Object transparency. Reducing latency.

Hi guys. I have a couple of queries. First, is there an easy way to change the transparency of a 3d object (made in Maya)? I’ve tried following methods listed on the manual but nothing seems to work. I tried importing my texture and another white colored picture file in one line but the object still shows up in one solid color.

The second issue im querying about is the in game latency, which is probably occuring due to the existance of multiple collisions occuring at the same time during the game. Is there a way to resolve this?

I am not sure about Maya, but collisions in panda3d are quite fast, but there is multiple pitfall you have to avoid. What is your collision setup like?