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Alpha channel not working for placed image

Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2018

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Hi!

I am trying to place an image with transparency created with alpha channel in my artwork, but the alpha channel won't work and in the links panel the transparency is set to "no".

In InDesign the alpha channel works fine, so I know there is no problem with the image / alpha channel per se.

Upon placing the image (TIF) into Illustrator, I am not getting any import options, although I have checked the box for this option. Are there none available?

Have found a work around - (deleting the background), but it bugs me that I can't work with alpha channels, so it would be great to understand why this doesn't work in this case above.

Thanks in advance!

/Charlotta

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Alpha channel not working for placed image

Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2018

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Hi!

I am trying to place an image with transparency created with alpha channel in my artwork, but the alpha channel won't work and in the links panel the transparency is set to "no".

In InDesign the alpha channel works fine, so I know there is no problem with the image / alpha channel per se.

Upon placing the image (TIF) into Illustrator, I am not getting any import options, although I have checked the box for this option. Are there none available?

Have found a work around - (deleting the background), but it bugs me that I can't work with alpha channels, so it would be great to understand why this doesn't work in this case above.

Thanks in advance!

/Charlotta

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Feb 27, 2018 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 27, 2018

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One idea: try PNG instead.

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2018

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It is a file for print, so PNG won't do the work as it is RGB ...

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 27, 2018

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That's a pity... how about PSD?

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Feb 27, 2018 1
Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2018

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Tried that one, with the same result - works in InDesign but not in Illustrator ...

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2018

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Layer masks are supported in Illustrator, Alpha channels not.

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Feb 27, 2018 1
Community Beginner ,
Feb 28, 2018

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Is that so ... that was interesting to hear!

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Feb 28, 2018 0
Enthusiast ,
Feb 27, 2018

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Hi,

Can You please post a screenshot of your TIFF into Illustrator document?

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2018

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Can't do that due to company secrecy but it is an ordinary product image with white background.

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Engaged ,
Feb 27, 2018

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Are you sure you ticked the checkbox "Save Transparency' in the second dialogue when saving as tiff out of Photoshop?

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2018

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Yes, I am sure. (Otherwise it wouldn't work in InDesign either.)

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2018

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You can use a Layer Mask instead of an Alpha channel.

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Feb 27, 2018 1
Engaged ,
Feb 27, 2018

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Ton,

A layer mask is an alpha channel (look in the channels panel when you make one)

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2018

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A layer mask appears next to the layer and shows the transparency of the layer in the image window.

An Alpha channel shows only how it affects transparency when an application reads and applies it.

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Engaged ,
Feb 27, 2018

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Whatever you do to the 'layer mask' is simultaneously written to the 'alpha channel' they are essentially one and the same thing?

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2018

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A Layer Mask is a "modern" Alpha channel.

Both can be used for transparency but the difference is that a Layer Mask shows you the transparency in Photoshop and an Alpha channel does not.

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Feb 27, 2018 1
Engaged ,
Feb 27, 2018

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It's simply an Adobe GUI thing, whatever, I give up.

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2018

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I don't think it is simply an Adobe GUI thing.

Applications can only read one Alpha channel (although you may choose which one).

But in Photoshop every layer can have its own Layer Mask, combined they have the same funtion as an Alpha channel.

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2018

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Just a note: if you are working with a complex, layered PS you may want to place the layers in a "Layer Group" and create a single "Layer Mask" on the top-level group.

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Feb 27, 2018 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 27, 2018

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  wrote

Just a note: if you are working with a complex, layered PS you may want to place the layers in a "Layer Group" and create a single "Layer Mask" on the top-level group.

Correct!

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Feb 27, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 28, 2018

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rcraighead  wrote

Just a note: if you are working with a complex, layered PS you may want to place the layers in a "Layer Group" and create a single "Layer Mask" on the top-level group.

Re-reading this, I am not sure why you mention a "top-level" group.

If you want a single mask applied to all layers, group them all and apply the mask to the group.

If you have more than one group or groups and layers, you may need to apply layer masks to all of them.

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Feb 28, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 28, 2018

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If you nest the layers in PS, the “top-most layer" (or "master layer") can contain a mask that affects all the layer content, including sub-layers. My Photoshop terminology may be confusing.

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Feb 28, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 28, 2018

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I am afraid I don't get it, you mean a Layer Clipping mask?

Can give a screendump of the layers panel?

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Feb 28, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 28, 2018

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Pretty weak illustration, but the video shows 2 groups with a group and layer inside "Group 2". The raster mask on "Group 2" effects anything in the group, but ignores the bottom layer which is outside the group. I've editing the mask properties to make it translucent and blurred.

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Feb 28, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 28, 2018

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I see what you mean. Everything has to be inside a group (also other groups and layers) to be affected by the mask of that group.

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Feb 28, 2018 1
New Here ,
Sep 08, 2020

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I would like to see illustrator support alpha channels in illustrator. It would help my workflow. Seems like illustrator does support it. Although illustrator puts it behind the artboard. 

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Sep 08, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 08, 2020

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Not sure how you mean that - Alpha channels in PNGs?

Or alpha channels in general? Have you tried out opacity masks?

 

Anyway: Please post bugs & feature requests to http://illustrator.uservoice.com

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Sep 08, 2020 0
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