So I've run into a few problems with a custom material and the scripting to change it. Hopefully some people on here can give me an idea on which direction to go with it, or a way to recode what I've got to actually achieve the results intended.

Basically I've got some animated materials applied to the hud to simulate different fx. They look the best when using a soft mask, however I'm trying to set them up to be transparent as well. The problem is of course that in the material editor you can set it to be one or the other, and when switching them to transparent my alpha mask keeps the edges (the fx area), however it keeps the center as well, even with it masked in black. I'm wondering a few things, first is it possible to render a masked image partially transparent, or should transparent be the way to go?

In addition, when testing it as a transparent material instead of masked, while trying to change a scalar parameter attached to the transparency level all I get is a message stating that MITV ? is changing parameters in real time, however it isn't changing the transparency as it should. If adding // in front of the set scalar and removing the scalar param in the material, it will display.

Unfortunately I don't have the source code or files handy at the moment since I'm typing this in class, but I know the mask is right (although I'm sure I could tone the brightness down to play with the transparency level), and the code seems to at least be passing off the parameters, although it is not displaying on screen.

After spending quite a few hours getting a material looking just right, it's quite frustrating not having it display, especially since these fx are going to be used quite frequently (health indicator, drugs, etc).