I am a new GIMP user with a quick question. I am using "Add Layer Mask" and the radial gradient tool to create a transparent hole in a png layer. The radial gradient tool only applies maximum transparency at the cursor vector center fading to opacity at the end of the cursor vector. Is there a way set complete transparency over a circular region fading from complete transparency at the circle edge to the end of the cursor vector?

1 Answer 1


Just make a circle selection and bucket-fill it with black, leaving the rest of the mask white.

Explanation: the layer is opaque where the layer mask is white and transparent where the mask is black. Achieving complete transparency of the layer over a circular area is done by painting a black circle on a white mask, and painting a black circle is done by making a circle selection and bucket-filling it with black.

  • I'm adapting the answer to the OP's level of expertise as demonstraded by the question. We don't want to copy the whole Gimp manual each time, do we?
    – xenoid
    Nov 8, 2016 at 13:09
  • Thank you for the suggestion and explanation, xenoid. As an alternative, I found that editing the gradient profile is also helpful in increasing the size of the transparent hole generated with a radial gradient. I did this by adding a new palette with the palette dialog, adding 3 or more colors with the "new color from foreground" button, transferring the palette to a gradient using the "palette to gradient" operation, and editing the new gradient from a button in the tool options window.
    – Eric Smoll
    Nov 8, 2016 at 21:19
  • Yes but you'll always have blurry edges that way... But then there is even faster technique, use the Brightess-Contrast tool on the mask, and add contrast to reduce the width of the semi-transparent transition.
    – xenoid
    Nov 8, 2016 at 21:53

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