Krita How to Remove White Background: Mastering the Art of Transparency

The Ultimate Guide to Removing Backgrounds with Krita

Do you find it challenging to remove the white background from your images in Krita? If so, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the secrets of removing white backgrounds in Krita, leaving you with transparent images that seamlessly blend into any project. Whether you’re a professional artist, a hobbyist, or just looking to spruce up your social media posts, this step-by-step tutorial will equip you with the skills you need to take your creative endeavors to the next level. Get ready to unlock the magic of transparency with Krita!

1. Introduction 9. FAQs
2. Understanding Transparency 10. FAQ 1
3. Tools for Background Removal 11. FAQ 2
4. Preparing Your Image 12. FAQ 3
5. Removing the Background – Step by Step 13. FAQ 4
6. Refining the Result 14. FAQ 5
7. Troubleshooting Common Issues 15. FAQ 6
8. Tips and Tricks 16. FAQ 7


When it comes to digital art and graphic design, the ability to remove the white background from an image is crucial. Whether you want to create stunning compositions, design logos, or enhance your photographs, Krita provides the perfect tools for achieving professional-looking results.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the realm of transparency and explore the various techniques and features Krita offers for background removal. From understanding the concept of transparency to refining your final result, we’ll cover it all.

So, why wait? Let’s embark on this exciting journey of mastering the art of removing white backgrounds and unleashing the true potential of your creativity!

Understanding Transparency

Before we dive into the practical aspects, let’s take a moment to understand what transparency means in the context of digital images. In essence, transparency refers to the absence of any background or fill color in an image. Instead of being confined within a definite shape or canvas, transparent images allow for blending seamlessly with any background.

In Krita, transparency is represented by a checkered pattern, with the transparent areas showing the underlying canvas or layer beneath. Whether you’re looking to isolate an object, create complex compositions, or prepare images for web design, mastering the art of removing white backgrounds will open up a world of creative possibilities.

Tools for Background Removal

Krita offers a range of powerful tools and features that make background removal a breeze. Understanding these tools and knowing when to use them is essential for achieving precise and professional results. Here are some of the key tools you’ll be using:

The Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand Tool is a versatile tool that allows you to select areas of similar color or tone with a single click. It’s particularly handy for selecting the white background and preparing it for removal. To use the Magic Wand Tool, simply click on an area of the white background, and Krita will automatically select all adjacent pixels with similar color values.

However, it’s important to note that the Magic Wand Tool may not always produce perfect results, especially if your image has complex or detailed elements. In such cases, additional refinement may be necessary.

The Selection Brush Tool

The Selection Brush Tool provides you with greater control and accuracy when it comes to intricate or complex backgrounds. With this tool, you can manually paint over the areas you want to select, allowing for precise selection even in areas with varying colors or tones.

Using the Selection Brush Tool is as simple as selecting the tool, adjusting the brush size and shape to suit your needs, and painting over the background areas you wish to remove. You can make multiple strokes to refine your selection further and ensure that you capture all the necessary details.

The Color Selection Tool

The Color Selection Tool is particularly useful when you’re working with images that have variations in shades and hues. This tool allows you to select areas based on color similarity, ensuring precise background removal even in images with complex color gradients or subtle color variations.

Using the Color Selection Tool involves selecting the tool, adjusting the tolerance level to control the range of color values to be selected, and clicking on the area of the background you want to remove. Krita will automatically select pixels with similar colors within the specified tolerance range, making it easier to remove the white background effectively.

Layers and Masks

Layers and masks are essential features in Krita that facilitate non-destructive editing. Layers allow you to separate different elements of your image, making it easier to manipulate and control each element individually. Masks, on the other hand, enable you to hide or reveal specific parts of a layer without permanently altering the underlying image.

When it comes to background removal, layers and masks are invaluable tools. By applying a layer mask to your image layer, you can selectively hide the white background while preserving the original image. This non-destructive approach allows for flexibility and the ability to make adjustments without losing any essential details.

Preparing Your Image

Before diving into the background removal process, it’s essential to prepare your image properly. Follow these steps to ensure optimal results:

Step 1: Open Your Image in Krita

To begin the background removal process, you’ll need to open your image in Krita. Launch Krita and navigate to the “File” menu. Click on “Open” or use the Ctrl+O shortcut to import the image you want to work on. Ensure the image has a white background that you wish to remove.

