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  • December 10, 2018
  • 22 min to read

How To Make An Image Transparent

How To Make An Image Transparent

If all the functions photo editor is able to do could be graded upon their difficulty, the topic of this article might be labeled “Advanced.” My opinion is based on the comparatively higher requirements for users, who want to make their first photo collage: you should already know what layers or masks are, and tranquilly use such primary instruments as a temperature & colors editor, transforming, opacity adjustment, etc. We don’t even mention that you’ll need to install the Luminar or Photoshop software on your computer as a first step, which for some users is already a challenge.

In case you’ve just learned some new names for editing instruments, I highly recommend you to read or repeat the basics of photo editing. They’re more complicated than for Paint or any other pre-installed photo editing app, yet, the first-rate image processing skills will reward your labor.

So, how do you make photo transparent and when this function might come in handy?

Why might you need to make photo transparent?

You’ve probably met the genre of collage – those photos, where people or objects are cut from the original photos and added to the picturesque landscapes (or, which occurs more often, to the expensive cars or onto some other posh background).

The process of creating collage requires some operating space – in our case, this space is called Luminar. It is a semi-professional photo editing software, which has all the instruments to cut/edit/transform the original picture to the new masterpiece of yours.

While creating a collage, we’ll learn how to cut a photo professionally, reduce its opacity and combine it with a different background in order to make it seem like an original inseparable picture. This is truly a space for your fantasy – you can teleport any person from his park photo into the rainforests of Sri Lanka, as well as from his local beach photo onto the Mediterranean seashore.

What is more important, you’ll be able to do the same with your own pictures. Facebook friends – beware of the photos from the spontaneous vacations!

So, read on to find out more about making pictures transparent by using:
1. Luminar ❗
2. Photoshop 

1. How do you make the photo transparent in Luminar?

In this part, we’re sharing the instruction on how to make collages in the Luminar workspace - you can try Free Trial Version. You can experiment with the other photo editors like Adobe Photoshop, Movavi on Windows OS or GIMP, Lightroom on Mac OS – the choice depends on your personal preferences and the amount of your editing experience. Still, our main goal here is to start making professional collages, which can’t be distinguished from real photos, so the editing program here is not as important as a list of practical skills.

  1. You begin with choosing a picture to edit and the background image. The rules are simple: both shots have to be in a high resolution, and the background should have approximately the same lighting level as the photo you’ll be cropping & editing.

2. The next step is to launch Luminar with any convenient way you know. In the appeared window press CTRL + O in order to open up the picture, which will substitute the original background of your photo.

2.1. “Playing” with effects and settings is recommended, yet, not necessary. You can adjust the photo’s color palette, the warmth of the colors, and lighting manually, or just choose the standard filters among their list in the lower panel.

3. Now we approach the actual editing. The right panel of the working area contains the list of Layers. Press the “+” symbol, which is located opposite the Layers headline and choose Add New Image Layer. Open the photo, from which you want to crop an object.

3.1. To understand what layers are, imagine yourself the number of lenses, through which you observe the photo. You can add and customize them to get the best picture’s quality, which is exactly what we’ve done in this step.

4. At this point, your background should be fully covered by the new photo, and we have to fix that: find the Opacity indicator above the list of layers (which has to contain 2 titles already) and change the parameter to 50% or less.

4.1. As the top picture will become more and more transparent, the image below will look more clear. Our goal here is to see both of the shots in order to locate and edit them in the best way.

5. Grab the tool and start deleting the parts of the top picture, which the final collage shouldn’t include.
5.1. Click on the brush picture opposite the layer name and choose the Brush instrument.

5.2. In the appeared upper bar click on the Erase function and arrange the size of the tool.

5.3. Tip: Use the smallest possible radius of the brush to carefully clean the edges of the figure you’re cropping out. Don’t forget to zoom in the picture. If you want to achieve the best results, experiment with the tool’s settings: put the Softness level at around 20% and slowly work upon the edges of the figure.

5.4. If you occasionally erased the essential part of the picture, you can restore it by changing the brush mode to Paint. It works just like the Erase function, yet, backward – the parts of the image appear under the brush.

6. The process of picture’s cleaning is slow and monotone, but a neat well-made collage is worth your efforts. You’ll see a background photo appearing under your brush just until the required object will be left alone in the non-native setting.
6.1. Tip: When working with shadows, use the brush with the maximum softness for the purpose of making the smooth transition from the original photo to the background.

7. At this step you should already have a nice collage, yet, the finishing touches are needed. Make sure that the photo has a single light source. Imagine, that the Sun or a lamp are situated offscreen – one of these light sources should create similar shadows for each item on your image. To “finish the painting” experiment with filters, masks, and gradients.

8. Finally, you have a wholesome picture which even the experts won’t distinguish from an original photo. Save it in any image format you prefer – in Luminar you’re even able to make a file for the further work in Photoshop.

2. How to Make a  Picture Transparent in  Photoshop

Talking about Photoshop, the scheme of working on the collage is quite similar for this software. The difference, however, lies in the details: in Photoshop you have an access to the professional editing tools, using which you can create a real masterpiece from two different images.

1. The first two steps for Photoshop are just as in the instructions above. You open two photos in the software’s working area and start editing the image you’re planning to crop.

2. In the left instruments’ tool find a pictogram of the Magic wand – it can be seen when you click on the brush, which encircles some area icon with the right mouse button.

3. Magic wand is a very convenient tool, which does all the separating work by itself. Click it anywhere around the object you need to crop – the figure is now encircled with the dotted line. It’s not probably very accurate, so zoom the picture in and start editing the highlighted borders manually.
3.1. Change the instrument back to the Quick selection tool (the brush we’ve been clicking on with right mouse button) and, using the Add and Subtract from selection functions edit the borders – move them forward of pull back if the dotted line has crossed the edges of the figure.

3.2. When you’re satisfied with the selected area, take the Move tool (standardly, the first one in the left instruments’ panel) and, grabbing the object you need to crop, move it onto the background.

4. The hardest part is already completed – here comes the fun one. Find the Free Transform option in the Edit menu, or simply use keyboard shortcut Ctrl + T. Adjust the size of the cropped object so that the perspective would seem natural.

5. Bring to notice the angle of the shadow, where the highlights are situated. Change them (darken, lighten, shade, etc.), work under the color scheme, create the shadows using the brush or the Layer Style menu (double click on the layer’s name in the right instruments panel.

6. Finally, when you can’t tell the difference between the original photo and the object you were cropping and editing, save the image in any convenient format.

These were all the steps you should follow to make the photo transparent and combine it with the other picture. We hope the fruit of your labor will satisfy you with the quality – Luminar is great when it comes to the simple, yet, efficient editing, while Adobe Photoshop can help you to create fantastic illustrations on the professional level. Which software to use is only your choice!


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