When creating artwork it is sometimes required that we preserve areas of transparency in the finished design. Turning off the visibility of the background layer is a good start as it creates a transparent background within the Procreate app, but what if we wanted to save/export our artwork in a usable file and have the transparent areas remain transparent? In this tutorial we’ll be going over how to do just that as we will be demonstrating how to save your design work with a transparent background in Procreate.
In short, the secret to saving with a transparent background in Procreate is to export your work as a PNG file. Files saved in PNG format will have a file extension that ends in “.png“. PNG, which stands for Portable Network Graphics, is the only rasterized file format that allows for transparent backgrounds. JPEG, on the other hand, does not support alpha channels (RGB instead of RGBa) therefore it cannot display transparency, so a default fill (usually white) is applied by default.
Thankfully this is a relatively simple process in Procreate. Let’s dig in.
Save With A Transparent Background In Procreate
The following video tutorial will walk you through the entire process in less than 2 minutes:
Continue on for a written overview.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Open the Layers menu and disable the visibility of the background layer
In order to save with a transparent background in Procreate we must first ensure that the background layer isn’t visible.
Every Procreate document comes with a dedicated background layer that has a white fill by default. You can remove this by navigating to the Layers menu and deselecting the checkbox next to the background layer’s label, which will turn off its visibility:
It should be noted that this change is only temporary. The background hasn’t been deleted, just temporarily made invisible. You can restore it at any point by checking the box again.
It should also be noted that this tutorial assumes you’ve already established areas of transparency on your artwork that you’d like to preserve. If you need help with knowing how to delete a background then be sure to check out a previous tutorial in which this was demonstrated.
Step 2: Open the Actions menu, navigate to the Share tab, and select PNG from the list
Now that we’ve ensured that there is no visible background on the document, let’s export our work as a PNG file so we can preserve its transparent attributes.
Open the Actions menu, represented as a wrench icon in the top-left corner of the screen. Then, navigate over to the Share tab:
Here you will see an index of file types to export your work as. As mentioned earlier, PNG is the file format that supports alpha channels (or transparency), so tap on that option to select it.
Step 3: Name your file and choose a location to export it to
Once you’ve opted to export your work as a PNG image, you will be prompted to choose a name for your file and designate a location on your hard drive to save it to. For this demonstration I chose Save to Files so that the work is stored on iCloud and can be accessed by any of my other devices
Tap the Save button in the top-right corner once you are finished, and your newly-created artwork with a transparent background should be ready for use. Here’s the final result from our demonstration:
You can copy and paste this image into Procreate to see for yourself that the background is indeed transparent.
Knowing how to save with a transparent background in Procreate is simply a matter of exporting your work in the correct file format. If you’re already familiar with what the various graphic file formats are and how they work then this is simply a matter of figuring out where the export menu is.
If you have any questions or need clarification on any of the steps taken in this lesson, simply leave a comment below.
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