losing transparency (opacity) when saving .GIF

Posted on 2006-11-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
Hi all,

I am using Photoshop CS and I am trying to do a fill solid colour to a background of #dcdcdc. This is not a problem.

I then change the opacity to 70% so i can just see the transparent background. Not a problem.

i then go to save it as a .GIF or Save for Web then when it comes to it the colour is now solid again, even when the transparency check box is checked.

Any help much appreciated.
Question by:FSIFM
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 17852966
I am not sure I clearly understand what you are after, but...

First of all, just changing the transparency of your layer isn't enough. When you save for web, you have to check the transparency box, and choose from the three options (Diffusion, Pattern or Noice Transparency Dither).

Is that what you are after?

Expert Comment

ID: 17853152
If you have a very subtle transparency gradient and not enough colors in your .gif palette (or the entire palette for that matter) .. there are situations where during the converstion to .gif it will appear as though it throwing out the transparency and turning everything solid when in reality it just doesn't have the color capacity to cover what you are trying to do

LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 17855742
- Photoshop CS shows you only a portion of the image in the Save For Web window so you must be seeing only the background colour.

- Click the Zoom Tool (third from top on the left of the Save For Web window) and then hold down the Alt key on your keyboard and click the image window a few times till you can see the whole image.

Good Luck!
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LVL 11

Accepted Solution

Jason210 earned 500 total points
ID: 17857118
GIF doesn't support partial transparency for example 70%. GIF only supports full tranparency. The selected area must either be fully transparent, or not transparent at all.


Expert Comment

ID: 17857298

Jason is right.  It's either transparent or not.  GIF mimics a gradient by variations in dithering, etc.  For example, suppose you create the text, "HELP" and put a shadow under it in Photoshop.  If you turn this into a GIF w/ transparencly, it fakes the shadow by dithering it with pixels that get less dense as the shadows fades completely out.

PNG, though it has its own Microsoft problems, might hold a solution.  Or, if you are placing this item over a solid background, you could "fake" the look of fading to transparency by incorporating the background color you are placing it over in the image itself.

LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 17860720
Thanks for the points.

Slynky's suggestions aboiut using PNG might hold a solution, although the typical way to do is to place it over a solid background and use the background colour in the image itself. Just make sure you use the web colour palette in the GIF image, to make the colours match perfectly.

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