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Thread: Creating an image with transparency

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member TStew's Avatar
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    Creating an image with transparency

    Some quick background first... I've always dabbled a little bit in art here and there but nothing really much more than beginner level. Getting more into anime/manga in the recent couple years got me back interested in art. About a year ago I made that sig I have currently, and in making that I greatly advanced what I knew about layers and stuff like that (really didn't know much at all about layers and transparency and special effects). I want to work on some more, and maybe wallpaper, and am working on getting a base image (is that called a render?) with transparency so I can add different backgrounds and effects to it. Its taken a lot of work and time but I have the image ready, on white background, but I am having trouble getting transparency to work the way I want it too which brings me to this question.

    I'm using the Gimp btw, many features work nearly identical to photoshop but also many differences so I hope I can get some advice but realize I am limited by my software selection (running Ubuntu Linux).

    So I have an anime character, on a white background. Should be simple to turn white to transparent so this is probably an easy question but I am struggling. I set white to alpha. After this most of the character itself becomes partly clear. Then I learned of the Threshold Alpha feature, but when I set the threshold low so that it doesn't make my character transparent it really messes with the characters color. Like it cranks the saturation sky high. Shouldn't there be a way to just select the white background and make it transparent without messing with the look of the character?

    Last edited by TStew; December 30, 2013 at 04:32 PM.
    T~Stew

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    MangaHelper 九千以上だ! / Kyuusen Ijou Da! / It's Over 9000! Farfalla's Avatar
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    Re: Creating an image with transparency

    Hello! It is called render xD I'm not familiar with Gimp, but on Photoshop we just select the white bkg and delete it. There should be an image properties option where you can select a transparent bkg. But anyway, that's on Photoshop, so I'm just guessing here ._. The only other way I could help you is through google, so...:

    http://geekswithblogs.net/TimH/archi.../20/72797.aspx

    I hope it helps xD

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member TStew's Avatar
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    Re: Creating an image with transparency

    Thanks! Unfortunately that didnt work exactly but it did lead me to a solution. One problem with reading such posts is that things change over time, looks like that was many years ago and the descriptions have changed. But instead of messing around the way I was attempting too, I didn't realize once the white area was selected (I'd also never used the fuzzy select tool - didn't even know what it was but it works slick!) that I could simple hit clear. Thats a lot easier, and works just fine. Though another thing that simple tutorial neglected to mention was multi-layer images... I have about a dozen layers currently and had to go through the process for each layer individually. Had I merged it all might have been quick and easy but wanted to preserve the layers incase I need to edit them later on. I also had a white background I was working on, which I guess wasnt even needed so I simply removed the white background altogether.

    Just to test it out, I'll add a couple shrunk crops of the project...



    First PNG then GIF.

    ---------- Post added at 10:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:37 PM ----------

    Sweet! Looks like they both worked here, though in my actual photobucket account the gif showed up with a black background for some reason. It also doesnst look as nice though the filesize is much smaller. I assume its got a clear background for everyone else too, but if not let me know (and what browser your using). All I have handy to check it with is Firefox in Ubuntu.

    One question though, and I don't know if its related to shrinking it down so much (the original is ~5000px) and might not be as big of a deal for a large wallpaper but when shrunk down for web posting the image looks very soft and muted, would you recommend any particular method to make it a bit more bold?
    Last edited by TStew; January 03, 2014 at 11:54 PM.
    T~Stew

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    MangaHelper 九千以上だ! / Kyuusen Ijou Da! / It's Over 9000! Farfalla's Avatar
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    Re: Creating an image with transparency

    Your render looks great, specially the png. I'm glad that, although the tutorial didnt help you that much, you were able to find a solution xD
    I'm using Chrome and the gif has a transparent bkg here as well^^

    And, again, I dunno much about Gimp, but usually shrinking it won't make it look worse, but saving it for web posting will. It takes off a bit of the quality so the image will be really smaller.

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    Registered User 下級員 / Kakyuuin / Jr. Member TStew's Avatar
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    Re: Creating an image with transparency

    Yeah it doesnt really look all that different, I'm just used to working on it in its native resolution (the base image is a picture I took with my camera (18MP) out of a book), and shrinking it down that far - nearly 10% original size - looses the 'fine' detail which is why I mentioned it looked soft. But thats ok. My main goal is a wallpaper, so will be nearer full size (2560px). It is really a beautiful drawing, but I wonder depending on other elements I include in the picture if the 'hand painted' look might not be a perfect fit. Is there a particular filter or tool that anyone recommends to make it more cgi-looking rather than hand painted, kind of like to appear more like the character in my current sig? Not sure if that would work either, I'm just trying different things. I'll be playing around with it this weekend.

    Oh and Farfalla, thanks for the help. I'd 'thank' your posts but for some reason the thank/like isnt working on my computer! I'm discussing it in support/feedback forum. Just didn't want to appear ungrateful and rude!
    T~Stew

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