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John-B

How to Edit the Alpha Channel

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for example 

47 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

@efflam & @tazcebula

Welcome to the Serif Affinity forums :) 

Agreed, but that has not been our target market so far, sorry. Better tools to edit the alpha channel directly will be needed before Affinity Photo would be more suitable for the parts of the games industry that reply on TGA-alpha for texture storage. I would not say it "makes no sense at all", it's just not right for your particular use.

for example what If I as an artist wanted to create a transparent graphic, do you understand how hard that currently is, try that in Photoshop and you'll immediately see the issue with Affinity

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1 hour ago, tazcebula said:

for example 

for example what If I as an artist wanted to create a transparent graphic, do you understand how hard that currently is, try that in Photoshop and you'll immediately see the issue with Affinity

I'm confused..

 

Yes, I understand your point, but two things:

 

1.) I think Affinity Photo is (sadly) interested in end-consumer only. Maybe a semi-professional market. I hoped Serif would use the chance to push Photoshop down, but it seems that this is not interesting for Serif (just have a look how much stuff is missing, if you would fully compare to Photoshop).

 

2.) You can easily create a transparent graphic in Affinity Photo. Or what do you specially mean?

 

 

Just to be clear: I wish I could replace Adobe products with the Affinity line up, but I can't, because of things like that and as I mention before, this is not the only missing feature for (full) professional work. But as I said.. that's not the main goal for Serif - I think.

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1 minute ago, DeepShader said:

I'm confused..

 

Yes, I understand your point, but two things:

 

1.) I think Affinity Photo is (sadly) interested in end-consumer only. Maybe a semi-professional market. I hoped Serif would use the chance to push Photoshop down, but it seems that this is not interesting for Serif (just have a look how much stuff is missing, if you would fully compare to Photoshop).

 

2.) You can easily create a transparent graphic in Affinity Photo. Or what do you specially mean?

 

 

Just to be clear: I wish I could replace Adobe products with the Affinity line up, but I can't, because of things like that and as I mention before, this is not the only missing feature for (full) professional work. But as I said.. that's not the main goal for Serif - I think.

yeah that's unfortunate, because in many many ways it thrashes photoshop and even recently I've noticed adobe has started copying many of its features, but the alpha channel functionality baffles me. In photoshop I can just paste straight into the alpha channel, I can even just paint into it - this makes sense. I don't get how you do this in Affinity, if you even can its super un-intuitive, like i say this seems like basic paint software functionally to me, I don't see how Serif thinks its not an issue.

I wish I could tell everyone I know to buy Affinity, but it's incredibly hard to do simple things, and then by the same token some of its features are light years ahead of adobe - its a totally bizzare piece of software. Maybe in a few years it may be super good, but it just holds me up at the minute

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1 minute ago, telemax said:

When trying to draw in alpha, only black pixels are added, no matter what color is selected. Why is this happening?

From your video, it looks like in the Channels panel you have disabled editing anything besides the composite alpha channel.

1822636475_chanelspanel.jpg.6bf24063cbe689ee1adb33ad987ea93a.jpg

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On 9/27/2019 at 8:46 AM, Patrick Connor said:

Agreed, but that has not been our target market so far, sorry. Better tools to edit the alpha channel directly will be needed before Affinity Photo would be more suitable for the parts of the games industry that reply on TGA-alpha for texture storage.

It's not just textures. Transparent textures are expensive in 3D games, and I use them very sparingly. For me, it's creating the 2D interface where control of the alpha channel is most important, something I do all the time, where it's not just making cutouts. For example, a button with an alpha drop shadow can be created in AP, as I eventually learned,  it's just a different workflow. The same is true for other alpha effects I used to do in PS. I've been able to get AP to do what I've needed to do with the alpha channel, it's just not always as direct or obvious as doing it in PS.

However, regardless of AP's target audience, there doesn't appear to be any reason NOT to make the alpha channel accessible. All they have to do is make the little icon that indicates that a layer is editable work for the alpha channel (currently it's a button that does nothing). The editing tools are already there, they're just blocked from working in the alpha channel. It seems like they're going out of their way to treat the alpha channel as a special, non-editable layer.

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I was about to promote AP to digital painters and concept artists in my community as a photoshop alternative, but based on your answer @Patrick Connor I will make sure to support products with teams who care about the game art market, (including donating to open source projects like Krita).

