Published on October 16, 2007 By Daiwa In Skinning
I've been using PSP8 for some time now and generally have no particular problems with it, except one. PNG alpha-channel transparency seems to be lost whenever I open a file previously saved with alpha-channel trans. This image of the PNG Optimizer will help explain my problem:


When I save an image using the above settings, it appears to save with proper alpha-channel trans as when I then import it in SKS5, the converted .tga displays proper trans in the skin. However, if I re-open the .png file, often the trans is lost & the image displays white where the trans should be as in the left panel above. If I then just close it or save it, the .png alpha-channel trans is lost - if I re-import it, the converted .tga has no trans. This is not consistent but happens more often than not; only occasionally will a .png with alpha-trans open in PSP8 with transparency properly displayed as in the panel on the right above.

I have the option selected to "Load and save transparency from / to alpha channel" in PNG File Format Preferences.

Any ideas why the trans isn't sticking?
Comments (Page 1)
on Oct 16, 2007
I haven't used PSP much, but when I did, it didn't work well if at all with alpha channels. Photoshop is the only program I've used that seems to save with alpha channels properly.

Hopefully someone has a fix for you.
on Oct 16, 2007
Under what areas......
use Existing Image or Transparency Layer instead of "areas matching this color"
on Oct 16, 2007
You seem to be the PSP Master Lantec, I figured you'd come in with the answer.
on Oct 16, 2007
that's cause I'm poor and can't afford them spensive programs like Photoshop
on Oct 16, 2007
Under what areas......
use Existing Image or Transparency Layer instead of "areas matching this color"


Thanks very much Boss & Lantec.

Lantec -

The dialog was just a convenient way to show both images at the same time. When I save, say a .bmp I've made, in .png format using those settings to make the white area transparent, the resulting .png file does have alpha trans & it converts to a .tga with proper trans when imported in SKS5.

But if I re-open that .png file, it will usually open without displaying the trans - the area that was transparent will be white, as in the "before" image in the dialog. Sometimes it will open with the transparent background showing properly as in the "after" image in the dialog, but not usually. The trans seems to get "lost" in the Save/Open cycle for some reason.

Is that more clear?
on Oct 16, 2007
that's cause I'm poor and can't afford them spensive programs like Photoshop


I'm divorced...easier to buy the spensive programs that way.
on Oct 16, 2007
Yep, I haven't had version 8 for more than a year or so and I can remember for that version png and tga transparency were both a pain in the ass. Best fix is an update. Alternative is to check each png/tga file before saving.
on Oct 16, 2007
How do you "check" each file before saving? I just run the optimizer.

If it is a version-specific problem, I'd be willing to upgrade, though Paint.NET is an attractive alternative (at an outstanding price). I've gotten pretty comfortable using PSP, the only thing being this unpredictable handling of trans.

Thanks again.
on Oct 16, 2007
I just run the optimizer.


Make sure your set for the Alpha Channel and Existing Image/Layer transparency.....
That's if your going to use in a Stardock applied skin.

I'm on version XI but frankly X was as good and both are better than 8 & IX if you do a lot of digital photography.
on Oct 16, 2007
Would starting with a transparent background when creating a new image make a difference? I'm more often than not modifying a .bmp & saving as .png, so they don't start with trans.

Looks like the current upgrade price for 12 (PSP Photo X2) is ~$60.
on Oct 16, 2007
I would think a transparent background would be necessary, or at least turn off that layer when you are saving.
on Oct 16, 2007
My inexperience with image editing is showing.
on Oct 17, 2007
I know in Photoshop if the background isn't transparent, it will show. I usually create my images with an opaque background, so I can see what it will look like, but before I save I uncheck the background layer and then save it.

Maybe that is the problem?
on Oct 17, 2007
uncheck the background layer and then save it.


I don't see a way to do that in PSP8, which may just be my ignorance. With PSP8, the image is the background layer, unless a new trans layer is added. It also seems that the image often has to be "merged" before PSP8 will save it.
on Oct 17, 2007
You definitely want to start out with a transparent image.

If your editing bmps then I'd suggest opening a new image and paste the portion of the bmp you want into it being careful to avoid copying the background. Use the magic wand selection tool and add (shift key) remove (ctrl key) as necessary to get the selection correct. I find it's sometimes easier to select the background and then invert the section.

I don't see a way to do that in PSP8


If you use the Layer Palette (mines on the right side of the window) each layer has an eye symbol showing. If you click the eye symbol that will make the layer visible or not visible.