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  • Looking for app that preserves transparency checkerboard on JPG output

    Hi all, first time poster here.

    I'm working with a series of TGA, TIF, and PNG files all of which contain alpha transparency. The TIF files are also IPTC tagged.
    Most design apps will show transparency as a checkerboard pattern, to make it easier to distinguish the transparent areas, but when saving these files to JPG for web display, the alpha checkerboard is commonly replaced with solid black or solid white (alpha being unsupported in JPG).

    Does anyone know of an app that will insert an actual checkerboard, or user-defined image, in place of the transparent areas, instead of the usual solid black or solid white, when saving as JPG?
    In the case of TIF files, the app should preserve the IPTC tags from the original TIF in the resulting JPG file...
    Ideally, the resulting JPG should have the same date as the original file from which it is converted (xnView, for example, does this but replaces the alpha areas with solid black in the resulting JPG)

    Anyone know of an app that will automatically do alpha checkerboards?

  • #2
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    • #3
      That's an odd request. I don't know any program that would do what you want. But in Photoshop you could write an action that inserts a layer, gives it a checker pattern in Layer Effects, moves it to the bottom, and saves as JPG.


      • #4
        ^^^^ pretty much what I'd.

        Actually I'd record an action to do All the saves needed then run a Batch Action on a folder of images.

        I love photoshop batch actions - especially on folders with 1000s of images, <play action> *go get coffee and come back in an hour*

        "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


        • #5
          Yeah, I know it's a somewhat odd request.. Many of the images we work with have alpha transparency to some degree. If I want to preview/demo an image on the web, I want to be able to keep that checkerboard because it's an immediately recognizable way of calling attention to the transparent areas. If the transparent area is replaced with all black, it throws the viewer off visually, and we get the invariable questions "is that area really all black like that?" etc etc.. Furthermore, the solid black for transparent areas can often throw off the appearance entirely if the image itself is predominantly dark colors.

          The actions method would be problematic with TGAs which use an alpha channel mask.. it wouldn't be as simple as placing a checkerboard layer under the content layers because the content layers are solid and the transparency is being knocked out with the alpha channel.. so the alpha channel would have to be applied as a selection to the checkerboard layer.. the selection inverted, content copied, and then dropped on top of the actual solid content, then saved out.. but that leads to the next problem...

          This method would be creating an entirely new JPG file, which would have an entirely new created/modified date and we do need to preserve the original dates and IPTC in the resulting JPG.. Most of the apps we work with for other parts of the workflow, when doing "Save As" or batch converting, will preserve the original dates.. but photoshop will treat the new jpg as a new file/date...

          Maybe if I convert source TGAs and PNGs to TIFF which will preserve the modify date for IPTC tags.. add IPTC to the TIFF.. then do the PShop batch/action processing on the TIFF file.. the resulting JPG will still have today's date as the creation and modify dates, but the IPTC date tags will have already been inserted.. so it's far from a perfect solution for what we need to do, but it could kinda sorta work. I'm still holding out for an app that will do this as part of the format conversion process.

          (Sorry for the long reply)


          • #6
            If you aren't printing it, and are only using it for web display, can you not just open the file in Photoshop and take a screen shot?


            • #7
              For a handful of files, sure.. but for thousands...?

              And anyway, that would mean creating a new JPG file as output, which means a new creation/modified date, which we're trying to avoid.


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