Thursday, March 26, 2009

How to make a transparent background using The Gimp

This is Part 2 of my tutorial - be sure to read Part 1 here.

After you have created a layer mask, and made the background of your image white, you will have something similar to this:

Now, you say "that's great! I have a white background. But, what if I want the background to be transparent? What if I want to use this image as part of a logo? Or as an icon on a web page?"
There are lots of different reasons to want a transparent background.

Here's how!

Open your gimp file (.XRF format) that was created in Part 1

1. Type CTRL + L to bring up the Layers window

2. Click on the "Mask" layer to select it. Right click and make sure there is a check mark next to "Edit Layer Mask".

3. In the Image window, click Colors --> Invert to invert the layer mask.

4. Type CTRL + C to Copy the Mask.

5. Type CTRL + L to bring up the Layers window again. Right click on the "Background" layer. Click "Add Layer Mask".

6. Select "Layer's Alpha Channel" and "Invert Mask".

7. Type CTRL + V to paste the layer.

8. Click the "Anchor" button the anchor the layer.

9. Now, right click on the "Mask" layer and click "Delete Layer".

10. Finally, click on the "Drop Shadow" layer. Right click and select "Merge Down".

That's it! You can now copy this image onto whatever background you wish!

Be sure to save your file as .PNG or .GIF for the transparency to work.

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