Removing a white background to create a transparent PNG in Photoshop
In this tutorial you will learn how to remove the white area or background from a black and white line drawing of a Scarecrow.
Open up the image which you’d like to remove the background from. You can download a version of the scarecrow used in this tutorial from here.
First create a new layer by clicking on the new layer icon to the left of the bin in the layers palette.
Click onto the new layer and hold and drag it beneath the image layer.
Choose the paint bucket tool from the tool bar and with the new background layer selected fill the area with a bright colour of your choice. This is just an aid to assist in the removal of the white areas.
The layers area should now resemble the palette below.
Click onto the image layer and choose the wand tool, or simply press the letter W whilst in Photoshop. Change the tolerance in the Application bar to 40 and click anywhere in the white area.
Then go to Select > Similar and press delete / backspace on the keyboard.
You can then repeat the process to delete any further white areas, use the eraser on a small setting or if there are only tiny areas left as shown below just turn the last few white areas to black.
To do this, double click on the image layer in the layers pallette to bring up the layer style panel. You can also open this panel by right clicking on the layer and choosing > blending options.
Click on color overlay from the left hand menu and then click on the colur swatch to change the layer colour back to black.
If you wish to use this image with a different coloured background you can now simply repeat the color overlay process with the background layer selected. To create a transparent background you can turn off the background layer by clicking on the eye on the layer in the layers pallette.
By saving as a PNG at this point the image will retain the file with a transparent background. To save as a PNG go to File > Save for Web
Choose PNG 24 from the drop down menu top right and save your image.
The Final Image.