Making blank/white areas of images transparent

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    • #39895

      First off, I use FCP. But I scan my photos into the computer with your average scanner.

      What I’d like to know is:

      I have many pictures that are not symetrically square, so there are huge white areas, or black, etc. where there is no image. When I scann the image, I can only choose a square/rectangle. So there is a lot of this empty area.

      I want that blank area to be Non-visible to the editing program so that the background will show all the way around the actual image (if it were a circular picture or triangular).

      Now I know there are ways (green screen, etc.) to block that out within FCP but, is there an easier, less time consuming way to do it?

    • #172016

      I have never used FCP but in Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5, if you put your still image in track 2 or higher, the "blank" areas are already transparent. It uses an alpha channel. Be sure you have a background of some sort in track 1. Also, try right clicking on the image while its in the timeline and look for a transparency menu or setting.

      Sorry but thats the best I can offer.

    • #172017

      I do not use FCP but I scan photos into my pc using a basic Dell all-in-one scanner/printer/fax unit. Once the file is in Jpeg I use Adobe Photoshop to cut away the unnecessary elements. This could be as simple as using the cookie cutter tool or as complex as the magic lasso that allows you to trace around your subject and create a separate layer. You then disable the background layer and now you have an exact cut out of your subject. You can then zoom in and use an eraser to clean up any rough edges it might have missed. You can also erase inside the edges of your newly shaped subject. Those areas become transparent when put into another program (Premiere Pro, etc). The only catch is that I have found that if I don’t save it as a Photoshop file (Jpeg for instance) some programs do not recognize it. If you make the cuts and save it as a Jpeg then it applies a rectangular matte to the background negating your work in Photoshop. Some programs like excel have a picture tool bar and allow you to specify a color to make transparent but it isn’t very thorough. The edging is not as precise and if anything on your subject is the same shade that you specify, then it will become transparent as well.

      Bottom line; give Photoshop (or similar program) a try. It works for me.


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