• jan@cosmigo.com

Animate alpha / capture alpha transparency in frames

I know it’s kinda taboo in some communities, but i’m limited by my skill in manipulating the set color palette. So i kinda wanna cheat a flickering light by manipulating the alpha transparency.

Only to find out that setting a layers’ alpha applies to all frames. The same thing seems to apply to the layers’ blend mode too. Is it possible to make this frame by frame?

Suggestion: Ability to set layer parameters/properties (blend mode, transparency, fx, etc.) on a frame by frame basis.

My current workaround is have the (amount of layers == amount of frames) for that one object i’m trying to animate.

PMNG ver. 7.2.7

The problem with this approach (which is the reason why some would consider it “taboo”) is that by leveraging alpha transparency you relinquish control over the color palette entries — i.e. each alpha blending will introduce new colors as a result of the blending layers, and if you change the alpha values at each frame you’ll soon might end up with more colors in your animation than a 256 colors palette can hold.

Although modern pixel art doesn’t need to stick to the old indexed palette of max 256 colors, it is a trait of pixel art to have pixel-by-pixel control over the image and its palette. Also, many popular image formats (e.g. Gif) still work with the indexed palette limits.

The idea of being able to control layers properties like transparency, etc., along the animation is interesting though, and it could have many legitimate uses. Possibly, instead of having to set each value frame by frame, it would be better to work via keyframes that determine a beginning and ending point along a transition, thus allowing to control multiple frames via just two frames. This can be achieved like Photoshop does with gradients, where there’s a third value that determines where the balance point of the transition is.

Hi @cageburner,

you could add an alpha transparency plane to the project. Just hit the “A” that you see on the right side of your screenshot. Then all pixels can use semi transparent (alpha) transparency and you can draw each frame as you want them to be.
But of course alpha can be harder to handle when working on pixel level, once it is active in the project.


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Thanks Jan! I’ll try this with another project later when i get to another roadblock.