Darken blend mode layer onto transparent background

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2019-08-02 16:32:00

Hi! Love Pixelmator Pro.

I snapped a photo of my signature on a white background, used levels to make the background completely white. It's easy to overlap on other images using the darken blend mode.

How do I get the signature on a transparent image, without getting the white background? What I'm trying to achieve is my signature on a transparent background. I thought why not create a new image with a transparent background and then add a layer with my signature image and set the blend mode to darken, but this results in a white background.
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2019-08-02 17:43:15

Hi payholm.

I've been here before, too. There are a bunch of ways of dealing with this. Here's a simple and a more complex method:

Method 1: You can use one of the selection tools and delete or mask the area. Since selection tools are often used to delete an area of the image, the people at Pixelmator have combined the two into the Smart Erase tool (doubled up with the erase tool). Have a play and see what you think. I've never been completely happy with how this method deals with the transition between light and dark so onto the next method (stop here if you are happy).

Method 2: You can use Mask to Alpha to change luminosity to opacity. Black becomes transparent, white opaque. We want it the other way around so we'll Invert, then Mask to Alpha then Invert again.
1. Invert the layer using the Effects tool (Effects > Add > Color Adjustments > Invert). Don't use Cmd-I*.
2. Use Mask to Alpha (Effects > Add > Other > Mask to Alpha) to remove the white background (which is now black).
3. Invert the layer again using the Effects tool.
That should give your signature a transparent background.

There is a method 3 that give you more control over the exact transparency of the edges but it's probably overkill.

Hope this helps.

- Stef.
*Cmd-I will use the Color Adjustments tool which can only use one copy of each adjustment. So when we come to stack the second copy, Cmd-I just removes the first one.
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2019-08-02 20:46:40

Thank you! Method 2 works really well!