I just bought this image from Shutterstock which comes as either a jpg or an eps. I use Gimp and am familiar with transparent layers ( which is what I want) but this comes as a flat image. I thought that the checked area would be transparent but it isn't.

Is there any way to remove the checked areas so they become transparent and be left with an overlay that includes the shading and screen glare sections that you can see on each screen?

enter image description here

Update: I managed to open the EPS file (as advised) using Inkscape and GhostScript but it opens as a single layered image with no transparency? enter image description here

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    I found your image on shutterstock and it seems to be a vector drawing you have bought. So the JPG is probably just a preview. JPGs can't have transparency, so you must be supposed to use the EPS for inserting your own graphics. Do you have vector drawing program you could use (Illustrator/Inkscape)? It would probably be a lot easier to use the EPS template than removing the checkered background from the JPG and recreating the highlights and shadows.
    – Wolff
    Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 16:28
  • OK thanks. I am installing Inkscape now so will give that a go. Cheers! Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 17:55
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    OK I have done that and can open the EPS file in Inkscape however it appears the same as in GIMP with just one layer with no transparency. Any suggestions? Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 19:02
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    Please post screencap inline in your answer (not as linked image elsewhere) of this image in inkscape with layers palette visible - this will help us help you! Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 19:21
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    I have added the screencap as requested in the original post - thanks Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 11:13

2 Answers 2


I would make a selection of all screens, using plain rectangular selection - If that is too complicated to do in a single pass, since combining selections can be gone in a single wrong click, you could use the "quick mask" (edit the seletction using arbitrary painting tools by clicking on the square icon to the right of the horizontal scrolling bar on the image window). Anyway, since the screens are rectangular with no perspective, the rect-select tool is the ideal to use there.

Once the selection is made, the tool of choice there is colors->color to alpha. Save the selection to a channel Select->Save to Channel, then, select by color, use selection intersection, click on the gray area, and use color-to-alpha selecting the gray shade. For the white squares, select the white color on all the image, combine with the saved-screen selection using "intersection", and color to alpha again.

This won't preserve the glare over the white squares - since its color match the squares bellow. You could try to retouch the glare by using the clone tool afterwards.


In Gimp 2.10, you could:

  1. copy a pair of squares to the clipboard
  2. add transparent layer
  3. Make a selection that is slightly bigger than the checkered screen
  4. bucket-fill using the clipboard pattern
  5. move the top layer so that the squares are aligned
  6. crop the pattern to the screen below
  7. set the top layer to Color Erase mode
  8. Rinse and repeat for each device...

This would have the advantage to keep the fake reflections and even work on the fake mirroring, but... the pattern isn't completely regular, the size of the squares changes slightly so this doesn't work as well as hoped.

So you can be blunt and just erase the inside of the screens, and then recreate the fake reflections (and wonder why there is no reflection on the bezel of the laptop), and the drop-shadows.

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