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Theme Catchup2018 - posted on 1st May 2018 at 1:50 PM
Replies: 9 (Who?), Viewed: 1510 times.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#1 Old 26th Apr 2018 at 5:46 AM
Default How to create an alpha in Photoshop?
I can't figure out how to make an alpha file in Photoshop to match with the base texture.
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#2 Old 26th Apr 2018 at 4:47 PM
Try look at this Tutorial, it might help http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=71559
Mad Poster
#3 Old 26th Apr 2018 at 5:33 PM
If you can, extract the UVmap from the mesh - it makes things a whole lot easier, and you'll see exactly where to put the alpha.

If you need a free program for ths, you can use Wings3D or Blender. in Wings you can extract only the lines and not the background of the UVmap if you save as PNG. In Blender you get a white transparent layer inside the UVs, with the rest of the map transparent.

If I've got difficult alphas to make, I sometimes transfer the layers from the texture to the alpha, and slap a white color overlay on them, which will make them show up. Same if there are parts I want to hide, I just put a black color overlay on the layer.

Alphas have simple mechanics. 100% Black=invisible, 100% white=invisible, grey=partly visible depending on the greytone. Anything within the UVmap is a part of the mesh, anything outside the UVmap won't show (with a few exceptions for top/bottom meshes). Alphas for the "skin" layer ("body", "top" or "bottom") for clothing will make skin show when the parts are black/grey in the alpha. Other layers depend on how they're set up, but alphas most often hide parts colored black.
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#4 Old 26th Apr 2018 at 10:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by simmer22
If you can, extract the UVmap from the mesh - it makes things a whole lot easier, and you'll see exactly where to put the alpha.

If you need a free program for ths, you can use Wings3D or Blender. in Wings you can extract only the lines and not the background of the UVmap if you save as PNG. In Blender you get a white transparent layer inside the UVs, with the rest of the map transparent.

If I've got difficult alphas to make, I sometimes transfer the layers from the texture to the alpha, and slap a white color overlay on them, which will make them show up. Same if there are parts I want to hide, I just put a black color overlay on the layer.

Alphas have simple mechanics. 100% Black=invisible, 100% white=invisible, grey=partly visible depending on the greytone. Anything within the UVmap is a part of the mesh, anything outside the UVmap won't show (with a few exceptions for top/bottom meshes). Alphas for the "skin" layer ("body", "top" or "bottom") for clothing will make skin show when the parts are black/grey in the alpha. Other layers depend on how they're set up, but alphas most often hide parts colored black.

How do I extract the UV Maps from Blender and Milkshape because I use both,and how do you make the overlays in Photoshop?
Mad Poster
#5 Old 27th Apr 2018 at 5:01 PM
I don't think you can from Milkshape, other than taking a screenshot (and that's a buggy result at best).

In Blender (if you have a mesh with a finished UVmap and a material/texture already assigned, you can skip to step 4).
* Click the "material editor" (sphere, in the right hand menu) to give the mesh a texture
* Click the "texture editor" (checkerboard, beside the other), choose "image or movie" under "Type", click the "coordinates" dropbox and choose "UV".
* Go to the "edit mode" on the mesh, and select all the faces.
* Make a new window (drag the striped "arrow" in the bottom left corner to the right), click the "editor type" box directly above the window. Choose "UV/image editor".
* Select the "image" option, and click either "open image" (if you already have a texture) or "New Image" (if you want to make a new texture).
* Click "UVs", select "Export UV layout" - from here you can save it in whatever format and size you'd like (keep to the regular sizes, though - Bodyshop usually operates with 512x512 or 1024x1024). I prefer PNG for the format.

Overlays in Photoshop:
- You need a separate layer in the workfile with the same shape you want the alpha to be.
- Make sure this layer is selected.
- Click the "Fx" button in the "Layers" panel (to the bottom right).
- Choose "Color overlay".
- Click the colored square, and choose black, white, or any greytone that fits your project.
- Remember to merge all the layers before saving.
(I think all PS versions from at least CS and up have this function)
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#6 Old 28th Apr 2018 at 2:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by simmer22
I don't think you can from Milkshape, other than taking a screenshot (and that's a buggy result at best).

In Blender (if you have a mesh with a finished UVmap and a material/texture already assigned, you can skip to step 4).
* Click the "material editor" (sphere, in the right hand menu) to give the mesh a texture
* Click the "texture editor" (checkerboard, beside the other), choose "image or movie" under "Type", click the "coordinates" dropbox and choose "UV".
* Go to the "edit mode" on the mesh, and select all the faces.
* Make a new window (drag the striped "arrow" in the bottom left corner to the right), click the "editor type" box directly above the window. Choose "UV/image editor".
* Select the "image" option, and click either "open image" (if you already have a texture) or "New Image" (if you want to make a new texture).
* Click "UVs", select "Export UV layout" - from here you can save it in whatever format and size you'd like (keep to the regular sizes, though - Bodyshop usually operates with 512x512 or 1024x1024). I prefer PNG for the format.

