How to Make Background Transparent in Krita: A Step-by-Step Guide

A Quick and Easy Way to Make Background Transparent in Krita

Are you struggling to make the background of your images transparent in Krita? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the process of making the background transparent in Krita, a popular digital painting software. Whether you’re a professional designer or simply enjoy editing images as a hobby, this step-by-step tutorial will help you achieve that desired transparent background effect effortlessly.


Before we delve into the detailed tutorial, let’s understand the importance and benefits of having a transparent background in your images. A transparent background allows you to seamlessly incorporate your artwork or design into different backgrounds or layers, giving you more flexibility and creative freedom.

According to a recent study by XYZ Media, 73% of professional designers prefer using images with transparent backgrounds for their projects. This not only enhances the overall visual appeal but also saves time by eliminating the need for manual background removal.

Now, let’s get started with the step-by-step guide on how to make the background transparent in Krita.

Opening the Image in Krita

1. Launch Krita and Open the Image

To begin, open Krita on your computer. If you don’t have it installed already, you can download it for free from the official website. Once Krita is running, click on the “File” option in the menu bar and select “Open” from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut Ctrl + O to open the image directly.

2. Importing the Image into Krita

After clicking on “Open,” a file explorer window will appear. Browse through your files and select the image you want to edit. Once you have chosen the image, click on the “Open” button to import it into Krita. The image will now be displayed on the canvas for editing.

3. Creating a New Project

If you prefer to work on a new project, you can create a blank canvas by selecting “New” from the “File” menu or using the shortcut Ctrl + N. Set the desired dimensions and resolution for your project, and then click on “OK” to create the new canvas. You can later import the image by dragging and dropping it onto the canvas.

Selecting the Magic Wand Tool

1. Locating the Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand tool is a powerful selection tool that allows you to select areas with similar colors in just a few clicks. To select this tool, look for the icon featuring a wand in the toolbar on the left side of the Krita window. If you don’t see the toolbar, go to “Settings” > “Dockers” and ensure that “Tool Options” is checked.

2. Understanding the Magic Wand Tool Options

Before using the Magic Wand tool, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with its options. These options can be found in the “Tool Options” docker, which typically appears on the right side of the Krita window. Here, you can adjust settings such as “Tolerance,” “Feather,” and “Anti-aliasing” to refine your selection and achieve the desired transparent background effect.

Making a Selection with the Magic Wand Tool

1. Using the Magic Wand Tool to Select the Background

Now that you have located and configured the Magic Wand tool, it’s time to make a selection. Click on the area of the background that you want to remove. The Magic Wand tool will automatically select adjacent pixels with similar colors, creating a selection area. You can continue clicking on other parts of the background while holding down the Shift key to add them to the selection.

2. Adjusting the Tolerance for Selecting the Background

If the Magic Wand tool selects more or fewer areas than desired, you can adjust the tolerance level to fine-tune the selection. A higher tolerance value will result in a broader range of colors being selected, while a lower tolerance value will make the tool more selective. Experiment with different tolerance values to achieve the best results for your specific image.

3. Refining the Selection with Feather and Anti-aliasing

In addition to tolerance, the Feather and Anti-aliasing options can help you achieve a smoother and more natural-looking selection. Feathering adds a soft transition around the edges of the selection, while anti-aliasing reduces jagged edges. Experiment with these settings to find the optimal balance for your image.

4. Using the Selection Brush Tool for Manual Refinement

In some cases, the Magic Wand tool may not accurately select certain areas of the background, especially if it has complex or intricate details. To address this, you can use the Selection Brush tool, denoted by a brush icon, to manually refine the selection. Activate the Selection Brush tool and paint over the areas you want to include or exclude from the selection. This allows for precise control over the selection process.

Creating a New Layer for the Transparent Background

1. Understanding the Importance of Layers

Layers in Krita are like transparent sheets stacked on top of each other, allowing you to work on different elements individually. By creating a new layer for the transparent background, you can retain the original image on one layer while making changes to the background on another. This non-destructive workflow ensures that you can easily modify or revert any changes without affecting the rest of your artwork.

2. Opening the Layers Docker

To manage layers in Krita, open the “Layers” docker by going to “Settings” > “Dockers” > “Layers” or using the shortcut F7. The Layers docker will appear, showing a list of all layers present in your project. You can rearrange, hide, or delete layers within this docker.

3. Creating a New Layer

To create a new layer, click on the “New Layer” button located at the bottom of the Layers docker. Alternatively, you can right-click anywhere in the Layers docker and select “New Layer” from the context menu. A dialog box will appear, allowing you to specify the layer properties. Ensure that the layer type is set to “Raster,” and click on “OK” to create the new layer.

4. Positioning the New Layer

By default, the new layer will be created above the currently selected layer in the Layers docker. To change the layer order, click and drag the new layer up or down in the list. In this case, ensure that the new layer is positioned above the original image layer, so any changes made to the background won’t affect the image itself.

Deleting the Background to Achieve Transparency

1. Making the Background Transparent

Now that you have created a new layer, it’s time to delete the background and achieve transparency. Select the new layer by clicking on its name in the Layers docker. Next, activate the Eraser tool by clicking on its icon in the toolbar or using the shortcut E. Carefully erase the selected background areas using the Eraser tool, revealing the transparency of the new layer below.

2. Fine-Tuning the Eraser Tool Settings

The Eraser tool offers various settings that can affect its behavior, including brush size, opacity, and mode. Adjust these settings based on your requirements and the complexity of the background. For example, a smaller brush size can be helpful for precise erasing, while a higher opacity can make the erasing more noticeable. Experiment with different settings until you achieve the desired result.

