SF TransluSense

Filter for adding and removing transparency

Transparency makes pixels totally or partly transparent and makes numerous creative picture effects possible. With the help of transparency, parts of images can be isolated and mounted on a new background. Transparency makes edges of montages invisible, creates soft transitions between foreground and background and between different picture elements. Imaginative picture creations, but also many effects familiar from the Internet and apparently easy to create, are difficult or not realizable at all without transparency.

With the filter SF TransluSense you can make a certain color area transparent by mouse click or with three pairs of color sliders - also with smooth transitions - or you can turn the brightness of the colors completely into transparency. Vice versa, available transparency can be weakened to your likings or removed completely or converted into a transparency mask.

SF TransluSense is available only as a commercial version. Without registering this version works as demo and includes a watermark in the resulting image.

The download zip file includes two separate filters: a "normally" and a "scripting" version. You can install the version you wish or both. The license is valid for both. The scripting version is for use in a photoshop action or as a smart filter, the paramaters are saved in the action or in the smart object itself. But this version has some restrictions, e.g. the combination is not available (because of restrictions of the photoshop scripting interface).

Therefore an automatic version of the filter, which stores the parameters in a separate file, is also available (look here for details). This "auto" version works in the background without restrictions regarding variants and combinations, but cannot used as smart filter. Please download this version separatly.

SF TransluSense 1

SF TransluSense with selected color and measuring point

Features and operating instructions

The following explanations refer only to the filter-specific characteristics. Here you can find the general functions of SimpelFilters.

Remove Transparency

While adding transparency is possible with many imaging programs, it's often difficult (or impossible at all) to remove transparency that is already there. In the filter SF TransluSense you can define precisely how much transparency should be removed (i.e. how strongly the opacity should be raised) with the Amount slider. A value of 0% has no effect. 100% removes (as far as possible) available transparency completely and restores the original color values.

Only with pixels that already have 100% transparency in the original image the former color values are lost. In this cases an exact restoration is impossible. With the options in Fill 100% Transparency with you still have two possibilities to fill such areas with color: If Background Color is marked, such areas are filled with the background color chosen in the host program. Edge of pixel fills such areas with the directly bordering colors. This often brings good results. If none of the two check boxes are marked, areas without opacity remain unchanged, i.e. transparent.

Add Transparency

This section of the filter dialog contains two check boxes: Brightness->Transparency and Color->Transparency.


With this check box you can convert the brightness of the picture colors (luminance) completely into transparency. The colors are preserved, but - depending upon their brightness - the pixels become more or less transparent. During this process, the other sliders in this section are disabled. You can only choose the color space. In RGB and HSY the luminance is used, in the Lab color space L* is used. However, the just added transparency can be weakened in the section Remove Transparency or also be removed completely. If you set the controller Amount to 100%, you'll receive the original image.


The six sliders (two for each Red, Green and Blue if RGB is choosen) serve for the selection of a color which should become transparent. Nevertheless, this can be achieved faster and more intuitively by right-clicking into the preview image - this will automatically set the sliders to the color value under the mouse pointer. Moving the two sliders of one channel against each other will increase the choosen color range. Alternativ you can click twice during pressed Shift key. This will choose all colors between the colors of the two clicked pixels and make them transparent.

With the two Transparency controls you decide on the soft or hard transition between not and fully transparent pixels. You have three choices:

Perceptive: The tolerance is referred to the distance of the selected colors in the choosen color space.

Relative: The tolerance is referred to the distance of the choosen color from the minimum or maximum in the given channel..

Absolute: The tolerance is referred to the maximum value of the given channel (e.q. 255 in a RGB channel or 359° in the H channel).

The combobox Selection allows you to choose a color space for the representation of color values:

RGB: The RGB color space with three channels Red, Green, Blue.

HSY: This is a "mixed color space" with components from several color systems. H is the hue angle (from 0° to 360°), S is the saturation, but in this case the special saturation from Photoshop. This type of saturation is more native and perceptional than the saturation definitions in the HSL or HSB color systems. Y is the Luminance (taken from the YUV color system).

Lab: The Lab color space with the three channels L (the Brightness, L*), a (green-red axis) and b (blue-yellow axis).

