How to make a quick transparent image for your website using Photoshop - A quick How-To for beginners ~ Ask The Admin

Sunday, March 02, 2008

How to make a quick transparent image for your website using Photoshop - A quick How-To for beginners

Hey Kidlings,
Commodore 64 here with a quick how to in photoshop. Have you ever downloaded an image you'd like to use on your website but it was sandwiched on top of some ghastly color which totally doesnt fit with your "flow"? Well here is a quick, no-frills, way to a transparent image that you can set to a background of your choosing.

First we start with simple image of a leaf:photoshop howto screenshotDouble click the "Background" and then hit enter when the dialog pops up. You should now have a transparency capable layer which is ready to have it's fat trimmed, the layer name should change from "Background" to "Layer 0":photoshop howto screenshotWe then take out our trusty magic wand tool and select the white around the leaf by clicking the white part around the leaf. In this cased I've used a tolerance of 80 to produce a decent result. You can play around with the tolerance depending on the image you choose to work with to get the selection border where you need it. In this case, our subject image has a dark shadow. Our tolerance of 80 has allowed the selection form to come in closer to the leaf, eliminating most of the shadow from the inside of the selection border as shown in the following image:photoshop howto screenshotHit delete to produce the following:

photoshop howto screenshot
At this point you have a choice of filling in your own background color, in photoshop and saving for web as a jpeg, or you can save for web as a transparent gif and apply matting in the intended target's background color of your choice. In the following example I want to put the leaf on a blue background on my intended destination for this graphic. I do this buy removing the selection I already have by clicking anywhere in the work window with a marquee tool, or pressing ctrl-D for "deselect." I then go to File menu, Save For Web and save with the following options:
Hit the save button, name your file and give it a home. That's It. Now this isnt the most professional or precise way of doing this, but if you need a quick easy design flow control with image backgrounds, this is the 5-step, 5-minute move to get you on your way.

Commodore64 (The one you used to play Bruce Lee on)