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Opacity Channel

Opacity measures an object’s ability to pass light rays completely through the surface. You may also see this property referred to as transparency in other 3D programs, which is the opposite of transparency: in other words, an object that is 100% opaque is 0% transparent, and an object that it 0% opaque is 100% transparent. Sheet window glass is almost completely transparent, while wood is completely opaque.

The Opacity slider in the Basic and Advanced sub-tabs allows you to specify the opacity for your currently selected surface(s). You can set the amount of opacity through sliders, or you can use opacity maps to specify an exact amount of opacity at any given location in your object. You will typically find opacity maps used to feather the edges of modeled hair, or to make eyelashes appear as fine hairs rather than as a solid object. You can also use opacity maps to create sheer fabrics with intricate patterns.

Basic Tab

The Basic sub-tab displays the following setting options for the Opacity channel.

  • Opacity: Use this slider to control how opaque the current material is. A setting of 0% will make the material completely transparent. A setting of 100% will make the material completely opaque

    Opacity Basic tab
  • Image Menu: To assign an opacity map to your material, click on the field to display a menu where you can select a texture from the list or browse for a new texture. If no texture is assigned, the field will display “None.” A menu prompts you to browse for a new image and displays images that are already present in your scene. Opacity maps are usually grayscale images, with black designating areas that will be fully transparent and white designating areas that will be fully opaque. Any shades of gray in the image map will result in areas that are partially transparent, depending on how close they are to black or white.

Advanced Tab

The Advanced-sub-tab displays the following setting options for the Opacity Strength channel.

  • Opacity Strength: Use this slider to control how opaque the current material is. A setting of 0% will make the material completely transparent. A setting of 100% will make the material completely opaque.

    surftab_opacity.jpg
  • Image Menu: To assign an opacity map to your material, cclick on the field to display a menu where you can select a texture from the list or browse for a new texture. If no texture is assigned, an arrow will be available to the right of the color selector. A menu prompts you to browse for a new image and displays images that are already present in your scene. Opacity maps are usually grayscale images, with black designating areas that will be fully transparent and white designating areas that will be fully opaque. Any shades of gray in the image map will result in areas that are partially transparent, depending on how close they are to black or white.