I have a question about transparency. I have been using the Set Default Transparent template to set my blurred prop material settings after conversion to FSX. I have been getting some complaints that the blurred props are completely transparent with some liveries painted by others. I have discovered that these painters used a darker alpha channel for their blurred prop texture than the livery I was using within MCX. I also notice that when I use the Set Default Transparent template, the Alpha Test Level changes, based on that alpha channel in the texture. For my blurred prop texture it's set at 100, while for their livery it's set at 66. When I set it to 66, their blurred props are now visible, AND my blurred props look the same as when set at 100.
So I did another test and set the Alpha Test Level to 1. Their blurred props look the same, my blurred props look the same, and now there is no danger of them becoming transparent no matter how dark they set the alpha channel (unless they set it to 0, to purposely make them transparent).
So my question is why does the Set Default Transparent template set the Alpha Test Level to just below the brightest pixel in the texture's alpha channel and not at 1? Especially for objects like aircraft with many different potential textures being used for that material, it would eliminate this problem. Is there *something else* that setting it to the alpha channel value (as MCX does now) does that I'm not aware of?
Good question. Instinctively it feels like setting it to one always is not a good habit, as you use a much bigger range than needed. But I'm not sure what side effects it can cause. Maybe something to ask in the modeling forum?
I got no answers here or on the Modeling forum. I have tested this in several aircraft parts and scenery objects and found that setting it to 1 gives either no change or better results. Thus I have created my own Transparent template that sets this at 1. If I ever find a problem I will let you know.