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Author Topic: Question: Difference between Layer 0 and Background?  (Read 171 times)

Offline daglob

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Question: Difference between Layer 0 and Background?
« on: May 07, 2017, 07:43:34 PM »
This may have been discussed before, but I missed it. When I open most skins in Photoshop, what you see is named "Background", but a very few others it is named "Layer 0". I have noticed that you can save Layer 0 with clear spots that act like they are alpha-ed out, and you can't do that with Background. Could someone tell me what goes on, or point me at the information online?

Offline spydermann93

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Re: Question: Difference between Layer 0 and Background?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2017, 02:47:49 AM »
Backgrounds are locked Layer 0's that are always the bottom-most layer., typically. Other than that, I've no idea.

Offline Deaths Jester

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Re: Question: Difference between Layer 0 and Background?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 09:07:48 PM »
When FF first started, Layer 0 was used by those of us who didn't have Photoshop and those fancy Alpha levels. We'd use the Layer 0 as a cheap man's alpha by deleting or lightly painting areas so that the transparent background (that grey and white checkered pattern) would show. Most of the time nowadays yu see the Layer 0 because some one save it as a tga or dds without flattening the layers ahead of time thus the program flattens them itself (because you can't save tga or dds with multiple layers, except the alpha). The programs never flatten down background settings, just layer 0.

Offline daglob

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Re: Question: Difference between Layer 0 and Background?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 03:46:34 AM »
Thanks! That may explain some problems I've had in the past.

Offline Deaths Jester

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Re: Question: Difference between Layer 0 and Background?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2017, 04:13:45 AM »
Forgot one oddity: most skins follow what I said above but there is one that I've run across that doesn't fit: Mur's Deathlok. I don't know how or what prog he used but somehow he used Layer 0 and the underlying transparency to "hide" his work so no one could use it for kitbashing (just a guess). The skin shows up perfectly in game and Ctool but if you open the file in Photoshop or such, you'll see that it's set to Layer 0 with a lot of erased areas (flattening it only fills those areas with white). That's the only one that I've ran across that eschews what I said.

Offline daglob

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Re: Question: Difference between Layer 0 and Background?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2017, 03:35:06 PM »
I'm looking at it because my computer does not handle the alpha channels in the first game well (natch). But, I noticed that in a couple of skins that have a 0 layer, it seems to handle them just fine.

Offline Deaths Jester

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Re: Question: Difference between Layer 0 and Background?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2017, 04:04:35 PM »
If that's the case, then layer 0 is the way to go for alpha work. My memory is a bit fuzzy but for some reason I think that a lot of folk had problems with alpha channels in FF. I'm not sure if it was because FF's support of alpha channels was...off...or if it had to do with graphics cards. It wasn't till FFVTTR that alphas really caught on and were used more often.

All I can remember is that when I - and other skinners - wanted that semi-transparant look in FF we used Layer 0 - which floats the work over a transparant "backing".