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I have a black-and-white image on a white background, which I want to place on an Illustrator file with a non-white background color, and I want the image to blend with that background.

What I tried:
Adding a solid color layer to the image in Photoshop, and set blend mode to multiply, and then place the resulting image on my Illustrator file. This kind of works, though even with the exact same colors chosen I can see a slight difference.

What I probably need:
A transparency mask from the image which makes the white completely transparent (and gray shadows less so), such that the background of the .AI artwork shows as the background of the image. Perfect blend.

How do I do this? I'm on Adobe CC.

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Save the Photoshop artwork as PSD or PNG.

Make sure you remove all the background that you need to remove and the artwork floats above transparent background. Use layering if choosing PSD format.

Then link this file into your AI source and it should overlay whatever other backgrounds you have in your AI file.

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  • "remove all the background that you need to remove" is the issue here. This is not an all-or-nothing background; for instance it has shadows which should become semitransparent. I'll add pictures to my question later today. Thanks for your thoughts anyway.
    – stevenvh
    Aug 3 at 4:55

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