I'm a first time GIMP user. I have an image that contains a design that'd I like to copy on to a transparent background. therefore, I started tracing the design using the paint/pencil tool. now that i'm finished, i want to the design that i created by tracing into another layer that is transparent. how would i go about separating the original image and the new design?


2 Answers 2


Hmmm, doesn't look too good. I take it that you drew directly on the original image/photo layer? That was a basic mistake. It is not possible to cleanly extract the drawing from the original image anymore. Instead, you should have created a new layer above the original image first and draw on that from the beginning.

So, what you normally would do to trace an image manually is:

  1. Create a new document with transparent background.
  2. Place a copy of the original image.
  3. Create a new layer above the layer with the placed image, and then happily trace/draw away. Later, you may set the layer containing the original image to be invisible (click the eye icon)...

All you could re-use now are paths, if you used the Paths Tool, which you probably didn't.

So, apparently, you will have to do it again. If you are tracing a logo or similar graphics, a vector graphics application like Inkscape, Illustrator, CorelDraw, etc. is generally the better choice.


I'm not sure exactly what you're asking here. You re-drew part of an image on top of the original, and you now want to separate your re-drawing into a new layer?

I'm sorry to say this, but if you painted your re-drawn design into the same layer as the original, there's probably not much you can do except start over from the beginning. This time, you should first create a new transparent layer on top of the original image, and draw your new design into that layer.

Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding your question entirely. It might help if you could show us the actual drawing you're having trouble with.

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