Step 2: Duplicate the Image

Before making any changes to your original image, it’s always a good practice to create a duplicate layer. This step ensures that your original image remains intact, and you have a separate layer to work on during the background removal process.

To duplicate the image layer, right-click on the layer containing your image in the Layers panel. From the context menu that appears, select “Duplicate Layer.” Krita will create a duplicate layer above your original image layer.

Step 3: Create a Backup Layer

In addition to duplicating the image layer, it’s a good idea to create another duplicate layer as a backup. This backup layer serves as an extra safety net in case anything goes wrong during the editing process.

To create the backup layer, right-click on the duplicate layer you just created and select “Duplicate Layer” again. This action ensures that you have an additional layer available to revert to if needed.

Step 4: Hide the Original Layer

By hiding the original image layer, you can ensure that any changes you make during the background removal process are visible on the duplicate layer. This practice makes it easier to track and refine your edits without any distractions.

To hide the original layer, locate the eye icon next to the layer thumbnail in the Layers panel. Clicking on this icon will toggle the visibility of the layer. Make sure to disable the visibility of the original layer while working on the duplicate layer.

Step 5: Zoom In for Precision

Removing the white background often requires precision, especially when dealing with intricate details or complex edges. To achieve accurate selections and clean results, it’s crucial to zoom in and closely examine the areas you’ll be working on.

Krita provides various zooming options to help you get a closer look at your image. You can use the Zoom tool located in the Toolbox or navigate to the “View” menu and choose the desired zoom level. Alternatively, you can use the Ctrl+Plus or Ctrl+Minus shortcuts to zoom in and out, respectively.

Step 6: Save Your Project

Before proceeding further, it’s essential to save your project file in Krita’s native format (.kra). Saving allows you to revisit and make adjustments to your edits without losing any progress. It’s a good practice to save your work periodically throughout the background removal process.

To save your project, navigate to the “File” menu and select “Save” or “Save As” if you want to specify a different file name or location. Choose a suitable folder for your project and provide a descriptive name. Click “Save” to store your project file.

Removing the Background – Step by Step

Now that you’ve prepared your image and understand the essential tools, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of removing the white background in Krita.

Step 1: Utilize the Magic Wand Tool for Initial Background Selection

The first step in removing the white background is to use the Magic Wand Tool to make an initial selection. The Magic Wand Tool allows you to select areas of similar color with a single click, making it a quick and efficient way to select the large areas of the white background.

To use the Magic Wand Tool, select it from the Toolbox or press the W key on your keyboard. Adjust the tool settings such as tolerance and mode according to your image. A higher tolerance value will select a broader range of colors, while a lower value will restrict the selection to colors closer to your click point.

With the Magic Wand Tool active, click on an area of the white background. Krita will automatically select all adjacent pixels with similar colors within the tolerance range.

Depending on your image, you may find that the initial selection with the Magic Wand Tool is not perfect. In the following steps, we’ll refine the selection to ensure accurate background removal.

Step 2: Refine Your Selection Using the Selection Brush Tool

After making the initial selection with the Magic Wand Tool, it’s time to refine the selection using the Selection Brush Tool. The Selection Brush Tool allows for more precise control over selecting areas, making it ideal for capturing intricate details or complex shapes.

Select the Selection Brush Tool from the Toolbox or press the B key on your keyboard. Adjust the brush size, hardness, and opacity settings to match the areas you want to select and the level of accuracy required.

With the Selection Brush Tool active, start painting over the areas where the initial selection needs refinement. Make sure to paint within the selected area to add or remove pixels from the selection. You can adjust the brush size as you go to accommodate different areas of your image.

Take your time and be meticulous, focusing on capturing the edges of the subject or elements you want to keep while excluding the white background. By using short strokes and paying attention to details, you can achieve precise and clean selections.

Step 3: Fine-Tune the Selection with the Color Selection Tool

Although the Magic Wand and Selection Brush Tools can handle many background removal scenarios, there may be instances where manual selection is required for areas with complex color gradients or subtle color variations. This is where the Color Selection Tool comes in handy.

Select the Color Selection Tool from the Toolbox or press the K key on your keyboard. Adjust the tolerance setting to control the range of colors to be selected. A higher tolerance value will select a broader range of colors, while a lower value will restrict the selection to colors closer to your click point.

