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Transparency isn't working with layers

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Ok I have two images. One is a historic photo of a building on a street, the other is a modern shot from the same angle, and the building is gone. I'm trying to add the old building into the new photo. Some questions:

1) My overall goal is to have the two images superimposed, such that all of each picture (or very nearly all) is visible. I can't figure out how to do that... the gradient tool isn't quite create, because it creates a transition between the two images in a certain direction. The radial gradient comes close to what I want, but not quite. Thoughts on how best to do that?

2) I've been trying to make the sky in the old picture transparent by hitting it with the magic wand so that it all turns checkerboard. Then I save it, and open it as a layer on top of the new photo. But then it's not transparent! Actually, in the layer window, I can see that it shows the checkerboard, but the sky in the old picture is still opaque. What am I doing wrong?

Here are the two photos:



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The most common mistake is when saving, a file type which doesn't preserve transparency is chosen.

For example, .jpg and .bmp do not preserve transparency.

However, .png, .gif, .tga and .tif all preserve transparency, so select one of them when doing your "save as".

If this isn't the problem, let us know

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That worked. Here's what I have so far, I would love some advice on how to improve the image!


I'd like the left edge of the mansion a little clearer, but if I push the gradient out any farther, I start to see a solid line at the edge of the mansion image. Suggestions to fix that?

Also, is there a way to paintbrush in transparency? I would like to wipe out the tree line at the far left and right of the mansion image that sticks up higher

Thanks for any help!

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easiest way to clear out the treelines is to open the mansion image by itself, and add a new layer under it and bucket fill it with black (or some other contrasting color) so you can see what needs to be erased...then simply use the eraser tool.

you can delete the black (or whatever color you chose) layer and resave the image

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Oh, good catch! Yeah I had to start over, hadn't realized my transparency had eaten into the chimneys. Got the sky much cleaner. Maybe somebody could help me with one last thing...

Here's two images. The first shows the mansion about as dark as I would like it. The obvious problem is that it creates really dark lines around the edge of the mansion image. The second image shows a smaller gradient, but that results in a lighter image with the building behind it bleeding through quite a bit. Any suggestions on how to fix that? Is there a way I can adjust how quickly dragging the mouse sideways varies the gradient? Can I do the gradient in multiple steps or from multiple directions? Basically, I want the house itself close to fully fleshed in, but it has to merge quickly into the modern image to the left and right of the house. (Please ignore the white space at the bottom of each picture for now)




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