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Importing 32-Bit Images into CorelXara
Step 1: Creating an 8-Bit Mask
First, an image with an 8-Bit Transparency will be created in a bitmap application -- in this example, Photoshop.
Typically, this involves either a soft border or a semi-transparent area. The image below has both: a soft drop-shadow and a semi-transparent piece of glass.
Merge all image layers together, except for the background. (If you have a semi-transparent area, make sure you keep this as you merge the layers.)
You should end up with two layers: one with the object and one with the background. Color the background with a neutral tint such as mid-gray (RGB 153,153,153) for best results:
Ctrl-click on the layer with the objects you want to export with a transparency (see below).
This will create a selection for all the objects. In fact, this selection is the basis for the 8-bit mask we need.
Select the Channels tab and click on the symbol with the tooltip "Save Selection as Channel" (see below).
You now have a new channel containing the relevant information for your mask, but it is inverted.
Deselect everything (Ctrl-D in Photoshop).
This is what the Alpha channel looks like:
Click on the channel you have just created (Alpha 1 in the example) and invert it (Ctrl-I in Photoshop). The result will look like this:
Select everything (Ctrl-A) and copy the newly-created transparency mask to a new RGB layer.
To achieve this, click on the Layers tab, deselect everything (Ctrl-D) and press Ctrl to paste the inverted Channel data into a new layer in the image.
This is the last chance to crop your image to minimal dimensions.
At this point, you might also want to make sure you will be exporting the image at the resolution you need.
The dimensions and resolution of the channel and the image must be identical.
Save a copy of the channel in a lossless 24-Bit-format such as TIFF (Ctrl-Alt-S).
Turn the new layer off and export the image as a TIFF. You don't need to save Alpha Channels or other Non-Image Data.
Close Photoshop, and launch Xara (yay!).
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