With the Color Selection Tool active, click on an area of the white background that the previous tools may have missed. Krita will automatically select all pixels with colors similar to the clicked area within the specified tolerance range. Continue clicking on other areas as needed to refine the selection.

Remember to be careful and evaluate the effect of each selection to ensure accurate background removal. You can adjust the tolerance setting if necessary to fine-tune the range of colors included in the selection.

Step 4: Create a Layer Mask to Hide the Background

With your selection accurately capturing the white background, it’s time to create a layer mask to hide the background while preserving the rest of the image. A layer mask allows you to control the visibility of specific areas within a layer without permanently altering the underlying image.

To create a layer mask, make sure your selection is active. Then, click on the “Add Layer Mask” button at the bottom of the Layers panel. Krita will create a layer mask linked to the selected layer, represented by a white thumbnail next to the layer thumbnail.

By default, the layer mask is fully white, which means the entire layer is visible. To hide the white background, we’ll need to fill the layer mask with black in the areas we want to hide. With the layer mask selected, choose the brush tool and set the brush color to black.

Paint over the white background areas using black to hide them. As you paint, you’ll notice that the areas covered by black on the layer mask become transparent, revealing the underlying canvas or layers beneath. Take your time and be precise, ensuring that only the white background is hidden.

If you make a mistake or accidentally paint over areas you want to keep, simply switch the brush color to white and paint over those areas. White areas on the layer mask make corresponding areas on the layer visible again.

At any time, you can adjust the opacity of your brush for smoother transitions or apply various brush effects to refine the mask further. Experiment with different brush sizes, opacities, and blending modes to achieve the desired effect.

Step 5: Clean Up Any Artifacts or Imperfections

Once you’ve created the layer mask and hidden the white background, take a moment to inspect your image for any artifacts, imperfections, or remnants of the background that may have been missed. Cleaning up these elements will ensure a polished and professional-looking result.

Zoom in and carefully examine the areas where the background meets the subject or elements you want to keep. Look for any stray pixels, color fringing, or jagged edges that may detract from the overall quality of your image.

To clean up such imperfections, use a combination of brush tools, erasers, and the clone stamp tool. With a soft-edged brush or eraser, carefully remove any stray pixels or color fringing along the edges of your subject. If there are jagged edges, you can use the smudge or blur tools to soften them for a smoother appearance.

If you notice any areas where the subject or elements appear too sharp against the background, you can use the clone stamp tool to sample nearby colors or textures and gently blendthem into the areas of concern. The clone stamp tool allows you to mimic existing details and textures, ensuring a seamless integration between the subject and the background.

Take your time during this cleaning-up process and pay attention to detail. Zooming in and working at a pixel level can help you achieve a flawless result. Continuously evaluate your progress and make adjustments as necessary to ensure a clean and professional-looking final image.

Step 6: Check the Image Against Different Backgrounds

With the white background successfully removed, it’s time to test your image against different backgrounds to ensure that the transparency is working as expected. This step allows you to evaluate the quality of your background removal and make any necessary refinements.

Place your image on various backgrounds, including solid colors, gradients, or even other images, to see how it integrates and interacts with different environments. By observing your image in different contexts, you can identify any issues such as leftover artifacts, halos, or mismatched colors.

If you notice any discrepancies or areas that require further refinement, return to the previous steps and make the necessary adjustments. Repeat the process of refining your selection, adjusting the layer mask, and cleaning up any imperfections until you’re satisfied with the final result.

Remember that achieving a seamless integration between your subject and the new background may require additional adjustments such as color correction or blending modes. Experiment with layer blending modes, opacity settings, and adjustment layers to fine-tune the overall appearance of your image.

Step 7: Save Your Transparent Image in the Desired Format

Once you’re satisfied with the background removal and the integration of your image with different backgrounds, it’s time to save your transparent image in the desired format. Saving your image in a format that supports transparency will ensure that you can use it in various applications without losing the transparency information.

In Krita, navigate to the “File” menu and choose “Export” or use the Ctrl+Shift+E shortcut. Select the desired file format, such as PNG, TIFF, or PSD, which support transparency. Specify the destination folder and provide a meaningful name for your image. Click “Export” to save the image.

It’s important to note that saving your image with transparency in a format like JPEG will result in the transparent areas being filled with a solid color or the default background color of the format, effectively losing the transparency information. Therefore, it’s best to choose a format that explicitly supports transparency to preserve the integrity of your transparent image.

