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Problems merging one image with another


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Hi everyone!  I'm brand new here and just installed the free version of Paint.net on my computer last night because I heard it was better than MSPaint.  I thought the similarity of names would mean they would be pretty similar, so I'm surprised to be having problems with it.

 

What I want to do is simple, at least in MSPaint.  I want to take a background image, such as a landscape, and then take a cutout of a smaller image, such as a person, and place it in the background image.  With MSPaint, it was just a matter of select, copy, paste, and then click on "Transparent Selection".  All done!  But with Paint.net, I don't get those options.  Reading forum posts about this and also the instructions online make it sound much more complicated.

 

I've read that the "magic wand" is used to make things transparent.  But when I use it, it only seems to select part of the image I want to move, and sometimes selects things beyond the object I want to move.  If it's a person, I click the magic wand, and maybe only the head is selected, and sometimes maybe only the upper body.  I had to give up on the magic wand.  I also heard about "layers" which is an option I clicked on several times, but I never saw anything happen so I don't know how to go about using it.

 

Then I took a cutout of a person that was already on a solid white background and pasted that onto the background.  I got the entire person's image, but surrounded by a large checkerboard.  I've heard that translates into being transparent later on.  That's fine, but how am I supposed to accurately position the person on the background if the area around the person is obscured by the checkerboard?  It blocks out the area I'm positioning the person in!

 

Anyway, that's where I am now.  I also watched a Youtube video about this and it was so confusing that it lost me.  I'm thinking that if MSPaint is so simple, and Paint.net is better, than there must be a better way than what I've been told.  Can someone help me?

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Hello ECPainter,

 

This thread about changing the background to a portrait may help you.

 

Thank you!  I copied what's in that link over to a Word Document and will try to follow the steps.  But the removal of a background isn't really my main concern, although it may come in handy later.  I've been acquiring pre-cut images with no background, and also have used MSPaint to cut out images.  But right now, I am trying to take those pre-cut images and simply add them to another background.  With MSPaint, it simply a matter of selecting the item and dragging it to its desired location and then clicking away from the image.  What is the method of accomplishing the same thing in Paint.net?

Edited by ECPainter
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If you have the images without a background (transparent) the process is eassy. You will be working with two layers only.

 

If the image of the background is larger than the image with the person do this:

1. Open the image which will be the background for the person you want to add.

2. Now, click on the Menu and select  Import from file... Choose the picture containing the person without the background. And when you click OK a new layer will be added with the person.

3. Select the layer containing the person  to resize it or move it as needed.

4. Save your image as a PNG or other image file format.

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Hi everyone!  I'm brand new here and just installed the free version of Paint.net on my computer last night [...]

Don't worry. There isn't a paid version. You have all the features :)

 

[...] because I heard it was better than MSPaint.  I thought the similarity of names would mean they would be pretty similar, so I'm surprised to be having problems with it.

Well, kind of. Really the only similarity between the two is that they're both image editing programs made for Windows. Paint.NET is MUCH more powerful than Paint, but it's also MUCH simpler to use than Photoshop.

 

I'm thinking that if MSPaint is so simple, and Paint.net is better, than there must be a better way than what I've been told.  Can someone help me?

It's better in that it's got more features. And, once you get the hang of it, it's easier to do some things than it is in Paint. But with more features comes more complications, and that means there's a learning curve. Once you get the hang of it (Eli's advice above is excellent), you should find yourself whizzing through everything like a crazy person. :)

Layers are great once you understand them: think of them like a bunch of old-fashioned plastic transparencies all stacked on top of one another. Images on any of them can be edited, moved, and deleted without affecting the others, and the one on the top blocks all of the ones below it. Does that help?

 

The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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If you have the images without a background (transparent) the process is eassy. You will be working with two layers only.

 

If the image of the background is larger than the image with the person do this:

1. Open the image which will be the background for the person you want to add.

2. Now, click on the Menu and select  Import from file... Choose the picture containing the person without the background. And when you click OK a new layer will be added with the person.

3. Select the layer containing the person  to resize it or move it as needed.

4. Save your image as a PNG or other image file format.

I tried doing what you said.  In step 2, I noticed I don't have "Menu".  I looked around and found the Import from File option under "Layers".  So I clicked that and it put the person image on top of the background, along with the solid white background it had as a cutout.  After I saved the image (as PNG), the solid white blob didn't go away.  MSPaint makes it easy to get rid of the white background.  All I have to do is click "Transparent Selection", and the white background goes away leaving only the image, making it easy to position.  How do I accomplish the same thing in Paint.net?

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Ooops , correction:

 

2. On the Menu bar click on Layers and select Import from file...

 

 

OK, I get it, The images with the person do not have a transparent background. Well you need to make them transparent. To remove the white area there are several methods. 

