Just exactly what "special hardware" is required for Video Alpha support? What does it loo

BC
Posted By
Bradley Chapman
Feb 26, 2004
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175
Replies
2
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Closed
I have often wondered what the "video alpha" setting is for in Photoshop, and whether it’s supposed to look gray in the background or if there’s some other visual cue that only works on special cards like the nVidia Quadro or ATI Fire GL, or the SGI workstations. Is this a legacy holdover from earlier versions of Photoshop? Or simply an alternative to the checkerboard?

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T
tmalcom
Feb 26, 2004
Back in the distant past (the 90’s) when video cards were just starting to go beyond the basics of putting a 256-color display on the screen, transparency was generally handled in software. It was usually slow and painful to watch. Video cards then started handling the transparency, or alpha, directly, which made it much faster and less prone to artifacting. If you have a video card made in the last decade, it’s a virtual certainty that it supports hardware alpha. How well that translates to your particular display is also dependent on the drivers and the software using it. Give it a try…it isn’t likely you’ll notice much difference and if there’s any problem you can always turn it off again.
BC
Bradley Chapman
Mar 2, 2004
So in other words, this feature is a holdover from Photoshop 1.0 or 2.0?

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