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part 2: Saving the image and alpha channel in a single file
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intro  - in the beginning, there was nothing but a blank sheet of pixels
part 1 - getting started with Twisted Brush Pro Studio
part 2 - Saving the image and alpha channel in a single file
part 3 - Loading an image file straight to PD's Custom Brush
part 4 - Loading two images: color and mask into one
part 5 - Discovering new brushes: Kaleidoscope!
part 6 - Painting into an AVI file to record as animation
part 7 - Mandala brush animation with animated multi-frame brushes
part 8 - The animated Brush Timeline edtor


Saving the Image with an Alpha Channel

As mentioned earlier, it may be preferable to save the transparency mask of the layer in the same file which holds the rgb color channels. Here's how to achieve this. There are several file formats which support 32-bit cdepths, and thus can hold an 8-bit alpha channel in addition to the 24-bit colors.

In this example, we'll use the PNG format, which seems to work well. It is also a universally recognized format found in most other imaging applications.

Here's an example in which the background layer is made invisible. The first layer above it, Layer 2, contains an image which we painted with numerous holes in it. Leave this layer enabled (visible).

Now simply do the same save/export operation from the File menu.  Be sure to use the PNG format:

That's it.  Now you can switch to Project Dogwaffle and open that saved image.

Note that by default, PD looks for Targa files. Be sure to select the Automatic type (60+ formats)

After loading that saved image, it may or may not look right. The marching antswhich indicate the selection regions may be invisible, but they're probably present.

Note: in the case of blobs and a handful of other brushes there are colored pixels in the fully transparent areas extending beyond what is normally seen. This is normal, in the sense that these transparent areas aren't expected to be seen.

In order to remove the extraneous pixels which are outside of the alpha-enabled zones, you'll want to clear the proper selection to black or whatever color you prefer.

You can turn the marching ants visible in the alpha channel with the backslash shortcut, or from the alpha menu:   turn Alpha on/off

If you store the alpha:

menu: Alpha > Store alpha...

you will notice that the white zones are inside the selection:

You may want to instead Invert the alpha and enable the outer regions and holes.

After inverting the stored alpha, replace the actual alpha channel with the new stored one.

Or you could have simply used the Invert alpha directly in the apha menu.

Now you can clear the selection to black. This will get rid  of extraneous garbage pixels which need not be shown.

Next, we'll take a closer look at other ways to load the image, either with two separate images (color and mask) or as a custom brush.

Next: part 3 - Loading an image file straight to PD's Custom Brush

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