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Alpha Channels / Transparency in Paint Shop Pro

Posted: Mon, 17th Feb 2003, 9:19pm

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Equinox

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I had severe problems trying to create transparent plugins using Paint Shop Pro 7. So when I figured out how to do it, I thought I'd share it with you guys to relieve any stress to those that dont have Photoshop as there doesnt appear to be much support for ppl like me lol.

1. Firstly open your ordinary source image - in this case a jpeg.

Go to tool bar - Masks, New, Show All - click ok through the prompts that are displayed and then - Masks, Delete. This now means when you erase something it will erase it, not just make it white. As confirmed by a checkered background wherever you erase.

2. You then need to cut out, or isolate the parts of the image you wish to keep (i.e. the bits that are NOT going to be transparent).
This can be done using the freehand/lasso or magic wand somehow but I find the easiest tool is the Eraser (8th icon up on the left hand tool bar) this acts as a rubber surprisingly enough rolleyes and will erase whatever it covers. Set this to size 10 and you will get a nice soft edge on your image. And then quite simply erase all the bits that you want to be transparent in the final plugin.

3. If you are picking out a single image then now you should have a checkered outline around the image (you'll understand what I mean if you actually are doing this) if you dont wish to waste time manually erasing the rest of the picture then you can use the "freehand" or "Lasso" tool and set it to "point to point". You can now click at major points around the image (i.e. each click creates a pivot, and you simply want to select your image by clicking around the perimeter in the checkered bit) then go to crop. Or just erase the rest manually its up to you.

4. Now you will have an image surrounded by / or featuring lots of grey and white checkers, this is good cool. Head up to the masks menu again, and select "New", "From Image", and then click the "source opacity" radio button in the 'create mask from' section, then click OK.

5. Off we go to the Masks menu again, this time there is an option to "Save to Alpha Channel" pick this and hopefully you should see a black/white preview with white being the original image and black being what will be transparent. Click OK and OK again.

6. Finally we need to save your image, go to save as and pick the file type as TIFF (Tagged Image format) then choose options and select uncompressed. Click OK, and when content click save, and then OK when it asks tells you it will be saved as a merged image.

You now have a nice quality tiff file with transparency.
Any problems with my tutorial here and give me a yell @ ian_the_man@yahoo.com or on here as a reply.

Hope this averts some stress in newbies like myself razz
Posted: Wed, 19th Feb 2003, 12:42pm

Post 2 of 16

Equinox

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Hmmmmm, from the overwhelming number of replies, am I to take it that not many of you use Paint Shop Pro 7 ? razz Lol
Posted: Wed, 19th Feb 2003, 4:58pm

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Axeman

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Well I don't use PSP, but I appreciate the tutorial here. I wrote the one for Photoshop that is on the site here, but occasionally people ask about how to do alphas in PSP. Having no experience with the program, I was never able to really help them.

Now I can just send them in the direction of this thread. Thanks a bunch.

Also, despite the lack of replies, note the fact that it has been viewed like 50 times already. So there must be a few people that are interested.
Posted: Wed, 19th Feb 2003, 5:05pm

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Equinox

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Lol well I think like 10 of them were me razz but I appreciate you taking the time to say thanks. And I didnt know what i was doing in PSP until I clicked various things and got something to work and wrote how I did it cool

Oh well, cheers for taking notice. Ian. biggrin
Posted: Fri, 23rd May 2003, 12:29pm

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Lee Charlish

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A little late maybe, but I found this to be a brilliant tutorial which worked well.

Cheers!
Posted: Fri, 23rd May 2003, 3:20pm

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Equinox

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Thanks lee - I thought thi spost had been banished to the corner where nobody cares razz but i'm glad its helped you - it was bit harrowing trying to figure it out myself and thought id try and help others through it.

cheers again cool
Posted: Fri, 23rd May 2003, 4:18pm

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voiceoverwizard

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Not at all dude. I use PSP7 and I'm thinking of upgrading to 8. I apreciate your effort. Thanks keep it coming.
+1
Posted: Fri, 23rd May 2003, 10:52pm

Post 8 of 16

Equinox

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Thanks to u to "justinsane" I use 7 and have demo'd 8 and to be honest didnt like it. Too much change for not enough difference if u get me. Not worth the cash to me so I'm sticking with 7 :p

But thanku, much appreciated
Posted: Tue, 19th Aug 2003, 2:07pm

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Thelema

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Thanks for posting the tutorial.I must admit to stumbling round in the dark trying to get an Alpha for a series of graphic's from Bryce 5.This will really help me get Cg Animation Blended with live action.Thanks for A light shining in the Darkness.
Posted: Fri, 21st Nov 2003, 10:04pm

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callum_slade

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cheers mate +1 for you! biggrin
Posted: Tue, 2nd Dec 2003, 9:51am

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malone

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Rating: +2

This is a great method for saving the alpha channel. The only problem with the tute is you dont remove the transparency from the actual image before you save it. When you save it, psp will flatten the image with a white background then add the alpha channel. This will make your semi transparent regions look washed out. 9 times out of 10 this wont make much visible difference but if your working with ghostly transparent images it will.

Heres a couple of steps I'd add just to make sure the outputted tiff looks exactly how you made it in psp

5.1. Select "delete" from the masks menu. And click "NO" when it asks you if you want to merge it with the image.

5.2. Select the eraser tool and whack the brush size up. Then draw all over the image holding the right mouse button. This does a kinda anti-erase and will remove all the transparency

These 2 steps get rid of all the transparency on the image, which may make your image look pretty strange on the screen. But its ok because you already have all the transparency information stored in the alpha channel, so it will look great when you save it out.

You can see how this looks in my own psp alpha guide
http://malone.fxhome.com/pspalphatute/pspalphatute.html
Posted: Sun, 11th Jan 2004, 5:01am

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tmaynard

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Well guys. I don't have photoshop but I do have Paint Shop Pro 8. And its totally different from 7 . And I tried using Malone's tutorial and everything was fine up until the save to alpha channel part. It was kind of hard to find my way around also cause the program lists different things in different places such as the masks. But once I got the mask on and everything the Save to Alpha channel thing wasnt even dark (it was unselectable). If someone could please help me with doing the job in PSP 8 it would be appreciated.

Thanks, Travis.
Posted: Wed, 3rd Nov 2004, 6:55pm

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fertesz

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Congrats on the tute wink
...however - I have a question. Instead of erasing parts of the image that I wan't transparent - can't I just create a new image on transparent background, then draw something? I think it could do the trick, because there is simply no background I have to erase. But no matter what I try, PSP7 keeps asking if I want to merge it neutral I selected "Uncompressed" in export options as you suggested, but this gave no result neutral Any help would be great!

Malone - your guide (I mean - site) doesn't work confused
Posted: Thu, 4th Nov 2004, 1:12am

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averagejoe

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it seems to be working now
Posted: Thu, 4th Nov 2004, 1:43pm

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fertesz

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Yeah, I'll see if I have more luck with this one and let you know wink
Posted: Thu, 4th Nov 2004, 3:45pm

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malone

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I don't make my tiffs that way anymore. Instead I save them as png and then convert them to tiff with ImageMagick.

Saving a png with transparency is easy in PSP. You just have to make sure when you are saving it that you use the optimizer (File -> Export -> PNG Optimizer) and make sure you have the "Alpha Channel Transparency" option checked.

ImageMagick is a set of free command line tools, but its easy to use as well. You just type

convert -compress LZW image.png image.tiff

and it will automatically make a tiff with the proper alpha channel for you.