Alpha Channels for Textures

My imported textures from Photoshop weren’t behaving as I expected them to do. I thought that I could control a material’s transparency by plugging in a black and white image into it’s transparency node (with black making areas transparent). It took me a long time to realize that this only works for some attributes, like specularity, and that I needed to make an image with an alpha channel in order to control colour. I use masks all the time in Photoshop but somehow making an alpha channel has always flown over my head, even though it’s really easy! You literally make a selection (or select a mask), go into the channels tab and then press the ‘save selection as a channel’ button beside the ‘new layer’ button.

This Photoshop help page was useful:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/saving-selections-alpha-channel-masks.html

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