This tutorial is available as a Word Document and can be downloaded here.
You will need these downloads with the Word Document - 1, 2, 3

If you are using a 3-D program then A-buffers are auto-magically created for you when you make the object. Hopefully Secret Sims, or one of the other splendid Sims-creators that use 3D programs will write a tutorial on that (at which point I will link to it here).

What is an A-BUFFER?

Well If you look to the left - that is.

An A-Buffer or A-Sprite controls the transparency of an object. It has the same shape and position as the P-Sprite but all its colours are black, grey or white. That is, if you have anti-alias on. (If you have anti-alias off - only the black and white have any effect, grey is treated like white).

Where it is black - it's invisible. Where it is white - it's opaque, and where it's grey it's semi-transparent. The darker the grey the more transparent it is.

Now because it does this on a pixel-by-pixel basis, it means that you can use the sprite to do a number of things - and the most important is to smooth the edges of an object or anti-alias an object.

What's an Anti-Alias?

If you look at the picture on the left hand side, it looks like it's got curved edges doesn't it? It doesn't though - pixels are either coloured or they aren't, it's not possible to colour a part of a pixel. The way this is done is by using the  shades of grey to blend the object with the background. And that is what Anti-aliasing does - it blends parts of the object with the background to give the illusion of curves.

The Good News and the Bad News

The Good news is that A-buffers are very easy to do and fix. The Bad News is that T-mog's A-buffers are not good and need to be fixed.

Have you seen the objects that look like they have a grey, blocky aura?
(This picture is blown up to twice itís size so the aura is clearer).
They have a-buffers created by the T-mog program. This is what they look like. Notice that the silhouette of the object has a single pixel border of dark-grey. This is what creates that horrible aura.

We want to be able to fix the aura. We want to be able to create our own A-buffers and what about Multi-tile objects? Look no further!

These 3 Tutorials have been created to be done one after the other, but they can be looked at separately as well. The first 2 tutorials will also provide you with objects that YOU have done the A-buffers for!

At the end of the first tutorial you will have the clown head (pictured above) fixed and ready for your game.
At the end of the second tutorial you will have a Strange and Ugly shape on the wall.

So what are you waiting for? Go do a tutorial!

  1. Fixing A-Buffers on Existing objects.
  2. Creating A-Buffers from Scratch on 1 Tile objects.
  3. Creating A-Buffers for Multi-tile objects.