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Make your own Backpack with Opacity

What is opacity?

Opacity refers to the level of visibility of the parts of a product. In IMVU, this is manipulated through the opacity map.

Opacity maps are shades of black and white. A pure-black part of the map is hidden from view, while a pure white part is visible. Varying shades of gray point to different transparencies. For example, a gray tone that is 50% black and 50% white is 50% transparent. A shade that is 75% black is 75% transparent, while one that is 75% white is only 25% transparent.

Opacity can be used in conjunction with meshes to easily create cool custom designs for your products! It can be used to completely hide portions of the mesh so you can sculpt it into any shape, thereby creating a unique product. It can also be used to create a see-through layer that exposes the textures underneath. This makes for a more dynamic design, especially when used in conjunction with the shininess map which you can upload in IMVU Studio.

Creating Opacity Maps

You can create your opacity map together with your textures. It is uploaded as a separate layer on top of your textures when you are working on your product, similar to the shininess map.

When working on your texture either on Photoshop or GIMP, you can use the Layer feature to create the opacity map above your designs.

You can also create the opacity first, and use it to influence how you will make your textures!

Blending on Layers

Use blending on your layers cautiously. Leaving it enabled/checked unnecessarily can cause issues when coming into close proximity to another product or layer using blending as well.

Have you ever seen parts of your outfit disappear when you look through a glass window? Or baby hair edges that make your lashes or eyebrows disappear? That’s blending incompatibility. There isn’t too much you can do, but it’s always a good idea to test with some common products to make sure everything works as you expect it to.

In Classic Client, when you aren’t using grayscale in your opacity (so only black and white), it is recommended that you have blending turned off. In the same scenario using IMVU Studio, it is recommended that you have ‘Transparency Mode’ set to ‘Alpha Test’.

Uploading opacity maps in IMVU Studio

Opacity maps are uploaded to IMVU Studio just like any other texture. 

STEP 1. Go to the Materials tab (ALT+T) then choose the texture you want to work with.

STEP 2. In the Inspector Panel on the right, click on the beside the Opacity option. Click Assign Asset.

STEP 3. Choose your opacity map from your file browser, then upload. You’re done!

Make sure to click Preview to see the changes. Once you’re satisfied, click Save or Submit!


You can also follow these same steps to upload a shininess map. Simply click Assign asset under Shininess.


Playing with Settings

To achieve the perfect look for your product, you can play with the Settings in the Inspector Tab. You can also use these settings to fix quirks in the product. For example, setting the ‘Transparency Mode’ to ‘Alpha Test’ and adjusting the ‘Threshold’ can remove weird gray areas stretching over the “invisible” portion of your products.

Make your own Backpack with Opacity

You can try making your very own product with opacity through the following tutorial by Creator Angelkiss2007!

Product Links

Here are the links to the sample products, made by Polystyrene, used in the video.

Tutorial Backpack (Female): https://www.imvu.com/shop/product.php?products_id=50263018

Tutorial Backpack (Male): https://www.imvu.com/shop/product.php?products_id=50263027

Copyrighted Images

When adding new textures to your backpack, remember to only use textures you are legally allowed to use! Including images copyrighted by someone else is against IMUV’s Terms of Service. Some free services where you can get legit stock images include Unsplash, Design Sponge, Pexels, and Pixabay.

For more information on Opacity Mapping, check out this article by Polystyrene.


Updated on July 21, 2023

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