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White Background Removal - Preserve Transparency - 2 steps!


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  • 11 months later...

This tutorial is good for basic images or text like what the tutorial samples with, which helps to teach "How To Use" the plugin.

Learning how to use plugins is a good first step before trying to apply them to harder projects.


But regarding your image, you will need to duplicate it and make it black & white to where the person is a solid black shape, then copy it. Then, you can click the original image and use the plugin with the invert alpha mask setting checked. If I can, I hopefully will be able to give you an example of what I'm talking about, but I need to piece it together first.

Edited by Cc4FuzzyHuggles
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Thank you CC, I think I understand that...basically. So if I duplicate it, is that a new layer or a new file? Once I've done that, copied it....okay I'm stuck. I'll wait for your example :):D


"Geek is me"

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  • 3 years later...

Will someone please do a youtube video about this subject and link it.  Trying to search youtube for answers on this is insane.  Well over a 100 uploads on how to use the useless Eraser & Magic Wand.  Sorry.  But seriously how do you cut out the white background and leave the black image?  This is a free texture.  How would I make it have a transparent background with that alpha mask trick?  I need to see this done by someone not told to me with printed words.  Print makes no sense to my mind.  A youtube vid would be awesome.




@ ScifiGirl
Re-referencing your first post,

On 5/5/2014 at 11:32 PM, ScifiGirl said:

My biggest and most frustrating issue is still getting nice clean cut outs. Before with my other software which shall remain nameless, I would use the magic wand, especially simple and neat if the pic you're cutting out is on a white background. But with PDN, I am seriously struggling in this dept. So, how can I cut this out nicely with PDN?


I have an answer with better detail now. Perhaps this belongs in the tutorial section of the forums though, because my answer with more details kind of turned into a tutorial. Either way, I hope it accomplishes what you want.
Using Alpha Mask + Smoothing plugins, here is one way you can cut out your image.
( for this tut you will need to know how to use the paint.net user interface and layers : UI -- http://www.getpaint.net/doc/latest/MainWindow.html  Layers -- http://www.getpaint.net/doc/latest/ )
Click "Show" for the tutorial. (Note : This tutorial is subject to change.)

Hidden Content:
1) Open your image. (Optional : Name it's layer, Original Image)
2) Add a new layer. Make this layer a temporary background by filling it with a color or a gradient of colors. (Optional : Name the new layer, Temporary Background)
3) Duplicate your Original Image and move the duplicate up, so that it is your top layer. (Optional : Name the duplicated layer, Object Layer)
4) Go up to the Menu Bar > Adjustments Tab > Brightness/Contrast.
   Settings :
     Brightness -100
     Contrast 100
And color holes in with black paint.
(note: step 4 does not work for all images. but making the object into a black shape is needed for alpha mask to work.)
The Layers, Brightness/Contrast, and Example Holes to Color Black
5) Since I don't like to make big changes to my original image, in case I make a mistake or want to re-do things, I'm going to instruct you next, to Duplicate your Original Image. Then move the duplicated layer above the temporary background. (Optional : Name this duplicated layer, Cut-Out Layer)
6) Then click the Object layer, select all (ctrl + a), copy (ctrl + c), and uncheck the object layer to make it invisible.
7) If you aren't already on the Cut-Out Layer now, click the Cut-Out Layer. Then go up to the Menu Bar > Effects > Alpha Mask
   Settings :
     Invert Alpha Mask : Checked
     Mix Alpha : Unchecked
     Paste From Clipboard : Checked
De-Select (ctrl + D).

The Layers & Alpha Mask
8) For ugly body edges, make a broad selection around the body using the lasso tool, and run one or all of these plugins (I often use all three as a combo attack on ugly edges) :
   First Basic Antialias. – The Plugin http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/7644-basic-antialias-version-11-bug-fixed-january-14-2008/
   Then Feather (not the old one) with radius set to 3. – The Plugin http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/2140-feather-plugin-now-with-source/
   Last AA's Assistant with default settings. Optional, run it twice. The plugin is part of this pack – http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?showtopic=16643
This Picture has been modified to show an example of all three plugins.
9) For ugly hair edges, sadly that's not something I've found a good solution for yet. So all I can suggest, is make a selection around the outside of the hair as best you can and experiment. Hair is different since it's edges are fine and detailed, so sometimes it can't always be treated the same as the rest of the image. I think you've had a lot of suggestions on how to cut-out images and smooth edges, so hopefully you can apply what you are learning to help clean up the hair's edges and get something satisfying.
Here are a few ideas :
Try Alpha Blur, settings radius 1 and Shift in <– till you have something you like. ( The Plugin -- http://forums.getpaint.net/index.php?/topic/24280-alpha-blur-v2-2012-03-05/ )
Or use AA's Assistant and adjust the sharpness to your liking.
Or try using Grim Color Reaper.

Here is a picture of me trying Grim Color Reaper (GCR). I first zoomed in super, super close (not shown), used the eye dropper tool to grab a color from the very edge of the stuff I didn't want (not shown), then I ran the plugin, set color to primary color and started adjusting the color tolerance (shown). Comparing the selected part and unselected parts, you can see the unselected parts around the hair are more choppy.
For the other parts of the hair, I mostly used AA's Assistant, but tried more GCR, and some Alpha Blur.
Here is the full picture/end result. (It's not perfect and it's only an example.)
http://i1146.photobucket.com/albums/o528/Cc4FuzzyHuggles/Other/MiniTutforCuttingOutwithAlphaMaskMain_zps58b3ac38.jpg     http://i1146.photobucket.com/albums/o528/Cc4FuzzyHuggles/Other/MiniTutforCuttingOutwithAlphaMaskMainPNG_zpsb7c4c735.png
With your image cut-out, you can now use it with any background.
I suggest saving the image in layers (pdn), then hide the layers you don't want, flatten, and save as a PNG.
Edit : some links faild, Fixed now. Edited May 9, 2014 by Cc4FuzzyHuggles



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Hello @Jemcrystal

Something this easy does not require a video.  Exactly what the magic wand is used for. Set to the magic wand to global  and 20% Tolerance. Click on your whitest pixel. You will see it does not select them all. Left click on the second and third whitest while holding the the CTRL key.  When you hit delete - it will remove those white ones and leave you with transparency just like this;




Hope this helps. I don't do videos. B)


Edited by AndrewDavid
added link / Removed upload
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Hi @Jemcrystal and Welcome to PDN.


I made a quick video for you.  Don't forget to save to a .png to retain transparency.



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How I made Jennifer & Halle in Paint.net

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"Rescuing one animal may not change the world, but for that animal their world is changed forever!" anon.

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