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In Adobe Illustrator I'm trying to export the lamps from the AI file from this stock image as individual files. I'm able to select an individual lamp like this:

enter image description here

I go to File->Export selection and choose the following parameters: enter image description here

The generated PNG does not have a fully transparent background:

enter image description here

There are three black ovals, one behind the lamp and two behind the clasp. I get the same behavior if I choose the format as SVG.

How can I export the asset such that it looks like the asset as seen in Illustrator?

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  • There is an option to preserve transparency if you export the entire document as PNG -- have you tried that? Dec 22, 2023 at 16:24
  • If I export the entire document as PNG I don't see the black ovals. But I need each individual lantern. Dec 22, 2023 at 16:30
  • Rephrasing the same question doesn't make it a different question.
    – Scott
    Dec 23, 2023 at 14:10

2 Answers 2

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OK, so there is no soultion to this problem if you want a single PNG image. Just workarounds that don't do the same thing. This is not a illustrator problem its a image format limitation.

See an image file capable of transparency consists of 4 data tables, one table for each of the colors Red, Green, Blue and alpha. By default alpha is interpreted as being like glass pane that's semi transparent when its re made into a picture on top of something else. But you can modify this by specifying what you want the blending to be when you assemble the final result (see wikipedia on blending modes). You can also specify that a layer to be screened, added or something on top of the other layer.

In this case the image necessitates 2 different blend modes to the image composition. Since there are elements that work normally and elements that don't work normally (glow). This is all okay as long as you have a layered image but that is no longer the case when you flatten it to one image.

This brings us to the first workaround. You can do this if you split it into 2 separate images if your end system allows you to have different blending modes. Just separate the glowing part of the image ans save it as a color on black put the glowing elements on it and export as a separate image. Then layer these on top of each other in your end application. This is closest you can get.

Second workaround is to turn the blacks into transparent. This sort of works its not entirely going to look same though. So what you do is go trough every object and adjust its gradients uni till it sort of looks the same. This is usually fine if your background that you put the PNG isn't very complicated, non moving, and somewhat dark. But if it need to be one png then that's the only option.

Has the asset author tricked you? Did they specify that you can easily make and composite this outside of illustrator?

The answer is probably: No they haven't purposefully been trying to trick you. Aside form the flat vs composited image issue you should recognize that there is no expectation of a thing working as intended if your experience is low with some software. So because it was not a PNG there might be some issues. It works fine in illustrator on top of anything other.

We have lots of questions about stock images. I do not recommend that you take the approach that its trivial to do changes to them or repurpose them. Its often not.

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  • I was able keep the glow effect while getting rid of the black oval by following this solution. The developer could have easily done while having the same effect. Dec 23, 2023 at 13:55
  • @user2233706 yes thats method 2. Its not entirely the same though. It does not glow. So it works well if you have a dark background but put sonmething bright there and it breaks the illusion
    – joojaa
    Dec 23, 2023 at 14:01
  • @user2233706 and no it would have been inferior inside illustrator. But they could have alpha masked the black and keep alpha mode and make it easy for you to do this. But thats hardly ever done.
    – joojaa
    Dec 23, 2023 at 14:15
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I thought the checkered background was from Illustrator (this is my first time using this), but it was actually part of the image. I removed it and was left with a white background and the black ovals. I kept ungrouping everything and until I was able to remove the black ovals, as I've done here for the first one:

enter image description here

I was then able to export the lantern as a PNG with a transparent background.

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    But you lost the glow.
    – joojaa
    Dec 22, 2023 at 18:48
  • Yes. Is there away to keep the glow but not have the black oval? Dec 22, 2023 at 19:22
  • Well, it uses a blend mode to achieve the effect. You cant have multiple blend modes in a image. You can remake the gradients to use transparency but a lot of work and not exactly the same. Eport 2 images?
    – joojaa
    Dec 22, 2023 at 19:25
  • I am not familiar with AI. I thought I downloaded that asset I would be easily be able to extract the lanterns, but it seems like the asset developer played a trick. Otherwise, this asset can only be used with a black background. Dec 22, 2023 at 19:30
  • Sortof. It can be used anywhere where you have a multilayered asset. Because you cant have a glow in a single layer. Glow needs to use a different layering mode. This is a generic limitation of any image. So its not possible to have glow like that in one png file. In general its not recommended for people who arent super familiar with graphics, conventions to buy assets because they frequently get into problems with simple details by believing they can do something they can not.
    – joojaa
    Dec 23, 2023 at 5:31

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