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Thread: Exporting transparent background with feathered edges

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Central Illinois
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    Exporting transparent background with feathered edges

    I actually have two questions.

    Is there a tool that can feather edges?

    If I paint my picture on a cel background with feathered edges how can I export it without a background just the feathered edges. I hope I explained properly. I want to print my picture on a t-shirt with just the feathered edges or just the subject without a square boarder.
    Thank you, I have studio pro

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    101
    Just paint the subject you want separate from the background on a new layer. When you export the file as a PSD, or export the layer as a PSD or PNG that subject will be on a transparent layer. Or am I misunderstanding what you want to do?
    Last edited by ScottC; 02-04-2012 at 08:49 AM.
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    Hearts of Space
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  3. #3
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    Hmm... Well the issue involved has a few different angles to it. Firstly... On the ArtRage programming side of it, you can feather (or rather, get a feathered effect), in a few different ways (depending on the version of the program you are using). There's the actual "Feather" option, that is available with the Studio Pro version of ArtRage, when using the Selection Tool. Then, there is the option of using the blur type on the Palette knife (again, a Pro feature, I believe), which can be used to separate the edges. You can also use the Airbrush, chalk, or crayon tools, will a light pressure, to gain some feathering effects. Actually... Pretty much any of the tools that have a method of changing opacity, may be used.

    Then you have the exporting, issue. As ScottC mentioned, saving as a .psd, or .png is the way to go, to ensure that your exported image, will maintain its transparency. However... Since you're using this image to print, there is another concern. That is, whether or not the printing method maintains a white color. Some do it yourself, iron on T-shirt methods do not allow for "white" to printed, expecting the user to print over a light colored T-shit. Others do have a method of transferring a white color to the T-shirt. So it's important to know which version of print transfer you have. Because if it's the version that doesn't maintain the white, you don't have to worry about having a white background, because it won't transfer in the end, anyhow.
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  4. #4
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    I thank you both for your input. I just got the pro version so I will check out the blur and different tools.
    Now on to the printing of transparent background. I have a shop who does Direct to fabric printing on garments. She uses png. files. What I want is feathered edges or a cutout around subject without showing the white canvas. So inother words, I would do my painting on the cel canvas? Then merge all layers, and there would be no background showing on finished garment? My intent is to do the painting for a customer and put it on a CD, and they can use it however they choose. I would like to do it in two version. With background for a print and no background for garments (not having a square background around the finished product). I hope this makes sense?

  5. #5
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    Apr 2006
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    No, don't paint directly on the background layer, and don't merge. Paint your subject on a separate layer, right click on that layer in the AR layer palette, and select "Export layer>Save as Type> PNG". That will export a PNG where anything you didn't paint, is transparent, and can be opened in any program that supports transparency as a floating object.

    [edit] Actually, you dont even have to create a new layer in AR, as the paper texture is separate from the layer. You can just paint directly on the default layer, and export that layer as above for the same effect, as long as you dont flatten the image by exporting the entire file as anything other than a PSD. Only PSD and the Native AR format support layers. If however, your subject will be part of a painting that also has a painted background, you will want to create separate layers for the painted background and the painted subject.

    Likewise, you could export the entire document as a .PSD, and export that layer from Photoshop as a transparent .PNG, which would give you a few more options for control, if you happen to own Photoshop.

    That's all anyone can do to deliver a transparent file to someone. Any other concerns would be on your printer's end. Make sure you paint to sufficient resolution (size) as required by your printer.

    As Someonesane mentioned, printing on dark color shirts has it's own concerns, depending on the printing process being used. For something like a one off thermal transfer, I don't think its much of an issue, but bulk screenprinting might require a white underlay to keep the bright colors bright. But that's something to discuss with your printer, and will require work on their end, not yours, though it might cost more.
    Last edited by ScottC; 02-05-2012 at 02:26 AM.
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    Hearts of Space
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  6. #6
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    Okay, I will try exporting in PSD. Now, when I paint I am using many layers, Need to merge all layers to complete my painting and then export to PSD? If I merge painting layers and background layers separately, I then could have two files one with background and one without? I'm sorry to be so stupid, just want to know the right way to go. Plus I need to see the printer with the copy and find out from her also. I really appreciate your input and knowledge.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    You said you have a printer, who needs a layer with transparency as a PNG.

    You can export any LAYER directly as a PNG from the Art Rage layer palette by right clicking on it, choosing "Export Layer...", and selecting "Save As type>PNG. Any painted information on that layer will be exported as a PNG, and any non-filled areas will remain transparent. The resulting PNG could then be given directly to your printer.

    This is all you really need to do.



    You could also export the entire FILE as a PSD (photshop document), which can then be edited in Photoshop, with layers intact, and export that particular Layer from Photoshop as a PNG. This might be helpful for any number of reasons, but not necessary for your purposes.



    The contents of any layers in Art Rage can be merged into a single layer and then the resulting merged layer can be exported via the process above. If you are painting your subject over multiple layers, when finished, merge only those layers, and export the resulting Layer as above. If you are painting the subject as part of a finished piece with a painted background, you must keep the subject and the background on separate layers, in order to export the subject cleanly.

    The only way to flatten those layer contents onto the paper texture, would be to save (export ) the entire FILE as any file format other than the native Art Rage format (ptg), or PSD format, because those are the only two formats that support layers. Saving your Art Rage File as say, a Tiff, would flatten your paint layers onto the paper texture in the resulting file.
    Last edited by ScottC; 02-05-2012 at 05:03 AM.
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    Hearts of Space
    The only thing I put in my ears while working.

  8. #8
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    Central Illinois
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    I understand, I think I had it right. You have help immensely!!!! thank you thank you thank you

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