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AlphaMapper is a tool that allows for drastic improvement of the appearance of grids, latices, thin bars, etc., It is used to create an alpha map based on high-poly mesh with the specified accuracy and bake it into diffuse just in just a few clicks. When alpha test will be performed for a mesh material, the generated alpha map will define which areas are visible and which are invisible and not drawn.

AlphaMapper module


To create an alpha map used for alpha testing, do the following:

  1. Load a low-poly mesh for which alpha map will be created by clicking Load low.
  2. Load a high-poly mesh used as a reference for created alpha map by clicking Load high.
  3. If necessary, load a diffuse texture into which an alpha map will be baked using Diffusemap option.
  4. Set alpha map options on the right pane of the ResourceEditor window.
  5. Click Run to start the process. After the alpha map is created, it can be viewed on Alphamap viewing pane.
  6. Click Save to save the alpha map. If a diffuse texture was loaded, the alpha map will be baked into its alpha channel.

AlphaMapper is designed to work only within the first UV tile region (texture coordinates [0;1]). Multiple UV tiles are ignored.

Display Modes

AlphaMapper has two viewing panes. The display mode can be switched in the the drop-down list in the upper left corner of each pane.

  • Mesh to display a low-poly mesh.
  • Alphamap to display the created alpha map and the loaded diffuse map (if any) applied to the low-poly mesh. In the beginning an empty one-channel (red) map will be displayed.
  • Map 0 to display the first UV set of the low-poly mesh.
  • Map 1 to display the second UV set of the low-poly mesh.
  • High mesh to display a high-poly mesh.

File Options

Load low Load a low-poly mesh for which alpha map will be created (for example, a simple plane). The hot key is CTRL + O.

Low-poly mesh

Low-poly mesh
Load high Load a high-poly mesh based on which an alpha map will be baked. The hot key is CTRL + H.

High-poly mesh

High-poly mesh
Diffusemap Load a diffuse texture into alpha channel of which the created alpha map will be saved. The hot key is CTRL + D.

Diffuse texture

Diffuse texture
Reload Reload a mesh or a diffuse texture.
Clear Remove a mesh or a diffuse texture from AlphaMapper.
Reload all Reload meshes together with a diffuse texture, if any, and clear an alpha map. The hot key is CTRL + R.
Run Create an alpha map that specifies visible and invisible areas for alpha-tested materials. The result applied to the model can be seen in the Alphamap mode.
Save Save the calculated alpha map into the texture. See supported formats into which the texture can be saved. The hot key is CTRL + S.
  • DXT5 compression - if a texture is saved into .dds file, it can be compressed into DXT5 format for lower lower bandwith usage.

Visualization Options

Info Display information about the mesh that is currently in the viewport. Such data is shown as a number of surfaces, vertices and triangles. The hot key is I.
Compass Toggle an XYZ compass in the upper right corner of the viewport. The hot key is C.
Triangles Toggles showing a base grid plane. The hot key is T.

Alpha Map Options

Size Size of the output alpha map.
AA Anti-aliasing mode for the output alpha map.
  • The higher the value, the better thin bars would look. The thinner the geometry and the lower the texture size are, the higher AA should be.

AO without AA AO with AA
AO without anti-aliasing
AO with anti-aliasing

Supported File Formats

Supported formats of geometry/animation data:

  • Unigine mesh (MESH)
  • 3ds Max (3DS)
  • LightWave Objects (LWO)
  • Wavefront (OBJ)
  • ASCII Scene Export (ASE)
  • Quake 3 level mesh (BSP)
  • Doom 3 level mesh (MAP)

Supported formats of textures:

  • Targa (TGA)
  • Portable Network Graphics (PNG)
  • JPEG (JPG)
  • PhotoShop Document (PSD)
  • Direct Draw Surface (DDS)
PSD and DDS textures can be either of an 8-bit or 16-bit precision.

Hot Keys

  • CTRL + O — load a low-poly mesh.
  • CTRL + H — load a high-poly mesh.
  • CTRL + D — load a diffuse texture.
  • CTRL + Rreload all resources.
  • CTRL + Ssave the alpha map or bake it into the loaded diffuse texture, if any.
  • I — toggle mesh info.
  • C — toggle a XYZ compass.
  • T — toggle base grid.
  • G — reset pivot from the mesh to the camera.
Last update: 2017-07-03
Build: ()