object with alpha1 still transparent - help!

I’m animating the development of a starfish. I want to fade the material from transparent to opaque (using zbuf NOT ray).

Unfortunately, even with alpha=1.0, my starfish is still a little bit transparent.

The first image shows my render, with ztransp on, alpha 1.0. http://biochemicalsoul.com/images/blender/ztransp.jpg

The second image is the exact same except ztransp turned off.

Why won’t my starfish become opaque?

I’ve also shown a screen cap of my material setting (the textures map only to nor and spec). Ray is turned off (I’m not using raytrace for anything and I’d like to keep it that way for this scene).

Any help or advice?

After much trial and error, I figured out that it’s the “mist” that interferes with opaque objects (alpha 1.0) with ztransp turned on.

Apparently this is a known issue (according to another random thread I found somewhere).

Either way, I have found no way to fix this.

Guess I will just render twice and composite in post…

Note for others: a work around is to click the “no mist” button in the materials setting for the object with ztransp/alpha1.0 - however, the object tends to stand out since it is no longer affected by the mist.

If anyone else knows a work around to keep both mist on and ztransp/alpha1.0 AND keep the object opaque, let me know.