Masks, Alpha Channels, Transparency, WTF!

So, I’m not a designer, and my photoshop knowledge on a scale of 1 to 10 is about a 3, and I’m looking for some help in completing what I’m guessing is a pretty simple task (for you guys and gals). I added a plugin to my site called Lumise that adds a “design” space to my site that allows users to customize there own apparel. I purchased a mockup from pixel sauce that I opened in photoshop, removed the layers that contained both the mockup instructions and the sample design, and exported a png of just the shirt. In the plugin, to allow the user to change the shirt’s color, the documentation calls for the shirt to have a mask? So when I import the shirt that I exported from photoshop into the plugin, I’m unable to change the shirt’s color, I guess because I am missing the mask? I need some help!!! Below is a snip from the Lumise documentation.

I appreciate any help you can provide.

If those are supposed to be instructions, the writing is pretty weak. They appear to be describing a “mask image,” which contains only the object’s shadows and highlights so that solid color can be rendered (on a layer) behind.

While I have some experience using such an online design interface, I’ve never been involved in populating one from the backside. There may be a better example image to be found that would give you a better look at the layer mechanics in play, and a target to aim for. Someone here probably knows how that works better than I. Be patient and keep digging.

I agree with HotButton, not the best instructions.

In Photoshop, transparency is represented by the white and gray checker pattern. So I believe what they’re showing you is that you need the details – stitching, folds, shadows – on a layer with a transparent background. That will get placed on top of a solid color to create the t-shirt mockup.

Thanks for the reply!! The writing is weak indeed! If you happen to find some info that could help me, you know where to find me!

I believe that to be the case as well. The problem with that is that i don’t know how to extract that info from the mock-up. Here is a layer breakdown from the mock-up.

Saving as a png is probably the problem. You can’t have a layer mask in a png file.

Only psd or tiff extensions respect layer masks

Maybe your background layer is getting merged into the final PNG. Turn off the background layer (and any other layer you want to be transparent) before saving it as a .png.

The plugin only takes PNGs so what can I do to maintain transparency?

See the post right above yours. I just told you how.

The instructions from Lumise are unclear, but if they need part of the PNG to be transparent, you just cut out that part of the layer while making sure there’s no other objects on any other layers, like the original background layer, that will get flattened into that cut-out area when you export it as a PNG. Assuming you’re using Photoshop, also make sure the transparency checkbox is checked when you export it.

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