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Tutorial: Downloading and using textures with alpha channels


How do you save textures from Second life with transparent backgrounds and use them in Photoshop …just follow the steps below:

Note: In the pictures below I used our free Gingham Buttons and Badges textures, they are still available at Insight Designs Textures if you want to follow along with the exact same textures, but this method will work with any alpha texture.


Make sure the texture you want to download is open, then go to file – save as.  Save it somewhere on your computer.


When you open the file in Photoshop – don’t be alarmed.  It looks nothing like the image in Second Life, that’s okay….it’s because of the alpha channel.3

Go to channels and find the one that says Alpha 1, make sure only that channel is turned on.  Hold Ctrl and click on the thumbnail (the small pic in the Alpha 1 channel) so the white parts are selected.  Go back to layers and copy and paste (ctrl c – ctrl v) and then turn off the bottom layer and your buttons with shadows should appear!


If you want to use an indivdual button, take the Elliptical marque tool and draw a circle around one of the buttons (I have added a white layer under the buttons layer so I can see the shadows more clearly for selection), copy and paste onto a new layer and that is about it.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment.


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  1. Hi there – I can not for the life of me figure out how to locate the buttons. I clicked on the link, but it takes me to some website called and it gives some weird message.

    Do you have another link where I could download them from please?

    Thank you so much!

  2. Amisha March says:

    Kim, sent you a message :)

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