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Image Props should auto-recognize PNGs with transparency


Andy Broomell

Question

When creating an Image Prop from a PNG with transparency, it would be helpful if Vectorworks detected whether the image file has an alpha channel, and if so, automatically load it as the mask for the texture.

 

This would be much more efficient than currently having to:

-Click "Use Mask" radio button.
-Click "Create Mask"
-Click "Reuse an Image From Another Resource"
-This Prop's Color
-Click OK
-Click "Alpha Channel" radio button
-Click OK

 

 

Edited by Andy Broomell
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

2017 does indeed support alpha channel transparency natively (it's more in-depth than just that, details will be posted in a video soon), I'm actually writing the script for that feature video right now, just wrapped up Drop Shadows. It was one of the ones that got bumped. Now that we DO support them however, it absolutely makes sense to be able to make image props from them directly rather than the whole current half dozen or more clicks needed.

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On 9/21/2016 at 9:29 PM, Andy Broomell said:

When creating an Image Prop from a PNG with transparency, it would be helpful if VW automatically detected that it's a PNG as soon as you select it as the source image, asking "Do you want to use this image's transparency as a mask for the image prop?" Then you'd simply click yes and you're done.

This would be much more efficient than currently having to:

-Click "Use Mask" radio button.
-Click "Create Mask"
-Click "Reuse an Image From Another Resource"
-This Prop's Color
-Click OK
-Click "Alpha Channel" radio button
-Click OK

O Lordy - yes puhlease. Sometimes its the little things…

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Um, creating image props has always recognized any alpha channel in the image as long as the alpha is not all ones or not all zeroes.  When you create an image prop the mask dialog has a radio for use alpha channel, this is enabled if the source image has an alpha channel.  This pre-dates support for alpha of images, even.  Unless this is currently not working?

 

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When creating an Image Prop by bringing in an image file, Vectorworks should automatically detect whether there's an alpha channel in that image, and if so, automatically load it as an image mask. (This would apply to certain filetypes such as PNG, TIFF, TGA and PSD.)

Whenever there's an alpha channel in a source image it's highly likely that a user wants that same alpha channel in the Image Prop. If not, they could easily switch the radio button back to "No mask."

And if a user is importing dozens of Image Props, the 6+ extra clicks to get the mask loaded really bog down the process.

 

 

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