Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I want to be able to take a sample image, and be able to fade out the background.

For example, I might take a picture of a bird. Make most of the background almost completely transparent, and have a smooth transition to full opacity adjacent to the subject.

Most of all, I want to be able to save / export to PNG.

share|improve this question
Which operating systems should it run on? –  Jonas Aug 15 '09 at 21:09
I would like to be able to run on Linux. I specifically didn't specify an operating system, because I wanted this to be as useful as possible, to everybody. –  Brad Gilbert Aug 16 '09 at 16:35

3 Answers 3

up vote 12 down vote accepted

As far as I know, The GIMP should be able to do what you want. It's free and open source.

share|improve this answer

Paint.NET if you're on Windows. IMO, a lot easier to deal with than The GIMP, if you're already slightly familiar with Photoshop.

share|improve this answer
This was never open source, just freeware with source available. Rick decided to close the source access so it is now a binary only distribution. Now what is interesting is the license talks about source code so technically you could beat some drums and get the source code and require a license change! –  Wayne Aug 16 '09 at 0:34
I suspect the poster was primarily concerned about the Free Software aspect typically associated with Open Source... ;) –  Ian Aug 16 '09 at 21:04
Free is nice. Open Source is better. –  Brad Gilbert Sep 17 '09 at 5:49

Gimp is a great application. However, the learning curve is pretty steep. I have not figured out how to do a simple color replacement or transparency with it yet. The easiest program I have ever used for that is Paint Shop Pro.

After reading about Paint.Net I downloaded it. It beat Gimp Hands Down. A great program for the Novice.

share|improve this answer
Programs easily used by a novice tend to be under-powered when you are no longer a novice. If you don't plan on becoming a expert at it, go ahead and use whatever is easier for you. –  Brad Gilbert Feb 15 '12 at 21:40

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.