Mesh and Alpha Issues – A guide/what to look for

Ok before I start I must point out, this post is in no way a criticism of the hair shown in the post. I have the permission of Kavar Cleanslate of Exile hair to use his hair as an example to show what many of you may have experienced with glitches with alpha sorting with mesh items, whether both items are mesh or only one of the items is mesh.

I used a mesh avatar upper body for this post so that no ones clothing was used, this is not a finger wag at anyone, this is to help those that do not realise what is causing issues, and maybe to help some that did not know, realise that they can fix it.

Many years ago LL introduced PNG uploads,and there was a huge sigh of relief around the grid, because it meant that when making clothing layer clothing, you could forget about doing all the complicated alpha channel work, and just save as an alpha in one step, anything not painted on would save with alpha, and you were done. Many got so used to using/uploading png’s that it became a habit to save them for everything, especially as if there was no ‘visible’ alpha, it was just solid and looked good.

This is not the case, as PNG’s are sneaky, and they are always alpha in the default save settings in Photoshop.

Now with Mesh alpha which is most often used in hair textures, if you wear mesh hair, and you have on clothing that is mesh and has alpha components, then you get this cutout like effect and suddenly you cannot wear one or the other. In some cases there have been customers that have taken this matter up with the hair creator, but there is nothing that the hair creators can actually do because they need alpha in their hair because of wisps and bangs etc.

But if your clothing does not actually need alpha – and really none of it should unless you are trying to alter a model, or trying for a sheer effect – then you need to make sure you are saving your textures in the correct format. The goal is that everyone is able to wear your clothing/Accessories at all times, not have to rethink their other items for it to be wearable.

I took some pictures with not only the different textures on the mesh top, but also showed the textures open so you can see how it is. I also wanted to point out a few things about the mesh UV map surrounding areas.

Because I am using the default avatar in mesh form, I was able to use the default avatar clothing layers. You used to be able to find these on the Second Life website, but now they are located at the Second Life Wiki HERE.

First Pic : No Alpha 24 bit TGA

Sasypants - 1st Pic

This first pic is a complete fill of the actual intended print of the item, as well as a pure black fill – on clothing layers the black would have had to have been alpha, but with mesh anything in that area does not show at all. This layer has been saved as a 24 bit Targa, when you chose to save as targa, you get a pop up that has options of 16 bit 24 bit and 32 bit. The 24 bit option is for no alpha channels at all.

Second Pic : No Alpha 24 bit TGA

Click HERE to read more at Sasypants.com .


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