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  1. #1
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    Stock images with transparent background?

    I'm looking for recommendations regarding a stock image database.

    I am wondering if there are any available that either specialize in transparent backgrounds or offer a search feature that searches the type of background.

    Most stock image databases I have found offer images in JPG rather than PNG.

    Would like a site with a pay as you go, not subscription based, if possible, and hopefully not over $5/image.

  2. #2
    iStockPhoto lets you buy credits, no subscription...I buy a lot of images there on white backgrounds

  3. #3
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    I don't know of any the site that specializes in transparent backgrounds per say. But as long as the background is fairly consistent in color and layers, you can always remove the background with a graphics editing program like Adobe Fireworks.

  4. #4
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    I have Photoshop, not Fireworks. Looking to not have to purchase another program as I don't do enough design to make it worth my while.

    When I do remove the backgrounds in photoshop it never looks as clean as an image made with a transparent background to begin with. Not to mention that if the shape is complex it can take a long time to make it look right.

  5. #5
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    Maybe you need images in EPS format?
    shutterstock.com/s/eps/search.html

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by devonblzx View Post
    I have Photoshop, not Fireworks. Looking to not have to purchase another program as I don't do enough design to make it worth my while.

    When I do remove the backgrounds in photoshop it never looks as clean as an image made with a transparent background to begin with. Not to mention that if the shape is complex it can take a long time to make it look right.
    That's unfortunate. Photoshop is not a web design program and is really not suited for creating web graphics. Fireworks is much cheaper than Photoshop (I think it's around $150) so it may not be as big an investment as you think. While you may not do very much design work, it is really an valuable tool if you are going to be working with images for the web.

    In terms of removing transparency with Photoshop, there are a few ways to do it while limiting the "unclean" look. One way is obviously to use the quick selection or magic wand tool and delete the background. You can use anti-alias to soften the edge a bit and also play around with the tolerance settings so that you can get as much of the background as possible while limiting what you select on the object you want to preserve. When you are saving for web apply a "Matte" color that matches what your background color will be on the website you will upload your file too. This way you will not see those jagged lines bordering the image.

    Another option is to use the erase background tool. This has a "Find Edges" option which is useful if your image has lots of curves in it. I personally have found it to be somewhat unreliable tool as it doesn't always remove the background thoroughly.

    You can also use "refine edge" with any type of selection and apply softness and feather in your selection. This can help the image look cleaner when you export it to a new layer.

  7. #7
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    Also, if you have an image with a solid background color or two and an object with many "holes" that the background shows through, the best option is to select by color range. If your background is complex unfortunately this will not work very well.

    Good luck.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by VantageThemes View Post
    Maybe you need images in EPS format?
    shutterstock.com/s/eps/search.html
    I'm not a whiz with graphics as much, what differs EPS format from others?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColinCronin View Post
    Also, if you have an image with a solid background color or two and an object with many "holes" that the background shows through, the best option is to select by color range. If your background is complex unfortunately this will not work very well.

    Good luck.
    Thanks for the advice, I usually use either the magnetic tool, or the channels by selecting the different color selections. It still seems to not be as clean, but I will continue my search.

  10. #10
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    @VantageThemes:

    After doing more research on EPS, it does look like that is something I would be looking for. Thanks for your suggestion!

  11. #11
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    DreamsTime.com is good with prices but don't know about transparency.
    TiaWood.com - Smart Web Development Explained

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by devonblzx View Post
    @VantageThemes:

    After doing more research on EPS, it does look like that is something I would be looking for. Thanks for your suggestion!
    Keep in mind that EPS by definition contains "Postscript" data which typically makes the filesize larger. The purpose of EPS is not really for supporting transparency (although it does) but rather to have a file container which will be used in larger pages / with other elements.

    Exactly what will you be using these images for? The ideal image format for the web is PNG there are three versions, each serving a different purpose. PNG8 and PNG32 support index and alpha transparency, while PNG24 only supports index. This file format will meet your transparency needs, but you will need to be selective about which format you are using depending on the specific image.

    If you are going to be working EPS, I suggest that you work to incorporate them into a PNG and optimize that PNG for the web. You should also use lossless crushers like ImageOptim (if you are on a Mac) or Yahoo Smush.It.

    Most people don't realize that one of the greatest adverse affecting factors of website performance is that the bulk of their images are not optimized for the web. Filesize and compression is critical if your site has lots of media since you will be using your resources when people access them.

  13. #13
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    I am using it mostly for company web sites that I manage. Yes, I do save all images in a PNG8 or PNG24 format, depending on the size and quality needed.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by devonblzx View Post
    I am using it mostly for company web sites that I manage. Yes, I do save all images in a PNG8 or PNG24 format, depending on the size and quality needed.
    Awesome. Glad to hear that you are aware of the differences. It breaks my heart when I see even designers using the wrong file formats and sacrificing their bandwidth over something that can easily be avoided.

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