Tips and Tricks

Removing the white background from an image in Krita can be a straightforward process with the right techniques and tools. Here are some additional tips and tricks to help you achieve even better results:

Use Layer Masks for Non-Destructive Editing

Layer masks are your best friends when it comes to background removal. They allow you to make selective modifications without permanently altering any pixels in your original image. By using layer masks, you can easily experiment, make adjustments, and revert changes if needed, all while preserving the integrity of your underlying image.

Remember to take advantage of the flexibility that layer masks offer. You can refine your masks by using brush tools with different opacities and sizes, painting with gray to create partially transparent areas, or applying adjustment layers to control the overall appearance of your transparent image.

Experiment with Selection Tools and Modes

While the Magic Wand Tool, Selection Brush Tool, and Color Selection Tool are the primary tools for background removal, don’t be afraid to experiment with different selection modes and settings. Each image is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.

Try adjusting the tolerance level of the Magic Wand and Color Selection Tools to fine-tune the range of colors included in the selection. Experiment with different brush sizes and opacities when using the Selection Brush Tool to achieve precise selections in intricate areas.

Refine Edges with Feathering or Smoothing

When removing the white background, you may encounter edges that appear jagged or too sharp. To achieve smoother transitions between the subject and the background, consider using feathering or smoothing techniques.

Feathering involves softening the edges of the selection by blurring them slightly. This technique helps to create a more natural and gradual transition between the subject and the background. In Krita, you can apply feathering by using the Gaussian Blur filter or the Feather Selection option in the Select menu.

Smoothing, on the other hand, involves using brush tools with lower opacities to gently blend the edges between the subject and the background. By carefully painting over the edges, you can achieve a smoother and more seamless integration of the subject into the new background.

Make Use of Adjustment Layers

Background removal often involves integrating your subject into a new environment, which may require color correction or adjustments to match the lighting and atmosphere of the new background. Instead of applying adjustments directly to your image layer, consider using adjustment layers.

Adjustment layers allow you to make non-destructive changes to the colors, brightness, contrast, or other attributes of your image. They provide a flexible and adjustable way to fine-tune the visual appearance of your transparent image without permanently altering any pixels.

Experiment with adjustment layers such as Levels, Curves, Hue/Saturation, or Color Balance to achieve the desired look and feel for your subject. By using adjustment layers, you can easily tweak your image’s appearance without affecting the underlying transparency or the original image.

Combine Background Removal with Other Editing Techniques

Background removal is often just one step in the larger process of editing and enhancing your images. Don’t limit yourself to only removing the white background. Consider combining background removal with other editing techniques to elevate your images to new heights.

For example, you can use the Clone Stamp tool to remove blemishes or distractions on your subject to ensure a cleaner and more polished result. Experiment with different brushes and textures to add artistic effects or details that enhance the overall composition.

Be open to combining background removal with other techniques such as retouching, compositing, or adding special effects to unleash your creativity fully. The possibilities are endless, and the more you explore, the more unique and captivating your images will become.

krita how to remove white background – FAQ

FAQ 1: Can I remove backgrounds from complex images with Krita?

Absolutely! Krita’s powerful selection tools, layer masks, and additional features make it possible to remove backgrounds from even the most complex images. Whether your image has intricate details, varying colors, or complex shapes, Krita provides the tools and flexibility to achieve precise background removal.

By combining different selection tools, refining edges with brushes and filters, and using layer masks effectively, you can achieve professional results even with challenging images. Practice and experimentation will help you master the art of removing backgrounds in Krita, ensuring that your compositions are seamless and visually appealing.

FAQ 2: Are there any alternative tools to remove white backgrounds?

While Krita is an excellent choice for removing white backgrounds, there are other software options available that can also accomplish this task. Adobe Photoshop and GIMP are popular alternatives that offer similar tools and functionalities.

However, Krita’s intuitive interface, extensive toolset, and specifically tailored features make it a favorite among digital artists and designers. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, the comprehensive nature of Krita’s background removal capabilities makes it a powerful tool for achieving transparent images with ease.

FAQ 3: Can I bring back the white background if needed?

Yes, one of the advantages of using layer masks in Krita is the ability to bring back the white background if necessary. Layer masks provide non-destructive editing, allowing you to hide or reveal specific parts of a layer without permanently altering the underlying image.

