Alpha images - positive, negative and neutral


I wonder how do alpha images work. In the manual, it says that black is neutral / no deformation.

I thought that mid gray like #777777 would be neural, and everything above would create a negative deformation, and colors below would add positive deformation to the object.

Let’s say I would like to create a “door” on some metal, the “door” have some vents openings. I would like to have the border of the “door” to be negative, cut into the form, but the vents openings should be positive - coming out of the form. Is that possible to achieve using alphas?

I believe you would have to separate your alpha into two separate images (one for the border and one for the vents), then perform the actions separately.

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Ok thanks Justin