TeamColor refinements 
Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 2:29PM
n00body in Alloy, Graphics


Not long ago, I realized that Alloy's Team Color formulation was grossly inflexible and not super intuitive. The primary reason being that if you had more than one color mask overlapping a given pixel, the top one would dominate. This presented a problem if you wanted to mix multiple colors and precisely control their contributions to the final combined color.

It looked a little something like this:

half3 tint = lerp(half3(1,1,1), aTint, masks.a);
tint = lerp(tint, rTint, masks.r);
tint = lerp(tint, gTint, masks.g);
baseColor *= lerp(tint, bTint, masks.b);


As you can see, it was layer order-dependent and made it basically impossible to have all the colors influence one fragment in a clean way. The only problem it really solved was avoiding black zones between masked colors by ensuring that the starting color was white.


New Approach

I needed something that would still prevent the black zone problem, but also allow easy blending between all the masked colors covering a given pixel. Plus, when the total weight of the masks is above 1, it needs to renormalize all the mask weights so that they total 1. Finally, when the total weight is below 1, it needs to add the color white by the remaining weight. 

So I switched to something more like this:

half weight = dot(masks, half4(1,1,1,1));
masks /= max(1, weight);
baseColor *= rTint * masks.r 
            + gTint * masks.g 
            + bTint * masks.b 
            + aTint * masks.a 
            + (1 - min(1, weight)).rrr;


This new approach does everything I need without being overly complex and/or costly.

Article originally appeared on Crunchy Bytes (
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