Alpha Channels are fucked

I’m wondering if anyone here can help me with some problems I’m having with alpha channels.

For a good while now I had an idea stuck in my head about a TF2 skin, but when I went to test the alpha channel hack in both TF2 and GMod, the alpha channel just wont fucking work.

For the VTF, I know for sure I’ve selected the areas I wanted hacked off with the alpha channels correctly, and as far as I remember, you need to save it as a DXT5 to allow Alphas. So I have, and the VTF has alphatest in it aswell as translucency in the code, but it STILL wont fucking go invisible.

I remember very clearly this used to work perfectly, I’m not sure if I’m just missing something or just been retarded. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Upload your source files.

Did you save the TGA as 32 bit?

Nope, saved it as a DXT5 straight from Photoshop.

You mean the VTF and VMT?

Yes and it’s usually better to convert via vtfedit

You have to set up one alpha channel in the “Channels” tab, but the trick is, you also have to make sure you have a layer that’s a background (Layers>New>Background from Layer or something like that). Without a background layer, your alpha will always come out all white.

If you’re saving it from PS, just use one of the presets “w/Alpha” from the drop down box.

And I haven’t tried fucking with .vmt files for a long time, but back when I was skinning you couldn’t have both $alphatest and $translucent, you need to take one out.

I’ve done all that guys, as far as I can tell I’ve done EVERYTHING correctly, the alpha channels, the VMT and the exporting.

Still wont work. Has the VMT code changed or something?

Could try setting the VTF file as a Decal?

Probably won’t work with what you’re trying to do, but it’s worth a shot to test if transparency is working.

Would you be willing to upload what you’re trying to texure so we can try converting it ourselves?

Post the files and we’ll have a look at them.

If you’re using the Photoshop *.vtf plugin, you can just pick “(Un)compressed texture with alpha” from the dropdown menu and you won’t be hassled. I’ve never had any kind of problem doing it this way.

DXT5 often has some quality loss, just as a side note. I usually save as BGRA8888 – slightly larger texture size, but very high quality.
As long as the alpha map has the areas specified correctly, it should become transparent correctly.

Also, don’t use both $alphatest and $translucency in the same VMT. That will almost always break it.
If you ever need to know about qc or vmt commands, check the Valve Developer Wiki; it will have almost everything you need to know. Just be sure to read carefully!