now and again.  You have a point that there is a use for undetectable transparent objects, but I am still of the opinion that it'd be better to be able to see them.

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Two random, tangential observations, each straying pretty far from the OP's original question:

  1. It seems reasonable to have another highlighting mode for masked alpha, but for that to help with a vendor "skimmer" scam, the user would have to activate Ctrl-Alt-T while shopping. It's certainly better if shoppers get useful data if they do this, but it seems a hard sell to get them to do it. 

    In some casual testing, this all doesn't work the way I thought it used to, so my memory may be faulty or there may have been some changes over the years. With the Build Tool already open, you can right-click and Pay a fully transparent money-scripted object, whether it's blended or masked alpha, and the same is true with "Highlight Transparent" which is problematic because the masked alpha item is invisible, not highlighted. This is all in contrast to "normal" -- no Highlight Transparent, no Build Tool -- in which case the blended-alpha surface will intercept right-clicks to Pay (not good) but the masked-alpha will not -- although both will intercept a left-mouse click if the default click action is set to Pay instead of Touch (also not good).
     
  2. One tiny but weirdly significant exception to the rule of using masked alpha wherever you can: If you want to completely hide surfaces of fitted mesh attachments, use (blended) 100% transparency because it removes that surface from rendering altogether. This is fantastically counterintuitive and only applies to this specific case of attached fitted mesh. I couldn't believe it when I first learned about it in these forums, but don't take my word for it, try it yourself.
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what obscure tool would switch off these alpha highlights but not the alpha masks.. i have trolled through everything and was at a lose.. thought someone else might have come across it before. I know is not my hardware as i have tried it on two different GPU's.

 

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every tool i know will switch all alpha highlights off.. not just some.. in the advanced menu there are the options under "highlight and viability" and of course "alphas" under" Render types" those and all others i have tried will switch off the ones i can still see only. all the other alpha blends remain un-highlighted.

Its not the end of the world, I can always do a fresh install.. but, i was interested to know what it was that did it.

Edited by sarahvalka

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yes... but that doesnt answer my question.

I know i have "messed with an obscure alpha channel" thats my question.. what obscure tool would do this. I dont need a condescending and lengthy explanation as to what an alpha channel is. and the viewer i am using is Phoenix Firestorm latest update is that "modern" enough? Please dont get shirty with me. either you know the answer or you dont... in which case please be quiet.

Edited by sarahvalka
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thanks Lindal Kidd

I have been a heavy SL user since 2006 and a full time pro builder for 5 of those years.. but thank's for putting me straight on my terms. FYI: an alpha is any texture using .png to create semi transparency... not just cloths. its an industry term , not just SL... but, thanks for the help.

anyone have a serious possible explanation?

 

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