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How to make transparent textures

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ByNghệ Sĩ Ưu Tú

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A model's transparency is controlled by its texture's Alpha channel.

1. Open a texture in Photoshop
2. At the Layers menu (usually on the lowerright), click the Channels tab
3. Click New. You now have an Alpha channel
4. Alpha channel works as follows:
-Areas that are black are fully transparent
-Areas that are darker shades of grey are more transparent than:
-Areas that are lighter shades of grey are less transparent
-Areas that are white are NOT transparent

So if you want one part of an armour to be fully transparent (not visible), set that area to black in the Alpha channel.

5. then Save the texture as a DDS
-if you only have pure black and pure white save as DXT 1 (1 bit Alpha)
-if you have shades of grey save as DXT 5

The other prerequisite of making transparency work is to have a NiAlphaProperty in the .NIF model file
7. open the armour's NIF file in NifSkope
8. Right click the NiTriShape/NiTriStrips node of the Armour part that you want to use transparency
9. Node > Add Property > NiAlphaProperty
10. Save the NIF

Now it works!

Note :

Saving a DDS texture at DXT5 will save the texture's Alpha Channel at maximum quality.
Saving a DDS texture at DXT3 will save the texture's Alpha Channel at an intermediate quality.
Saving a DDS texture at DXT1 will save the texture's Alpha Channel at lowest quality.
Saving a DDS texture at DXT1 without Alpha Channel will (usually) have the smallest file size because the Alpha Channel image is removed altogether.