Question

What's alpha blending and how to use it?

Answer

Alpha blending is the name for using the transparency information stored in the alpha channel.

Alpha blending allows one to use anti-aliasing --creating the illusion of smooth curves on a grid of rectangular pixels by smoothly varying the pixels' colors-- to make rounded and curved images that look good against any background, not just against a white background (for example). Thus the same image can be reused in many places on different backgrounds without the "ghosting'' effect that occurs when using bitmaps 1 color transparency (also refered to as binary transparency).

To create PNG files with alpha channels please check out the FAQ of the png site. (http://www.libpng.org/pub/png/pngfaq.html#transparency)

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