How to produce best curved graphic with photo and transparency.

Colin Brazier
Colin Brazier used Ask the Experts™
Hi experts,

I am not happy with the quality of the circle surrounding this photo (it looks pixellated) and am wondering how to make a better job of it.  

web graphic
The graphic is to go on a web page and the areas surrounding the circle must be transparent.

I made this gif by creating the circles in Fireworks 8 at 72 ppi (perhaps an error here?) and then pasting the photo inside (also at 72px).

Should I have done both at a larger res (eg 300ppi) and then somehow reduced the size?

I have access to Fireworks 8, Photoshop CS2 and Publisher.

(I could not find Fireworks in the EE topics list so have used more general topics.)

Any help much appreciated.

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Software Engineer
Can you check here:

I re-did the 3 circles in photoshop (as I don't have fireworks) and saved as png because I was trying to save with an alpha channel for super smooth outside edge with partial transparancy. I don't think that worked but maybe the tranparency in itself is enough. The file is significantly larger but you should be able to get a better quality in this same size using the original. Or maybe save as PNG-8 which has less colors like GIF.

The main thing is that I removed the circles as they were and recreated them using a basic shape, going into layer blending options, remove the internal fill (opacity 0) and put a stroke on it with each of the colors (on 3 separate shapes). I think I was off by a pixel here and there which produces small gaps along the circumference so you need to be careful with the position and size of the shapes but then they are a lot smoother than before.


Yes, it is much better.  In fact it is more than good enough, the odd pixel here and there isn't a problem.

I just have to work out how you did it (I am a noob with Photoshop really).  Your explanation could hardly be more clear, so I'lll go in and try a few things.



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