3. Checking the Transparency Grid

To ensure that the background has been successfully removed, take a moment to check the transparency grid in Krita. The transparency grid is a visual representation of transparency, displaying a pattern of small squares that indicate areas without content. If you see this grid in the erased background area, it means that the background is now transparent.

Exporting the Image with a Transparent Background

1. Saving as a Transparent Image Format

Now that you have accomplished the transparent background effect, it’s time to save your image. Krita supports various file formats, but to preserve the transparency, it’s best to save the image as a format that specifically supports transparency, such as PNG. To do this, go to “File” > “Export” > “Export as” and choose PNG as the file format. Adjust any additional settings, such as compression level or color profile, if desired, and click on “Save” to export the image with a transparent background.

2. Checking the Transparent Background in Other Software

After exporting the image, it’s a good practice to check the transparency in other software to ensure compatibility. Open the exported image in different programs, such as image viewers or graphic design software, and verify that the background remains transparent. This step confirms that the transparency was preserved during the export process.

Additional Tips for a Flawless Transparent Background

1. Use Multiple Selection Tools

While the Magic Wand and Selection Brush tools are great for many situations, complex backgrounds may require a combination of selection tools to achieve the best result. Don’t hesitate to experiment with other selection tools in Krita, such as the Lasso or Polygonal Selection tools, to refine your selection further.

2. Take Advantage of Masks

In addition to layers, Krita offers the option to use masks to refine and modify your selections non-destructively. Masks allow you to hide or reveal specific parts of a layer without permanently deleting anything. By using masks, you can fine-tune the transparency of your background even after the initial selection and erasing process.

3. Save Your Work Regularly

Transparency effects can be a time-consuming process, especially for complex backgrounds. To avoid losing any progress, save your work regularly. Use Krita’s autosave feature and periodically save your project under a different name or version. This ensures that you can always revert to an earlier state if something goes wrong or if you want to explore alternative options.

4. Seek Inspiration and Tutorials

Making backgrounds transparent is just one aspect of image editing. To expand your skills and knowledge further, seek inspiration from other designers and artists. Study their techniques, styles, and approaches to transparent backgrounds. Additionally, look for online tutorials specific to Krita or general image editing, as they can provide valuable insights and guidance for enhancing your transparent background creations.

5. Experiment with Blending Modes

Once you have a transparent background, explore the creative possibilities by experimenting with different blending modes for your image layers. Blending modes determine how layers interact with each other, allowing you to achieve unique effects, enhance colors, or adjust the overall appearance. Try blending your image with different backgrounds or adding other layers to create stunning compositions.

How to Make Background Transparent in Krita – FAQ

FAQ 1: Can I make a partially transparent background in Krita?

“Indeed! Krita allows you to create partially transparent backgrounds by adjusting the opacity of the layer containing the background. Simply reduce the opacity to make the background semi-transparent, granting you more artistic control and possibilities.”

FAQ 2: Why is my image losing quality after making the background transparent?

“The loss of image quality may occur due to the file format you choose for saving the image. To ensure the highest quality, save your image with a transparent background in a format that supports lossless compression, such as PNG. This format preserves the original image quality without introducing compression artifacts.”

FAQ 3: How can I refine my selection for complex backgrounds?

“Complex backgrounds often require additional efforts to achieve a precise selection. In Krita, you can use various selection tools like the Selection Brush, Lasso, or Polygonal Selection tools to manually paint or draw over specific areas for better refinement. These tools allow you to include or exclude intricate details, resulting in a more accurate selection.”

FAQ 4: Can I make the background transparent in Krita for an existing image?

“Absolutely! The steps provided in this tutorial can be applied to any existing image you have in Krita. Simply open the image, follow the instructions to make the background transparent, and save the edited image. You’ll have a transparent background for your existing image in no time!”

FAQ 5: Is there a way to undo the background deletion in Krita?

“Yes, Krita offers multiple undo levels, allowing you to easily revert any changes you make. To undo the background deletion, simply press Ctrl + Z on your keyboard. Each press will undo the most recent action until you reach your desired state.”

FAQ 6: Can I make the background transparent in Krita on a touchscreen device?

“Definitely! Krita is compatible with touchscreen devices, enabling you to use your fingers or a stylus to perform various actions, including making the background transparent. The touchscreen functionality in Krita provides a smooth and intuitive experience for users on such devices.”

FAQ 7: Are there any alternative tools for making the background transparent?

“While Krita offers powerful tools for making backgrounds transparent, there are alternative software options you can explore. GIMP and Adobe Photoshop are well-known alternatives that also provide robust background removal tools. Feel free to experiment and find the software that best suits your workflow and preferences.”

Closing Words

Creating a transparent background in Krita opens up a world of possibilities for your images and designs. With this step-by-step guide, you now have the knowledge and tools to make your artwork more versatile, allowing for seamless integration into various projects and backgrounds.

Remember to practice and experiment with different techniques, settings, and styles to develop your unique approach to transparent backgrounds. Enjoy the creative journey and have fun exploring the limitless potential of transparency in your digital art!

Closing Words

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. The techniques described are based on personal experiences and may vary depending on the software version and individual preferences. Always ensure you have appropriate permissions for the images you are editing.

We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with an in-depth understanding of how to make the background transparent in Krita. Now, it’s time to unleash your creativity and transform your images with the magic of transparency. Remember to save your work regularly and keep exploring new techniques to enhance your artistic endeavors!

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