In graphics, a portion of each pixel's data that is reserved for transparency information. 32-bit graphics systems contain four channels — three 8-bit channels for red, green, and blue (RGB) and one 8-bit alpha channel. The alpha channel is really a mask. It specifies how the pixel's colors should be merged with another pixel when the two are overlaid, one on top of the other.
Typically, you wouldn't define the alpha channel on a pixel-by-pixel basis, but rather per object. Different parts of the object would have different levels of transparency depending on how much you wanted the background to show through. This allows you to create rectangular objects that appear as if they are irregular in shape — you define the rectangular edges as transparent so that the background shows through. This is especially important for animation, where the background changes from one frame to the next.
Rendering overlapping objects that include an alpha value is called alpha blending.
IT Solutions Builder TOP IT RESOURCES TO MOVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD
Which topic are you interested in?
What is your company size?
What is your job title?
What is your job function?
Searching our resource database to find your matches...
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
From A3 to ZZZ this guide lists 1,500 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Read More »List of Well-Known TCP Port Numbers
Port numbers 0 to 1024 are reserved for privileged services and designated as well-known ports. This list of port numbers are specified in... Read More »
Computer architecture provides an introduction to system design basics for most computer science students. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »The Five Generations of Computers
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that we use... Read More »