Overlays in Photoshop:
- You need a separate layer in the workfile with the same shape you want the alpha to be.
- Make sure this layer is selected.
- Click the "Fx" button in the "Layers" panel (to the bottom right).
- Choose "Color overlay".
- Click the colored square, and choose black, white, or any greytone that fits your project.
- Remember to merge all the layers before saving.
(I think all PS versions from at least CS and up have this function)

From seperate layers i'm assuming that you meant make a copy of the layer,right? I'm trying to clarify things so that I could start working on my project again without scratching my head.
Mad Poster
#7 Old 28th Apr 2018 at 7:33 PM
I usually work on the texture and the alpha together. When I've made a layer I want to be visible in the alpha, I copy (drag-and-drop, holding in shift so it pops to the right place) the layer over to the alpha, and then put a color overlay on it.

I also save copies of the layered workfiles as separate files, so I can use them for similar projects. Makes things a whole lot easier. The shift-drag-and-drop technique make things even easier.

I don't have any good examples, but I think the example pics below might give you an idea. The colored pic is supposed to be the texture, the B&W picture the alpha.
Screenshots
Field Researcher
Original Poster
#8 Old 28th Apr 2018 at 9:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by simmer22
I usually work on the texture and the alpha together. When I've made a layer I want to be visible in the alpha, I copy (drag-and-drop, holding in shift so it pops to the right place) the layer over to the alpha, and then put a color overlay on it.

I also save copies of the layered workfiles as separate files, so I can use them for similar projects. Makes things a whole lot easier. The shift-drag-and-drop technique make things even easier.

I don't have any good examples, but I think the example pics below might give you an idea. The colored pic is supposed to be the texture, the B&W picture the alpha.

I think I know what's your talking about now. Did you use Quick Selection Tool to select the parts that you want to color in white and how did you make the layers go side by side like that? Oh and thanks for the tips because I really needed them to help me get started on making content.
Mad Poster
#9 Old 29th Apr 2018 at 1:04 AM
The layers I used are separate, with transparent backgrounds. You can kind of see it in the small layer thumbnails.

There are plenty of ways to do it, and you can use the selection tool, but I find it to be a little unprecise in some cases. Using layers with Color Overlay is my way when I want precise alphas, and most of the time it works better than selections. If it doesn't, I use the selection tools.

If you have to use the selection tool, you can use the same method on the selection - make sure the selection tool (the square/circle one at the top) is selected, then shift-drag-drop the selection to the alpha, and fill it with white/black/grey (using a new layer if you need to edit it later). I prefer working with layers because they're easier to edit, move around or remove than painting it directly on the background.

I added the files below in case you want to have a look at exactly what I did in the above pics.

Quote:
how did you make the layers go side by side like that?


If you mean how I made the windows (work files) show side by side (if you have the ones covering the entire window), you should be able to unhook them by click-hold-dragging the top of the window and moving it. There's also a setting that lets you open windows side by side (I can't stand the one that covers the entire window, because I'm always moving layers around, and that's a pain in the full window).
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Field Researcher
Original Poster
#10 Old 29th Apr 2018 at 6:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by simmer22
The layers I used are separate, with transparent backgrounds. You can kind of see it in the small layer thumbnails.

There are plenty of ways to do it, and you can use the selection tool, but I find it to be a little unprecise in some cases. Using layers with Color Overlay is my way when I want precise alphas, and most of the time it works better than selections. If it doesn't, I use the selection tools.

If you have to use the selection tool, you can use the same method on the selection - make sure the selection tool (the square/circle one at the top) is selected, then shift-drag-drop the selection to the alpha, and fill it with white/black/grey (using a new layer if you need to edit it later). I prefer working with layers because they're easier to edit, move around or remove than painting it directly on the background.

I added the files below in case you want to have a look at exactly what I did in the above pics.




If you mean how I made the windows (work files) show side by side (if you have the ones covering the entire window), you should be able to unhook them by click-hold-dragging the top of the window and moving it. There's also a setting that lets you open windows side by side (I can't stand the one that covers the entire window, because I'm always moving layers around, and that's a pain in the full window).

Thanks,I don't need to do it right now because I had already had the alpha edited to my liking but your way sounds way better. If I run into any problems i'll just ask.
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