Thanks for being very honest though, at least I know upfront before recommending AP to people in the games industry.

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On 9/30/2019 at 6:23 PM, John-B said:

The editing tools are already there, they're just blocked from working in the alpha channel.

This. And the same applies to masks (which in a way are separate alpha channels). It really should be just Choose a channel/layer > Edit channel/layer. 

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This is really essential for us in the animation and games industry. Our whole team has moved to Affinity and today I'm trying to edit the alpha channel of a splat map and I just can't. It's pretty crazy really. 

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5 hours ago, RustySpannerz said:

This is really essential for us in the animation and games industry. Our whole team has moved to Affinity and today I'm trying to edit the alpha channel of a splat map and I just can't. It's pretty crazy really. 

This may not be nice, but you should check those things before you switch, if your work is in the professional field.

 

Affinity products are really great ..for the range of customers it was build. These are semi-professionals (and for sure professional designers) - but never for the game-industries.

Yes.. I'm also a person who tries to save money, but I never understand how a professional game-designer can say that he/she want's to save money on photoshop or whatever and complain about missing features in the cheaper solution.

There's a reason, why Adobe products are much more expensive. Yes, they are very old-school in many cases and yes, they are slow and so on - but they have so many more features, they work hand in hand together. You can't only compare the price or the much nicer UI of Affinity.

Photoshop for example is much faster, x times better RAW processing, alpha-channel as it should be ;), 3D, much better resizing, real 100% PSD file format (which is so important for a good game-dev-workflow), .....

 

So people.. Affinity products? For sure!! If you work as a DESIGNER or PHOTOGRAPH(!) -- definitely not, if you are a (professional) game-designer.

 

BTW: To all Adobe haters, which are game-developers.. did you recognized, that Adobe invests a lot of money for game-developers? Like Mixamo or that they bought Substances and work together with Maxxon (Cinama4D). I'm pretty sure, that Adobe will dive much deeper into the Game-Industrie in the next month/years. 

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I'm pretty sure this was working as expected, PS style, and got broken on one of latest versions.

It does make zero sense that all tools only adds white to the Alpha channel. It's like all operations are only additive.

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I'm going to add my voice here. I'm generally very happy with the whole Af suite, but this Alpha channel issue is very frustrating for me. I'm an animator and today I need to create a complicated transparency for a texture I'm developing. I couldn't find a way to do it on my own so I came here. Very sad to see this is an issue I might not be able to solve. Serif, please recognize that this is a concern for many of your clients. A fix would be very much appreciated!

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On 10/2/2019 at 8:47 PM, DeepShader said:

Affinity products are really great ..for the range of customers it was build. These are semi-professionals (and for sure professional designers) - but never for the game-industries.

 

On 9/27/2019 at 2:46 PM, Patrick Connor said:

@efflam & @tazcebula

Welcome to the Serif Affinity forums :) 

Agreed, but that has not been our target market so far, sorry. Better tools to edit the alpha channel directly will be needed before Affinity Photo would be more suitable for the parts of the games industry that reply on TGA-alpha for texture storage. I would not say it "makes no sense at all", it's just not right for your particular use.

I am art director and bought Affinity products because it can handle all the print stuff we need to do in the games biz. Like the OP I had hope to also fiddle with the Alpha and RGB channel like in PS. As of January 2020 this is still not possible. Affinity Photo is marketed as Photoshop alternative. It would be great if Serif could hold up to this. But with statements like those two above, I have little hope Serif will achieve this. It's also sad to read that Serif seems to aim for semi-professionals. Whatever a "semi-professional" might be....

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I've seen a whole lot of people saying Affinity Photo is a Photoshop alternative or a Photoshop killer but I've not seen serif tout Affinity software in such a way.

I think it would be foolish to brush off the gaming community and the professionals creating for it as not the target market, and it's obviously a huge market to tap into, but anyone with common-sense would be naive to think Affinity Photo is anywhere near the capabilities of Adobe Photoshop CC and a contender for it's crown. 

There are  some fundamental omissions from Affinity Photo and I would consider decent alpha channel editing to be one of them.

I respect Affinity for staying on mission and remaining focused on providing a good quality product for a very considerate price point, John Lydgate would say 

Quote

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”

 

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