Only the PNG format supports partial transparency and is compatible with web browsers. PNG can also carry "true color" imagery, where GIF cannot because it is using 256 indexed colors.
Thanks for that info. Any thoughts on making the edges smoother in either format?
You can't simply convert GIF to PNG24 as the GIF image has been trashed with the limit of 256 colors. You need to go back your original PSD file, edit the edge transparency to your taste, and then make the PNG24 file.
I understand that. I -am- working with the original.
Apparently, I've created confusion by putting two issues in one 'discussion'. Sorry.
I want to know how to get the fades smooth using the original PSD. I'll worry about the final format after I get that sorted.
Can you help with the transparent fade part of the equation?
What is it you're feeling is wrong with that web page? It looks pretty nice from here. Are you concerned with the edges or the tree branches?
How are you doing the transparency ("fades") now? Do you have a layer mask? Have you cleared the data on the layer with Delete or Edit-Clear?
If you're seeing the edges, make the method you used to make it partially transparent more aggressive - i.e., Make the layer mask more extreme, or delete more (e.g., with a fuzzy brush).
Or are you asking for artistic advice here?
I'm trying to get the left and right edges to fade into the green background so that you can't -see- the edges at the top third. One can still see that nagging little whisp of vertical line near the top.
Where you wrote:
"How are you doing the transparency ("fades") now? Do you have a layer mask? Have you cleared the data on the layer with Delete or Edit-Clear?"
---I simply used the background eraser. I tried using a mask and it was too hard to 'see' the effect I was creating. I also tried using the 'dodge' tool and that seemed great, until I realised that what it does is reduce the colour to -white-; not transparent. The main thing is that it's tough to 'see' what the resultant transparency will be.
"If you're seeing the edges, make the method you used to make it partially transparent more aggressive - i.e., Make the layer mask more extreme, or delete more (e.g., with a fuzzy brush)."
---What is a 'fuzzy brush'? That sounds promising.
Aha! Photoshop excels at doing things with brushes. There's a whole realm of brush stuff you'll want to get to know.
- Activate the Eraser tool in the Tools panel.
- Up at the top of the Photoshop main window look for Mode and set it to Brush if it's not already set.
- There will be a brush selector. Click it and select a round brush, and make the Hardness 0% (i.e., fuzzy).
With this brush selected, you can erase things and leave them with varying opacity.
Another approach would be to add a layer mask to the layer with the image, then paint on the layer mask with the brush tool and a fuzzy brush. This has the advantage of your being able to adjust opacity either way, by painting black, gray, or white.
And then there's Airbrush mode...
Yep, you'll definitely want to learn about brushes.