by Weston Maggio

Painting with Transparent Pixels

Transparency: We all know what it is, but I wonder how many of us take it for granted. Way back when, application developers were challenged with differentiating documents that had no pixel content versus those that did. Particularly images (or layers) filled with white. Long story short, the engineers decided that a light gray and white checkerboard pattern was just the ticket. The checkerboard pattern is noticeable enough to the eye, but does not distract the viewer from their work.

Okay, simple enough: transparency is a representation of an image or layer that contains no content. So what’s more to know?! Managing transparency. A better appreciation for transparency and knowing how to manage it can save you a ton of time. Avoid making complex or time-consuming selections. Paint more efficiently and make better quality composites by utilizing “lock transparent pixels" in apps like Adobe Photoshop with a Wacom tablet.

In this video, I dive beneath the surface of transparency to reveal some things that aren’t as easy to see as you would think.

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