Among all the Bakes on Mesh hype, we have realised that over the last few years one single important thing has been forgotten when SL’s talented creators have been making new mesh clothing – alpha layers. Alpha layers are now foundational to how we wear clothing in SL, as they were a mere 5 years ago, and for some, they always have been. Alpha layers allow us to arbitrarily hide parts of our Bakes on Mesh enabled bodies (Disclaimer – the body MUST be set-up correctly in order for alpha layers to work).
In Slink’s case, this is the recently updated Redux system. Anything Redux will automatically accept alpha layers, and provided they have a blur applied to them before exporting, you can use the cool alpha mask sliders to move the edges. Alpha layers are much simpler and more versatile to use than alpha cut zone HUD’s ever were. They are fast, they require no extra scripting in the body, and require nobody to setup an auto-alpha script before they sell their items. They are not prone to glitching and won’t accidentally turn off or on parts of your body when you don’t want them to! And – almost ANYONE can make one with a few clicks and a few $L. Of course, an alpha made specifically for the clothing by the creator is ideal, but not required when we can learn how to make them ourselves! 🙂
To this end, I have made 2 tutorials for making alpha textures for use in Second Life. The first is for Photoshop, which is my image editing program of choice and I know exactly what I am doing in there.
The second is for G.I.M.P. which stands for Gnu Image Manipulation Program and I have exactly 30 minutes experience in at the time of publishing this video! It is however very interesting and much improved from the last time I looked at it several years ago and I think I will try and learn it in a bit more depth. G.I.M.P has one big, big advantage over Photoshop. It is open source – which for most means absolutely free and always will be absolutely free. Definitely worth checking out if you want to get into creating! Download G.I.M.P. HERE.
I apologise for the audio quality – it’s not as good as I’d like. Clearly I need to hook up my proper mic for the next one 😀