Alpha channel

In Technical term

An additional image channel (e.g. extending an RGB image) or standalone channel controlling Alpha blending.

In graphics, a portion of each pixels data that is reserved for transparency information. 32-bit graphics systems contain four channels — three 8-bit channels for red, green, and blue (RGB) and one 8-bit alpha channel. The alpha channel is really a mask. It specifies how the pixels colors should be merged with another pixel when the two are overlaid, one on top of the other.

Different parts of the object can have different levels of transparency depending on how much you wanted the background to show through. This allows you to create objects that appear as if they are irregular in shape.

In short, the alpha channel is an extra channel that help you to blend or remove objects from background. This is helpful in animation and 2D and 3D composition.

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