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Is there a simple way to make parts of an animated GIF transparent?

Posted on 2011-09-30
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Last Modified: 2013-11-19
I have an animated GIF that I'd like the background to be transparent.
I have photoshop, paint, Macromedia Flash, a PC and a macbook. The background is white.

What are my options?

Thx
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Question by:beavoid
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Expert Comment

by:jaxbrian
ID: 36894048
you should be able to open the gif in Photoshop and remove the background and then re-save it as an animated .gif.
if the image is not complex you can use the wand to remove the background on all layers. if it is a bit more complex you could use the pen tool to remove the background.
you will get better results if you use the pen tool, IMO
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by:beavoid
ID: 36895074
Thx
I can make a new project with a transparent BG.

How might I remove the BG on the original?

How do I select it?

The pen tool draws a black pixel.

How do I flip through the layers? / frames?
Or, will doing it on one, do it on all?
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Expert Comment

by:jaxbrian
ID: 36896522
When I open gifs in Photoshop it shows all the frames as layers. I believe since gif supports a transparent background you should just be able to remove the background.
The pen tool is used to create a path. The black markings that it is making is just letting you know it is there. start tracing the outline of your image with the pen tool when you connect the the original starting point. you will then click on the "path" next tot he "layers" tab. save the path and then select it, select inverse and remove the background.

You will have to do it on all layers.
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Author Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 36898129
How do I view all the layers?

Is it like a flipbook?

Thanks
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Author Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 36898161
If I press F7, there is only one layer.

I can't find a way to isolate any of the frames! It is as if it insists there is only one frame, when it is clearly animated, when opened.
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Expert Comment

by:jaxbrian
ID: 36899588
what version of photoshop are you using?
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Author Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 36903912
It's weird

The layers panel has only one layer, I can't get it to single frames.
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Expert Comment

by:jaxbrian
ID: 36904986
some of the versions and views can layout gifs differently. what version of Photoshop are you using?
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Author Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 36909862
4.0

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Accepted Solution

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jaxbrian earned 500 total points
ID: 36909942
here is a snipit that I found related to your problem with Photoshop 4.0

Only "full colour" images can use layers. GIF images can't have layers in Photoshop (except the "Background" layer), the "mode" must firstly be changed (using the Image - Mode) from "Indexed Color" to "RGB color" or "CMYK color" – if that has not already been done.

Paint cant do it that I know of. it may be time to upgrade your version of Photoshop if you are going to be editing more photos than just the one. I am using Photoshop 12.1
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Author Comment

by:beavoid
ID: 36910765
Okay, I'll accept that as a solution in a short while. Lastly -

I think, what I'll do is if my game gets looking good enough, I'll go to ImageMonster nearby and get them to convert it and make it all look totally pro - transparent image, etc - not as expensive as a new photoshop!
I'll use the non-ransparent image like a place-holder, meanwhile. ?
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