Transparency in VTF files

A Tutorial for Counter-Strike: Source

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Tools Needed:: Photoshop, VTF Plugin (to save as a VTF) Today I will be teaching you how to create transparency in VTF's, useful for items such as windows, smoke, and many other miscellaneous things in CS:S.
  • Create a new document in Photoshop of the appropriate size, which will depend on its use. Make sure that this document has a transparent background.(Refer to Screenshot A)
  • Create what you would like in your image. If you have multiple layers in your work, merge them before continuing.
  • Ctrl+click on the icon of the layer you are working on (Refer to Screenshot B).
  • Go to the Channels tab and press Create new channel button next to the trash icon.
  • Go to Edit>Fill or Press Shift+F5. Select White and leave the other settings at default (Normal and 100%) (Refer to Screenshot C and D)
  • Go back to the Layers tab and Create a new layer by pressing Shift+Ctrl+N. Press Shift+F5 and fill this layer with 50% Grey, default settings.
  • Move this layer behind your other work (Refer to Screenshot E)
  • Finish it up by pressing Shift+Ctrl+S and saving it as a VTF file. (Refer to Screenshot F).


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  • 6y
    Russian Sushi avatar
    Member Joined 6y
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    > **Posted by fps_al**

    > I followed this EXACTLY and ingame my spray still had a grey background
    > :/

    Sprays are a bit different. Get the image how you want it to be, save as png, import to VTF edit, check the "no level of detail" box.

    then just open tf2 and import the image. Hope I helped!
  • 10y
    Cofeiini avatar
    Cofeiini Offline
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    What about VTF Options?
    In Photosop CS3 I Get "VTF Options" When I Try To "Save As VTF".
    I'll Try With Defaults, But It Would Be Good To Add Em Here.
    EDIT: Ok It Did Work With Defaults.
    Thanks for This Awesome Tutorial
  • 11y
    fps_al avatar
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    I followed this EXACTLY and ingame my spray still had a grey background
  • 11y
    Rodam avatar
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    Verry helpfull tutorial 10/10


    Rodam Ranger
  • 11y
    ZeroOrDie avatar
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    Great tutorial. Thanks :)


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    Ashley Titsdale is my hero
  • 11y
    Supa Scoopa avatar
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    Wonderful. Needed this bad.
    Added to favorites ;)


  • 11y
    Mr Ricktus avatar
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    Very useful, A must read for Spray maker's. 9/10 Great tutorial!


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  • 11y
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    Goood!!! Thank you!!!


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    Retired ...for a while
  • 11y
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  • 11y
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    Falcon, I love you so much now. I asked for this aaaaages ago (dunno if you foudn it :S) and now you have arrived, tytytytytyy soo much

    ok, over-reaction, but its very very helpful :D
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Difficulty Level
Intermediate Difficulty



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