Transparencies 101


Why outsource brain-farts when you can manifest them yourself?  Making a transparent background (aka “cutout”) is easy enough for a beginner and takes less time than you might think.

As the video shows, this simple process can get a little tedious when it comes to details like  negative space in hair.  Short-haired cats are simple, but you may want to make a snack if there’s a wispy fluffball on your to-do list.



Your turn!

Practice adding an overlay in Picmonkey by making your own Paula Deen meme.

paula deen

Pro tip: seeing .png after a file’s name will let you know that it has been formatted to handle transparency.

  • Right click the picture of Paula and save it to your desktop. Make sure it saves as a .png file.
  • From the home screen, click “edit” and open a picture of a cat from your computer.
  • Once you’re in the editor, open the overlay menu (butterfly) and click the your own” button at the top of the menu.
  • Select the .png of Paula.
  • Scoot her around the picture, resize her, and make some magic.

Congratulations, you just “Photoshopped” something! You’re ready to start piecing together amazing original media for your cats.

Bunny & Deen


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poop fairy

Practice by making “just for fun” graphics for your organization. This internal recruitment poster was created by layering wings, then the cat, and then the scoop on top of the litter box image.

Pro tips

  • Google can save you some time by finding elements that already have a transparent background.

find transparencies

  • Respect copyright and intellectual property laws. It’s not as complicated as it sounds; this flow chart will help determine if an image found online is alright to use in your work.
  • is a great place to get started. They offer hundreds of images with transparent backgrounds, completely free .
  • has a dizzying selection of original transparencies that range from fantasy terrain to kitchen stuff.  The artists have varying terms of use that can be found right below the image.  Many ask for nothing, some ask for credit, and some ask for more.

Have fun, and share your amazing creations on our Facebook page!