On Mon, Oct 13, 2003 at 11:06:09AM -0500, Kevin Myers wrote:
> Hi Marco -
> I've been working with some facets of digital images for a long time, but I
> still don't completely understand everything about transparency.  In
> particular, you mention one of the things here that I am confused about.
> Could you please explain further exactly what transparency and alpha
> channels have to do with each other? 

First off -- unless you mean you want to see through parts of an image
entirely, you mean translucency. Transparent -> invisible; translucent
-> see-through.

The alpha channel is basically a channel just like red, green, and blue,
except that it determines the translucency of the pixel, instead of the

> what does that have to do with "alpha"? 

I have no clue why they called it an alpha channel, if that's what you

> Also, how is level of transparency actually
> applied in order compute the final display values for a pixel when a
> semi-transparent pixel is overlaid onto an underlying non-transparent pixel?

While typing this email, I see sven has answered this.

> Although the original question in this thread involved png files, I am more
> interested in tiff files, but I suspect that essentially the same answer
> applies to both.  Thanks!

Both support alpha channels, yes.

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