Alpha Value

What Does Alpha Value Mean?

In the context of Java imaging, the alpha value specifies the amount of transparency in an image. Java alpha channels carry transparency information for each image. Alpha values range between 0.0 and 1.0 inclusive, where 0.0 is completely transparent and 1.0 is completely opaque. Transparency effects may be achieved by using alpha values.


Techopedia Explains Alpha Value

Transparency is the physical property of a material that specifies the amount of light that can pass through the material. Glass is a good example of a transparent material. Objects that do not allow light to pass through are opaque. In Java imaging, the source image disappears when the alpha value is 0.0, and it is completely opaque when the alpha value is 1.0. Thus, any alpha value between 0.0 and 1.0 may be selected for varying degrees of transparency. The AlphaComposite class uses alpha values to create show-through imaging effects.

The following is an alpha value example: Let circle A be the destination and circle B be the source. When circle B is superimposed on circle A, circle A’s degree shown through circle B may be varied by adjusting circle B’s alpha value. If circle B has an alpha value of 1, it is opaque. Thus, circle A may not be seen through B. When circle B has a value of 0, it is transparent, and circle A is fully visible.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…