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HELP! making white transparent?

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Thumper Nagasako
HELP! making white transparent?
on Jan 27, 2010 at 2:39:01 am

I'm in PS CS4.
I have a black and white image but I want the white to be transparent.
I've tried and tried with the magic wand tool and deleting the white to make it look good but I just can get it to look good. The edges are always jagged. I also have the graphic with a transparent background but what I want is the graphic it's self to be transparent and everything else solid. I could adjust this image and make it work instead.
Any help please I've been looking online for hours and can't find anything that works!

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John Mensinger
Re: HELP! making white transparent?
on Jan 27, 2010 at 9:17:56 pm

It depends on the context of your intent.

If you want the image to be transparent, for instance, when you place it in InDesign, just leave it the way it is. In InDesign, set its Blend Mode to Multiply.

Similarly, if you're trying to get rid of the white pixels for use as a Photoshop layer, just set the Layer Blend Mode to Multiply.

John M:
All of the vim with none of that annoying vigor.

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Paul Benson
Re: HELP! making white transparent?
on Jan 28, 2010 at 7:58:21 pm

I'm thinking you are running into anti-aliasing issues. The jaggies are being caused by your magic wand cutting off hard instead of feathering in the shades of gray.

If John's response meets your needs then ignore the rest of this.

Ideally, I think you would want to copy your gray scale image and paste it into a layer mask. Unfortunately, I could not figure out a way to do that directly (which is interesting), so try this:

- Go to your Channels tab.
- Ctrl-click on any of the layers so that a new selection is made.
- Go back to your Layers tab.
- Create a new layer (this should be 100% transparent)
- Click on the add layer mask button (this should use your selection to create a layer mask).
- Use the paint bucket to fill your new layer with black (there should be no active selection at this time, so the entire layer will be black, but the mask will show your original shape).
- This is inverted, which is what it seemed like you wanted. If you need to, then click on the mask and invert the mask by hitting Ctrl-I.


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