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Hannah Prower

Making Backgrounds of Images Transparent

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I have no clue if some of you know how to do this already, but I will show you how to make the backgrounds of images with solid white backgrounds transparent.

Step 1: Go to File-->Open :FileOpen: and open the image in which you want to make the background transparent.

  • Before:
    2ed74ok.png

Step 4: Select the Magic Wand tool :MagicWandTool: and set the Tolerance level to 25% (or anything depending on your image. I would recommend 25% for sprites/pixel images.). Click somewhere on the background.

Step 5: Go to Edit-->Cut. :EditCut: You should see a "checkerboard" pattern where the image is now transparent.

Step 6: File-->Save As... :SaveAs:

Select a file type of PNG or GIF before clicking the Save button.

  • After:
    4i3c9k9.gif

This is a good tut for newbies who want to learn how to do this.

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Steps 1 2 and 3 can be achieved by simply opening th file

And This is simply a how-to on the magic wand.

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LOL yeah. This tut will be good for newbies to PDN who desperately want to know how to make the backgrounds of images transparent. I was desperate, until I discovered how to do it myself.

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Get rid of the white somehow. Use the eraser, or use any selection tool to select the white and delete it.

Then save as whatever file type you need..

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Re Hannahs tut

I tried it to remove the box from behind the image but it did not work - using the magic wand. I am VERY new to this program and would really like to know how to just have the image that I have cropped out and not the box in the back ground. In "dummy" language please :?

MAYAface_.jpg

Your image is going to be a little bit harder because part of the Wolf's face is somewhat white. I would recommend using a tolerance level of about 15%

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As Long As It's Not A Crappy Jpeg Or Maybe A Crappy Gif, A Tolerance Level Of 0% Would Work....

EDIT: NEVER Save As Jpeg, Those Things Are <No cursing.>, PNG FTGDMFW

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Its a lot more time consuming but the method i used in my icons tutorial is more foolproof. Create a background layer that is a contrasting colour. erase an area around the subject. Delete unwanted areas. select background layer again and delete- you will have your image in a transparent BG. Use as needed.

As for saves. right until the final version, i tend to use the native format, and THEN when needed, i save as whats needed. makes more sense that way ;p

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Is there a way to make the background of a bmp file transparent?

Maybe I'm doing something wrong!!

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BMP seems to support transparency, but in a limited sense... your better off with PNG

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BMP does not support transparency. Period. It is possible to save an alpha channel in a separate file, but, 'tis much easier to use PNG. And, BMP's are usually not compressed, making them much larger than compressed file formats.

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Thanks...you guys.....

It not that I haven't considered saving it as different file format...it just that it is the mandatory file format for a guild emblem I'm making for a online game I'm playing.

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Hannah's method works easy with images that do have a stark contrast, such as a brown bear on a white background. I don't always have a steady hand when tracing around something, but I probably will mainly use the cutout approach. :wink:

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I've done with the wand, but also by just pasting it in a layer and the eraser for areas I don't want.

Hard to do on a smaller image, have to blur or feather to get a nice edge. If possible always try to use a large image you can edit the surrounding areas and then rescale it down IMO.

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Hanna,

I tried your method of making a background on a gif transparent. I had a gif of a little Mini-Cooper car that had a white roof. Your technique worked great, EXCEPT the roof of the car disappeared/became transparent along with the white background and I now have a red Mini Cooper convertible. How to I give this image back it's white roof, while maintaining transparancy in the remaining background?

Thanks, Ms Max :lol:

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McRebelz, your sig is way too big (by 247px, exactly)

Reduce it before a mod takes away your sword.

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Being a 'noob' to PDN, I found this to be useful information. I hadn't thought of saving images as .png, I always saved them as .jpg. I always seemed to have the problem, that when I'd cut round the outline of an image and saved it as a .jpg, when I pasted that image onto a background, it would always appear in a white box which I found annoying. This doesn't appear to happen when the image is saved as .png.

Can the .png images be treated the same way as a .jpg such as can they be printed, manipulated, included in backgrounds for home movie menus etc?

What's best overall, and what advantages do .png have over .jpg. Sorry for all the questions but I'm only a week or so into PDN, totally fascinated by it and want to learn as much as I can. Thanks in advance. Glynn.

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Yes, .png can be printed and manipulated. Hmm, I don't know about movie menus... what are they?

Well, seeing as our PNG fanboy isn't here, I might as well give you the rundown.

PNG offers two modes of color storage. 24-bit and 8-bit color depths. Paint.Net only saves PNG's in 24-bit, so I'll only give a brief description of the 8-bit.

8-bit PNG's are actually pretty close to GIF's, in that they both compress images, and use a similar color index, giving them both fairly small file size. Also, 8-bit PNG's use 1-bit transparency, like GIF.

24-bit PNG's are lossless. (Meaning that they retain all color information, no compression.) They also have 8-bit alpha transparency- 256 levels of transparency. But, no compression means that file sizes can be large-- sometimes very large.

JPEG's allow one key thing: 24-bit color depth and varying levels of compression. Very slighty compressing an image can reduce the file size dramatically and produce almost the same look as the original. Something to beware of, when re-saving a JPEG, turn the dial up to 100- making it lossless. Repeated compression results in artifacts-- grainy images. Not fun. Also, JPEG's do not support transparency.

As you can see, each has their place.

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