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Yardstick

Alpha layer question

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I'm pretty comfortable working with alpha layers and have no problems importing transparent layers (nose art, squadron codes etc.) into the alpha layer to create custom levels of reflectivity.  However, I have a problem with the default P-47 razorback OD alpha layer which is a little too reflective for my tastes.  When the light catches the olive drab paint at an acute angle the surface shimmers like a seal's fur underwater.  Obviously, I am not alone, virtually every OD skin has the layer altered.  So my question, having only spotted the problem after I have spent a good few hours editing the alpha layer, is there a simple way to edit the reflectivity of the whole skin without screwing up the full black sections (vents) and fully transparent sections (hoist attachment points etc)?  

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Use Darker Tones of grey in a main layer like The OD one, or like the Bare metal one. Darkening them you  can keep the work done in other layers but give the whole skin a matt light. Black = Ultra Matt,  White = Ultra Bright. Imagine all the grey scale you got to play with light reflections. 

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Posted (edited)

Are you altering the existing alpha, or are you altering the alpha template?

 

As long as you have nothing that is 100% black that shouldn't be you should be fine.

Edited by Megalax

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I have an edited alpha mask which retains all the subtle detail of the original template mask but now includes the details from my scheme.  It would be easy to just select a section and flood fill to darken or lighten it but this will obliterate some or all of the detail (depending on the opacity selected).  Similarly, changing the gamma or highlight-midtone-shadow of the alpha layer will introduce unintended 100% black areas or lighted areas that are meant to be 100% black.  That's my problem - maybe its a limitation of how Paintshop Pro is able to manipulate Alpha layers. 

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Posted (edited)

Select the od layer and click on adjustments (if you're using photoshop) after that just click on hue-saturation iirc and use the lighten slider to lighten or darken it to what you want.

 

Also, are you editing the alpha with the skin template or importing it from the alpha template? You get the most control by editing the alpha in the alpha template then importing (Copy/Paste) the alpha channel into your skin template.

Edited by Legioneod
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3 hours ago, Legioneod said:

Select the od layer and click on adjustments (if you're using photoshop) after that just click on hue-saturation iirc and use the lighten slider to lighten or darken it to what you want.

 

Also, are you editing the alpha with the skin template or importing it from the alpha template? You get the most control by editing the alpha in the alpha template then importing (Copy/Paste) the alpha channel into your skin template.

 

Thanks Legioneod - I think you've answered my question. 

 

I have been editing the alpha layer in the skin template.  This is fine if you want to change the reflectivity of certain areas (nose art, codes etc), as I just convert these to greyscale, adjust the grey levels and flatten out the contrast, then paste them into the alpha layer.  If you do this using 'copy merged' you can retain the reflectivity details (panel lines rivets etc.) from the original base template.  However, although this technique allows me to get very good results for a new scheme using the template as a base, it doesn't allow me to edit the overall reflectivity of the template's alpha layer.

 

I hadn't looked at the alpha template to date - I'll do that now.

 

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