How dare you, touch my alpha channel!

Why can't graphic applications get their channels right?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005 by Adam Najmanowicz | Discussion: WindowBlinds Tutorials

[Updated 11 May 2005] Read at the end of the article.

I've been on a quest to improve a skin today and to do so I needed to extract a big archive in a proprietary and not widely supported format and get the images out of it and into the skin. Turned out the first part was not as bad as I expected as I've found some tools on the net to do this and Kris helped with the tool to convert the images in the proprietary format into TGA's. Now here's where the pain begun.

I needed to have my alpha channel kept in the files but I also wanted to process the files before making them into the skin.

Turns out Adobe still haven't got their TGA support fixed (which was why I added the quasi-PNG-support to SkinStudio in the first place). If you're not familiar with the problem, Ive wrote an article about it  before and it's available here. As you can read here Adobe actually considers the current one a proper behaviour and the one that we enjoyed in Photoshop 7.0 is considered an "incompatibility with some existing workflows". I've tried a number of other apps including IrfanView, xnView and SageThumbs but they just couldn't chew it. So before I've lost what was left of my nails, I've decided to write a little Applet that turns 32-bit images (be those TGA-s or BMP-s) to PNG-s so that I can actually do something with them before making them into a skin.

the applet is available here

But because a lot of skinners have troubles going the other way, and it was only like a few lines of code, I've also made one for the other format. This one takes any 32-bit BMP or PNG and turns it into a TGA.

and you can get it here.

[Updated 11 May 2005] It could get confusing for others just like it got for me, so I've integrated the 2 apps and added saving to 32-bit bitmaps. I have also added the option to include or ignore images that are not 32-bit.

Now this updated applet is available here.

Have fun, and make the cool skin coming!

Reply #1 Monday, May 9, 2005 11:18 PM
great article yet again adam. it's sad to see what adobe did. hopefully this will help us lowly skinners.
Reply #2 Tuesday, May 10, 2005 4:18 PM
Yay! I could kiss you!
Reply #3 Tuesday, May 10, 2005 5:36 PM
Awesome work again Adam..

Maybe these should be added as functionalities for SkinStudio... ?

Reply #4 Wednesday, May 11, 2005 5:01 AM
2 in 1, great!
Thank you very much.
Reply #5 Thursday, May 12, 2005 12:26 PM
Excellent utility Adam, thank you for share
Reply #6 Wednesday, May 18, 2005 2:26 PM
I always wondered what the end of the internet looked like! Thanks for the link.
Guy Davideosky
Reply #7 Tuesday, July 26, 2005 7:43 AM
Most people who encounter a problem can usually see the tree column headers, but the body of the tree is empty. There are several things to try to resolve this issue.
Reply #8 Wednesday, July 27, 2005 9:13 PM
NO! The internet has ended. Does that mean that the world will end?
poker empire
Reply #9 Friday, July 29, 2005 4:25 PM
poker empire
Reply #10 Tuesday, December 20, 2005 12:39 AM
Nice tool, thanx!
Reply #11 Friday, March 31, 2006 5:24 PM
Found b4 ....but

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