Posts Tagged ARGB

Converting a RGB color and Alpha to ARGB in ActionScript 3

So I was using the color picker component that comes with the Flash IDE. When the user selects a color, the color picker fire a ColorPickerEvent.CHANGE event and from that event you can access the new color that was chosen. The format of this color is a uint; when working with colors I am more used to the hexadecimal format.  From the event you can also access to the hexadecimal value, but as a String which is not that useful if you want to do operation on the color.

The color you get from the color picker component is in the RGB format, so no transparency. If you want to add an alpha channel to that color (converting it to ARGB), let’s say to use the setPixel32 method of the BitmapData class¬† and produce Bitmap with transparency, you’re going to have to modify the uint you can do so using this simple function (AS3):

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private function returnARGB(rgb:uint, newAlpha:uint):uint{
  //newAlpha has to be in the 0 to 255 range
  var argb:uint = 0;
  argb += (newAlpha<<24);
  argb += (rgb);
  return argb;
}

What this function does is that it bit shift the value of the Alpha you input and adds it to the original RGB color making it ARGB. You see, RGB format uses 8 bits for each color for each pixel (so 24 bits for each pixel), when you add transparency, the alpha channel takes up another 8 bits for each pixels (making it 32 bits for each pixel thus the 32 in setPixel32). That also explains why newAlpha has to be from 0 to 255, because 255 is the highest number you can store in 8 bits. The Blue color takes the bits from 1 to 8, the Green color takes the bits from 9 to 16, Red from 17 to 24 and finally Alpha from 25 to 32. This is why we bit shift alpha from 24 bits (newAlpha<<24);

I don’t use the color picker component often, but there seem to be missing the end of the sentence here.

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