CHAPTER 4

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Vegetation and Alpha Maps

Creating and Using Alpha Maps/Channels

In this chapter, we are going to look at the most common methods of creating various forms of vegetation used in the games industry.

As creating foliage and leaves still relies heavily on alpha maps or a texture with an alpha channel, I’ll start off with a brief explanation.

An alpha map is a black-and-white or grayscale image, which controls the transparency of a surface when it’s applied to a mesh using a shader. In the example pictured in Fig. 4.1, the alpha map is on the left, the diffuse texture in the middle, and the final result applied to the mesh is on the ...

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