 

If the white background does not blend with white areas on the person do this:

1. Use the Magic wand tool to make a selection. Click on the white area you want to remove.

2. Adjust the Tolerence as needed and press Delete.

3. Save your image.

 

If the edges around the person are rough you can smooth them with the Feather plugin.

Edited by Eli
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Ooops , correction:

 

2. On the Menu bar click on Layers and select Import from file...

 

 

OK, I get it, The images with the person do not have a transparent background. Well you need to make them transparent. To remove the white area there are several methods. 

 

If the white background does not blend with white areas on the person do this:

1. Use the Magic wand tool to make a selection. Click on the white area you want to remove.

2. Adjust the Tolerence as needed and press Delete.

3. Save your image.

 

If the edges around the person are rough you can smooth them with the Feather plugin.

 

I tried using the Magic Wand now.  When you say to adjust the Tolerance as needed, how exactly do I know when I've adjusted it correctly?  I adjusted it to where the outline of the person is what has the moving dotted lines.  Otherwise, I see dotted lines within the image if I turn it too high, and not the entire image is outlined if too low.  Well, I went with just the outline of the image and nothing else and it worked!  Thanks, Eli!!!

 

Now to my next problem (they never end!):  When I wanted to reduce the size of the image of the person against the background, I used the resize tool and specified a 50% reduction.  It ended up reducing not only the person image, but also the background.  I thought layers were adjusted separately, so this shouldn't happen!  Then I clicked "undo" to change them back, and then made sure the layer windows only had a checkmark in the one with the person, and then tried resizing again.  Same thing happened.  Both layers were reduced in size by 50%.  How do I change the size of the image without reducing the background layer?

 

EDIT:  I also tried opening an another layer and then copying/pasting the person image into that, but all I ended up with in the new layer was a blank.  I didn't know what to do after that and gave up.  All I want to accomplish at this point is resizing the image that will be placed on a background without reducing the background size as well.

Edited by ECPainter
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Hello. :)

Perhaps these places can help you learn some paint.net basics :
The Paint.net Documentation.

Here are some old videos, but most of what they talk about is still relevant.

This video is a nice overview

There are two parts to this video, Part 1  Part 2.
The first part does talk about removing backgrounds, but the medthod used isn't always the best method.

Here are places to learn other methods for removing backgrounds :
Basic Remove Background.
Same method as above but different way of explaining things and different example pictures.
Different ways to cutout objects.
This thread has some steps compiled together.

Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles
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That happens because the edges of the person do not contrast with background. That is what I meant when I said "If the white background does not blend with white areas on the person".

 

There are many methods and plugin effects that help to eliminate the background for pictures like yours. That is why I first suggested to read the post Change the background to a portratit. The user had an image with a black background instead of white.

 

I encourage you to go through the different links that Cc4Fuzzy has posted. The more you read and try using paint.Net the more you will realize how powerfull it is.

 

As far as the resizing, I think you used the Image>Resize option and that is why the entire canvas shrunk.  You should have used the select and resize method as in this image:

 

resizing-with-select-4e0587a.png

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To shrink the 'person' layer without changing the 'background' layer.
Either:
1. press shift and drag one of the corner re-sizing handles on the newly imported 'person' layer.
(If the resize handles aren't there, select the person layer then select the move selection arrow :MoveTool:and click on the image).
or
2. Select the person layer then use Layers/'Rotate/ zoom', and move the zoom slider.

 

 

2 seconds too slow! - Ninja'd by Eli :lol:

 

Red ochre Plugin pack.............. Diabolical Drawings ................Real Paintings

 

PdnForumSig2.jpg

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To shrink the 'person' layer without changing the 'background' layer.

Either:

1. press shift and drag one of the corner re-sizing handles on the newly imported 'person' layer.

(If the resize handles aren't there, select the person layer then select the move selection arrow :MoveTool:and click on the image).

or

2. Select the person layer then use Layers/'Rotate/ zoom', and move the zoom slider.

 

 

2 seconds too slow! - Ninja'd by Eli :lol:

Always nice to have more than one perspective! :)

 

Thank you to you and Eli both!  I will also take a look at the links Cc4FuzzyHuggles

 referenced.  I have sooooo much to learn, but now I have a good start on what I'm trying to accomplish.  It's a good springboard to the rest of it.

Edited by ECPainter
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  • 3 months later...

How did you make out? 

 

I am trying, unsuccessfully, to some something similar

 

still reading through the above to try them out.

 

for example, if I cut out a bouquet of flowers, and have a picture of a person, I want to superimpose it into the person's hand

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