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Image editing software?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography & Imaging' started by larryh10000, Feb 23, 2013.

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  1. larryh10000

    larryh10000 Thread Starter

    Oct 23, 2007
    I work almost exclusively with .png and .jpg images and the only thing I do with them is to make the backgounds transparent. Can anyone recommend a software program that can do this easily? I was wondering about Adobe Essentials - does anyone have any experience with it as far as making and image transparent. I have used the newer Paint Shop Pro software and it is totally impossible as far as I can see.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. etaf

    etaf Moderator

    Oct 2, 2003
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  3. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

    May 25, 2005
    First Name:
    Basically .. to make a background Transparent .. You have to erase it .. (remove it)
    I don't think Irfanview can do the erasing ... and I'm not sure about any of the freeware editors listed Here ...
    other than Gimp which is as close as you can get to photoshop for free

    If you mean Adobe Photoshop Elements .. it's fairly easy when you learn some keyboard shortcuts.
  4. azariah007


    Sep 7, 2009
    Been awhile since I've been active on the forum but this is good place for me to restart.

    Basically Photoshop (and Gimp may have a similar tool) is your best option as it has a smart select. It's still a bit hard to use if your photo doesn't have decent contrast between the foreground and background.

    (say the person your photographing has a black belt on and part of your background has a black section that lines up at some point with the black belt the selector will select all of the black area. :) such is the nature of image editing software. It's getting better but until we have object recognizing AI's to aid the software then that's as good as it gets. :) )

    Other wise I've used python and the python imaging library (PIL) for doing image transparency. Depending on what your trying to accomplish you can make formulas to calculate transparency based on the average of the RGB mix for a given pixel (also used for making black and white images. Or based on a single colour value.)

    You can be even more fancy and do transparency based on what colours are created by certain ranges of the RGB mix that makes our visible colours. For instance you can make all of your shades of grey including white and black transparent based on their values or by a uniform amount.

    It does require some basic programming knowledge but.... python is a ridiculously easy language to learn. If you like I can upload a copy of the transparency script I made and you can modify it as you please. :) I never finished figuring out the maths for specific colours such as ranges of red, blue, etc. but with little work you could figure it out. :)
  5. Peano

    Peano Banned

    Feb 10, 2006
    The "easily" part will depend more on the image than on the editing software. If you're working with a subject that has hard, clean edges, that's usually pretty easy to extract from the background. But if you're dealing with something like flyaway hair or semi-transparent material, that can be quite difficult in any editor, including the full version of Photoshop.

    If you can afford Photoshop, get that, because it has very sophisticated extraction tools.
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