General Question

sweetteaindahouse's avatar

How do I make a certain color in Photoshop invisible?

Asked by sweetteaindahouse (2142 points ) June 18th, 2009

I want to just make a white background invisible instead of cutting out the image.

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7 Answers

fireinthepriory's avatar

Use the magic wand tool to select the white, then hit the delete button. Note that if your background layer isn’t transparent this won’t work!

If it’s not, make a new, transparent layer and put it below the layer with your image. If your original layer is locked then you’ll have to unlock it to do this. Now I always forget how to unlock layers, so I I’d just hit apple(or ctrl)-j to copy that layer and delete the original locked one. :) Clearly I use a lot of cheating in photoshop because I never really learned the proper way to use it, I’m mainly self-taught when it comes to things like this that aren’t just photo editing. :) But it works!

sap82's avatar

Use the masking tool. For details google search a tutorial on how to use the masking tool.

jumpo7's avatar

Save the image for web as GIF or PNG format. in the window for saving there is a Transparency check box and a matte option. Check the box and set the matte to white. Save the image.

Note GIF only does binary transparency. Meaning that if the edges of the item are anti-aliased or smooth to the white, there will be blocks that can appear on backgrounds of different color. While PNG does gradient transparency which will blend to other colors, IE 6 and earlier does not display transparent PNG without a javascript helper. I go with PNG now for the web, since IE 6 is diminishing fast and if necessary can be fixed.

jumpo7's avatar

Oh I suppose if you are wanting to layer it over another image then any of the other options mentioned above will do what you want. The best method (in my opinion) is to use the pen tool and create a mask from that. Learn to use the pen and you can more quickly mask than other methods. For masking hair the mask brush technique is the more effective.

veganpeanutbutter's avatar

Borrow Harry Potter’s Cloak of Invisibility.

TheRocketPig's avatar

Something non-destructive and pretty easy is using a layer style to make the white background transparent. right click on your layer with the white background and go to “blending options”

in that menu at the bottom there should be an option for “blend if” with two sliders. If you move the white (right) slider towards the center a tiny bit, your background should become completely clear. This doesn’t erase anything, or create a mask, it just makes white clear.

Hope that helps!

BTW easiest way to unlock a “background” layer is to double click on it in the layers panel, and click ok in the new layer menu that pops up. done.

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