In my many artistic/coding/digital endeavors, I find myself with that same old problem of wanting to use an image for something – but it has that nasty white space behind it! And usually the only method (that most people know) to remove it is to slowly crop it by hand.
I hate cropping pictures.
So I fiddled around in gimp and found a fantastically easy way to cheat at cropping! :D
To start, open your image up in gimp. The image I’m using is Oracle from the game Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns.
1. Go Layer > Transparency > Add Alpha Chanel. Next, using the Magic Wand tool (circled in red below) select the white space around your image and delete it. You’ll get rid of most of the white space.
2. Now add a second layer to your project, move it under your image and fill it with black. Ahhh, see all that nasty white residue still clinging to your character? Not what we want.
3. Using the Magic Wand tool again, select around your character, then go Select > Invert. Next, go Select > Shrink and shrink the image by 1 pixel.
4. Now go Select > Invert (again!) and then press delete and unselect the image so you can get a good look at it. Hey! All that white is gone from around the character! Pretty neat, huh? Here’s a comparison of before and after:
5. Whoops, okay, so nearly all the white. There’s a few spots that managed to sneak by:
6. To get rid of these, you’ll have to use the Free Select Tool (looks like a little lasso by the Magic Wand) to select the areas, and then delete them. Like so:
7. Now remove the colored layer and save your image (make sure to save it as PNG to save the transparency!). And here she is, all cleaned up and ready to go on any colored background you choose! :)