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Thread: Transparent Backgrounds

  1. #1

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    Jeannie

    Transparent Backgrounds

    This may be a dumb question, but here goes. I have photographed a letter that is written on white paper. Is there any way to make the background transparent in order to superimpose the letter onto of a photograph?

    This is what I want to do. In my Dad's papers (he recently died) I found a short letter to mother telling her how thankful he is to have such a wonderful wife and mother to his children. I would like to superimpose this onto a photo of Dad and Mom and then have a photograph made for Mother's Day.

    Would appreciate anyone's input.

  2. #2
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Transparent Backgrounds

    Hi Jeannie, if you have Photoshop, you should be able to use the Background Eraser tool to do this. It samples what is selected, such as the white paper, and changes what matches that to transparent.

    Take a look at http://help.adobe.com/en_US/photosho...b64-77e3a.html to see if this will help you.

  3. #3

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    Re: Transparent Backgrounds

    Assuming you have Photoshop or Elements and I have understood the problem, this should work very easily.

    1.Have the digital images of the photo and letter open on the dektop in PS or Elements.

    2.Holding the shift key down drag the letter image on top of the photo image. This places it on top of the photo on a new layer. (The shift key centres it precisely)

    3. Set the top layer blending mode to multply. Multiply kills white, so the white background disappears and the writing is superimposed on the photo..

    HTH

    John

  4. #4

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    Re: Transparent Backgrounds

    No photoshop. How could I do this in Gimp? I appreciate y'alls answers...at least I know it can be done.

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Transparent Backgrounds

    Jeannie

    I've never tried it, but the process described by John can be done in the same way in the GIMP. You're really blending the two images and then using tools to fade the bits you don't want and bring up the bits you do want. Are you comfortable with using layers in the GIMP?

  6. #6

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: Transparent Backgrounds

    Hi Jeannie,

    If it's not too personal, just send me the file, and I can do it for you -- it only takes a couple of minutes.

  7. #7

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    Re: Transparent Backgrounds

    Donald - Not real familiar with layers and such as my work consumes most of my time. I don't get to play with GIMP very much .

    Colin - Thanks so much. Actually - still figuring out how to do this as the "note" from Dad is on a 5x7 sheet of paper BOTH SIDES!! A lot of writing. His writing is very spacy...in other words, the writing is not close together. I had been playing around with cut-and-pasting each word onto another background positioning the words closer together. A couple times he struck out a word and I was erasing that and then moving the wording closer in to fill in the gap. The lengthiness of the note may make it unfeasible. I had also considered matting a 5x7 photo and the note side-by-side. This may work better. Any ideas?

    PS - in a hurry and didn't check spelling.

    THANKS EVERYONE!! Nicest board in cyberspace!!

  8. #8

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: Transparent Backgrounds

    Hi Jeannie,

    Hard to say without seeing it. I'd probably explore the option of shortening the horizontal dimension, and only shortening sentences with the crossed out mistakes on them.

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