If you want to restore the white background, simply disable or delete the layer mask associated with the image layer. This action will restore the original image, including the white background. Layer masks offer flexibility and the freedom to experiment, making it easy to switch between transparent and non-transparent versions of your image as needed.

FAQ 4: Are there any keyboard shortcuts to speed up the background removal process?

Yes, Krita provides various keyboard shortcuts that can significantly speed up your workflow during background removal. Becoming familiar with these shortcuts will help you save time and navigate through the tools and features efficiently. Here are a few useful keyboard shortcuts to keep in mind:

– B: Activates the Selection Brush Tool.

– K: Activates the Color Selection Tool.

– Ctrl+O: Opens an image in Krita.

– Ctrl+S: Saves your project.

– Ctrl+Shift+E: Exports your image.

These shortcuts are just a starting point. Explore the Krita menu system and documentation to discover even more shortcuts that can streamline your background removal process.

FAQ 5: Can I use Krita to remove backgrounds from photographs?

Absolutely! Krita is a versatile tool that can be used to remove backgrounds from all types of images, including photographs. Whether you’re working with digital photos or scanned film images, Krita’s selection tools, layer masks, and editing features provide the necessary tools to achieve professional results.

To ensure accurate background removal in photographs, pay attention to details, such as hair, fine objects, or complex edges. Use a combination of selection tools and refining techniques to achieve precise results. Take advantage of Krita’s brush tools, filters, and adjustment layers to further enhance your photographs once the background is removed.

FAQ 6: How can I avoid jagged edges when removing the white background?

Jagged edges can be an issue when removing the white background, especially when dealing with images that have complex or intricate elements. To minimize jagged edges and achieve smoother transitions, there are a few techniques you can employ:

– Use selection tools with higher levels of feathering or smoothing, which can help soften the edges of your selection.

– Pay attention to brush sizes and opacities when refining your selection or cleaning up imperfections. Working with smaller brushes can allow for more precise control and help create smoother edges.

– Experiment with the smudge or blur tools to gently soften and blend the edges between the subject and the background.

– Consider working at higher resolutions or zoom levels, allowing for more detailed selections and minimizing the appearance of jagged edges.

Remember that achieving smooth edges may require a combination of techniques and adjustments. Be patient, and don’t hesitate to experiment with different tools and settings until you achieve the desired result.

FAQ 7: Can I use Krita to remove backgrounds from scanned drawings or sketches?

Yes, Krita’s background removal techniques can be applied to scanned drawings or sketches as well. Whether you’re working with pencil sketches, ink drawings, or any other traditional artwork, you can use Krita’s selection tools, layer masks, and editing features to remove the white background and seamlessly incorporate your artwork into various digital projects.

Pay attention to details and take time to refine your selections, especially if the scanned drawings or sketches have intricate or delicate elements. Use smaller brush sizes, higher opacities, and additional refining techniques to achieve clean and professional results.


In conclusion, Krita offers a wide array of powerful tools and features that make removing white backgrounds a breeze. By understanding the concept of transparency, mastering the step-by-step process, and applying additional tips and tricks, you can unlock new levels of creativity and enhance your digital art and design projects.

Removing white backgrounds with Krita opens up a world of possibilities, allowing your subject or artwork to seamlessly blend into any composition or background. With practice and experimentation, you’ll become more proficient in achieving precise and professional results.

So what are you waiting for? Start removing those white backgrounds and let your creativity shine with Krita. The power to transform your images is at your fingertips!

Closing Thoughts and Disclaimers

While Krita provides powerful tools for removing white backgrounds, achieving perfect results may require practice, patience, and experimentation. Each image is unique, and various factors such as complexity, lighting, and color variations can impact the background removal process.

Remember to make regular saves of your work in progress and keep backups of your original images. This way, you can always revert to a previous version or make adjustments as needed. Don’t forget to experiment, explore, and have fun while using Krita to remove white backgrounds from your images.

Always respect copyright laws and usage rights when working with images that are not your own. Ensure that you have the necessary permissions and rights to edit and use the images you intend to modify or incorporate into your projects.

With dedication, creativity, and the right tools at your disposal, you’ll master the art of removing white backgrounds in no time. Let Krita be your companion on this exciting journey of creating transparent, visually captivating images that leave a lasting impression.

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