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The curses of graphical transparency


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So, does anyone know how to get a higher quality image when importing a transparent graphic into Second Life. Specifically when it comes to GUI design. I am currently using the PNG format as I just can not get TGA to export as a transparent image no matter what I try. But, when the PNG is imported there is such a difference between the image in Photoshop and the image on a prim attached to my HUD. I am guessing that it has to do with the PNG format and the loss of data during compression maybe. But there must be a way to get a crisp, clear, transparent graphic into SL without the "very slightly blurred unless super enlarged on your screen" issue happening. The current GUI I am working on is 1024x512 pixels in size. Would TGA work better for data retention than a PNG?...if so what is the secret to actually getting a TGA with a working transparency layer to export from Photoshop and import into SL?. Or, does anyone else have any suggestions or techniques they have figured out that they wouldn't mind sharing.

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2 hours ago, ItHadToComeToThis said:

Would TGA work better for data retention than a PNG?

Not very likely. Both PNG and TGA use lossless compression (or sometimes when it comes to TGA no compression at all) so neither of them will affect the image quality.

The file format used inernally by SL, JPEG2000, use lossy compression though and that's where you can get problems with blurred images.

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I'm not sure what sort of problem you're seeing with PNG files. Screenshots might be helpful.

As for exporting TGA files, it's different in that you don't make the pixels themselves transparent, you create an alpha mask channel and work with the transparency that way. I do find that this gives me more control over how the transparency looks once imported into SL and it's non-destructive, leaving the texture intact, so I tend to prefer that method. Once you've made the alpha mask, you do have to make sure that Photoshop is saving the alpha channel along with the file. There's a checkbox for it when you're entering the file name, and after that you have to save it as a 32bit texture.

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