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Newbie Q. Gradient/blend from photo to background?

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I don't know if it is possible with, but I would like to blend the edge of a photo into a very similar background colour.

Everything I've tried either wipes the photo and replaces it with a background, or comes close, but not the full monty.

I've used the colour picker on the very edge of the pic and used either paint bucket or gradient or brush, with no luck.

if you want to see what I mean, check out the banner at

Thanks for any replies.

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I know that this has been resolved, but did you put the pictures on separate layers?

I've had very limited experience with photo/graphics as I'm not a graphic designer, so is (I suppose) easier to use than other products.

I had 1 gif, 1 jpg, a canvas of 1050px x 150px

The gif was white, yellow and blue, the jpg was yellow filtered portrait.

I needed to make a web page banner, to make it easier to handle one object than 2 graphics, a background, and 2 text boxes.

I found it very difficult and frustrating- but I did it. doesn't constrain an imported graphic onto the canvas, but expands to hold the import. This is extremely annoying. Trying to drag handles on the graphic was frustrating and I gave that up and used a picture editor to resize it to 150px. I did this to both the graphic and the jpg. Now when I imported them, I could just place them, one on the far left, and one on the far right.

There was no option to flatten, but I could Merge Layer down!

Now I had to work out how to fill the space between the graphics!

So I drew a marquee (rectangle selection tool), used the sample tool (colour picker) and filled it with the bucket. If I didn't do that, then it wouldn't fill, or would cover everything up. You see, seems to present the canvas with a white background and not transparent! More frustration.

The trouble with this is that I couldn't remove the focus from it. The only way was to save it, look at it with another program, re-edit it etc etc. More frustration.

The History didn't work as intended, so as I went backwards, it didn't reflect what was happening on the canvas.

Now somehow, (and I don't know how), I managed to remove the whitespace between the 2 graphics. If I did that, then I could fill without using a marquee.

When I Merged Layer down (I think), I could then go back and use the brush to remove the slight differences in colour between the jpg and the background.

Then I used 2 text boxes to add text, then merged the layer down.

I then saved it as a gif.

That's about it.

The banner isn't up yet, and I'll try and upload the finished banner so you can see.

OK There it is!

To see what I was up against, check the link in my first post. But it won't be there for too long.

Also check that I 'rubbed out' the left side of the pic so it would blend in with the background. Not perfect, but good enough.

I'm really very happy about the file size! That's one plus!


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Several things. Yes, there is an option in Paint.NET to flatten (Ctrl+Shift+F) and there is an option to make it so the imported picture does indeed constrain. (When importing the second picture, click "Keep Canvas Size"). The default background for Paint.NET is indeed white, but you can bypass this by clicking ctrl+a and then hitting the delete key. I don't know what you mean by "removing the focus".

What you could've done is copied the two files on different layers and then use a transparent reflecting linear gradient.

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"Remove Focus" means that the marquee's perimeter remained selected and nothing I could do to stop the selection. The focus remained on the marquee and could not be moved without saving the image.

I can now delete the white background, but there is no option when importing a graphic to constrain to canvas. I'm using 3.20. All I get is the standard Windows open dialog. I can't find any global preferences, so I don't know what you mean by "Keep Canvas Size".


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Sorry, I hit submit by accident....

So I've uploaded this example: '2 Layer Banner .gif'

1. I created the canvas 1050px X 150px

2. I imported the jpg, positioned it (can't remove focus)

3. I created a new layer, imported the gif and positioned it.

4. I made both layers visible and I have a transparent space between.

Now at this point, I can't add any colour to the transparency. Paint bucket doesn't work, gradient, nothing.

If I flatten it (ctrl-shift f), I still can't add colour to it.

5. I create a new layer (still can't add colour), then use the 'rectangular select tool' to cover all the new canvas, then I can add gradient etc, but I can't see the other layer over it- even when they are both selected.

See file: 2Layer Banner plus gradient.gif

6. I try to go back, unclick the gradient layer and I get the original flattened 2 Layer Banner. But the whole thing is now selected and I can't remove the selection or do any more with the work.

It's at this point I give up and rely totally on advice of how to proceed.

Have you got any suggestions?


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You can hit Ctrl+D to deselect and free up the selection tool again. See if that solves your problem. Sorry, I'm afraid I don't fully understand...

Also, you should allow Paint.NET to update to version 3.22. It was just released, and you'll need to have it for further support on this forum.

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