SL Modeling – Alpha Layering

117503iD86DD8186C1CCDB5In Second Life (SL), we have the nifty option of hiding parts of the system avatar to better fit clothing and body parts with the use of Alpha Layers. Currently our avatars can wear up to five alpha layers at a time. With the various clothing and body parts out there, those five layers can be used up quite quickly and without even completing your outfit. So what can you do? Combine them!

As an example, I will pick on the SLink body parts since they are the most commonly used. In the SLink folders, you will find both the alpha layers for each type of body part (hands, feet, head, etc.) as well as the texture used for that alpha. Other designers also include the alpha texture with their sales items so you the customer can utilize them in combination with others.

I use both Mandala’s mesh ears and SLink hands/feet extensively in most of my outfits. To save space on my alpha layers, I have combined all three into one. To the left shows the slots available for one alpha layer. Here you can see how it is done. The Mandala ears alpha goes in the Head Alpha slot, the SLink hands into the Upper Alpha slot and SLink feet into the Lower Alpha slot.

With that trick in mind, you have many more options to combine alpha layers if the designer has the textures for those alphas available. If they do not, there is a very helpful tutorial by SasyPants on creating your own alpha layers. Sometimes you will have to modify or create a new alpha layer if the one provided by the designer does not fit properly.


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