[Photoshop] Black to alpha?


I’m currently working on making thumbnails for my particles. I have this image but I don’t really know how to remove the black background. Essentially I want to turn the black into alpha. Any ideas? I’m using Photoshop.

I have tried selecting the background but that looks weird, as if there’s some background behind the particle which is what I don’t want:

TIA for any help!

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You can use a blending mode like screen when you place this image on top of another image.

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Only problem is that an image would still appear under it, then it wouldn’t be transparent

Yeah, but the only reason you’d need something like this is so that it can be used in other images, right?

No, I was going to be using it as a thumbnail for my shop.

You could use magic select if that’s what it’s called in photoshop. Basically when you select a certain color. If you set the tolerance low it should only select the black

The weird black outline picture in the OP is the result of that.

You’re gonna have to remake it with a transparent background, there’s no way to sugarcoat it.

The colors of the particles blended with the black in all of the areas that weren’t selected by magic select, as the result of some sort of a blur filter you used, so not all of it is the same shade of black.

I didn’t use a filter, it’s a particle emitter I took a screenshot of, I can’t remake it with a transparent background as Roblox doesn’t give that option.

Then you can’t. Blending modes are the only solution to this and you need an underlying image for that.

I’ve only been using photoshop for a couple of hours total now and I can’t really say how to do it. A lot of people can’t say how to do it.
A professional (or even serious hobbyist) workflow will easily involve multiple programs of the same type, even if for a single feature.
If you’re willing to download GIMP, it’s this easy. Use Color to Alpha (and specify the color in the menu)

Overwrite original file (or Export As to create a new file)

Here’s the result. It doesn’t have the transparency visible on the devforum (did it remove the alpha channel altogether?), but it should give you an idea.


I downloaded gimp last night I think but it wasn’t really what I was used to, however it seems like the only program I was able to get it working on. Thanks!

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Worked like a charm! My only complaint is that when going through a whole batch of files, make sure to use the Overwrite option on one image on a time. If you click too fast, GIMP will cancel the current export process with a newly requested one.