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Basic Web Transparency (Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3)

Removing the "Halo Effect"
Once the image is optimized, press Control+T or select Format/Transparency to open the Transparency Box (shown in Figure 7) and begin your transparency. By default, the Transparent Area field is set to "none" unless you previous had a mask set in PI (this is not recommended for these procedures). Choose new mask, and click on the color you want to remove.

Depending on what color your background is, the change might not be immediately apparent. By default SmartSaver Pro assumes you're prepping your image for a white transparency. If you have a white background like we have in Figure 7, it's difficult to work with because it looks like nothing happened. This causes much confusion for new users.

To compensate for this, press Cancel to get rid of the transparency box. Now press Control+G or Format/Background: this brings up the background control which enables you to select the color of the transparency preview.


Figure 7: The SmartSaver Pro Transparency Box


Figure 8: The SS PRO Background box.

can input an exact RGB value to have accurate previews. Although the words "...and optionally blend input image with" sound promising, this choice does not offer assistance in achieving smooth transparency. In our example, we're going to choose the red to match the background of the HTML table in figure 6.

Once you've chosen a background color that makes working with the transparency tools easier, press Control+T to enter the transparency settings and create a new mask as described above. You'll notice this time that the effect is immediately apparent—a single Alt+Click on the red will make 99% of it disappear and we're left with an image ready for export. In Figure 9 below, you'll notice there is absolutely no halo effect—the transparency is clean.

Click the above image to
see the enlarged version.

Figure 9: The transparent effect we were looking for!


Learning how to make your images transparent can take a bit of work, but once you have it mastered, your websites will take on a more polished look. Transparent images can be combined with tables to create some great page layouts, and drop shadows always give a nice 3D look to a page. So fire up PhotoImpact and SmartSaver Pro and make those backgrounds disappear!

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