Further you can decide which channels are taken into account. Please click in the check box on the left end of a slider pair to switch this channel on or off.

You can move the two sliders of a channel together by clicking on the color bar between the sliders. The mouse pointer changes to a double arrow and you can drag the sliders without changing their relative position to one another. In HSY mode, please note that this is the only possibility to select red and magenta colors together (except per Shift-click in the preview). Select a H range and then move this over the 0° or 360° border.

SF TransluSense 2

Color selection in HSY mode and filling of transparent pixels with blue background color.

Further Options


(Only until version 3.1) Converts the image into a gray scale image. Beginning with version 3.2 this option is not available because it makes less sense with combining modes. If you need a greyscale image, please use the grayscale conversion in your image processing software.

Invert Transparency

inverts the effect of the transparency filter. Makes with option Brightness->Transparency dark pixels more transparent than bright pixels.

Create Transparency Mask (global function)

A transparency mask is a black-and-white or a gray tone image, whose brightness controls the transparency of another image (with the same size). Transparency masks are used in digital imaging programs for example as layer masks or within an alpha channel. If you want to work on a partially transparent image, it is often favourable to divide it into an image without transparency and a transparency mask. In this way colors and transparency can be changed separately.

You create a transparency mask by marking the check box of the same name. All color information is lost thereby. The brightness of the resulting gray scale image is determined alone by the transparency. It is no matter whether this transparency is from the original picture or if it is transparency you just added. With the slider Amount you can, here as well, weaken the transparency before the transformation is done. A value of 0 brings the result with the strongest black-and-white contrast. With Invert Transparency you will get the negative of the gray scale image, because the transparency is inverted before the transformation. If you combine variants, the mask is applied to the result, not to the single variants.

SF TransluSense 3

Transparency mask (after inverting the transparency)

Background (global function)

By default selected colors are removed, this means the pixels become less or more transparent. Here you can fill the transparency with a background color. Click on the color box to fill transparency with the shown color, or click on the chessboard box to fill not. (Alternativly you can click on the word "Background".) For "normally" layers (background layers) which don't support transparency, the background color filling is the once and default option and the chessboard box is grayed out.

To change the background color double click on the color box. This will open the color selection dialog of the host programm.

The choosen background color is used for the option Fill 100% Tranzparency with Background Color too.

Transparency (Opacity) before/after

This display field shows the transparency values (or opacity values, depending on preferences) of the pixel below the mouse pointer or of the measuring point. The number on the left is the value of the original image, the number on the right is the value of the result. The colors of text and background in this field have the same meanings as in the color value field (completely left under the preview, for explanation see also here).

Text color black: Exact values (normally only in 100% view)

Text color dark red: The values can but don't have to be exact because they are obtained from a preview with less than 100% view. Change to 100% view in order to always get exact values.

Background color gray: Current transparency/opacity values of the pixel below the mouse pointer.

Background color blue (Only if a measuring point is set): The current transparency/opacity values below the mouse pointer are equal to the measuring point's values.

Background color white (Only if a measuring point is set): The measuring point's transparency/opacity values. This is only displayed if the Ctrl key is pressed or if the mouse pointer is outside the preview window.

Color value display

This display field constantly shows the color values (i.e. normally the RGB values) of the original pixel below the mouse pointer or the color values of the measuring point. Only if opacity is zero no color values can be identified. In this case a warning is given. If the field's background color changes to green, the measured color values are exact to the ones of the red, green and blue sliders. You can find more information on this display field here.

Combining variants

A mouse click in the combining check box switches the mode on and off. In the neighbouring combobox you have to choose the combining mode:

Cumulative: Every blue marked variant will be applied to the result of the previous (blue marked) variant.

In the following modes the variants are applied separatly to the source image. The results are combined afterwards. In contrast to the Cumulative mode the variants are marked with red colors.

Minimum: Takes the minimum opacity (most transparent) value of all combined variants.

Maximum: The maximum opacity (less transparent) value of all combined variants.

Average: The average of the computed opacity values of the combined variants.

Mix: The single opacity values are mixed together. The result is similiar to the previous mode.

Neg. Mix: The mix of the inverted variants.

Multiply: The (normalized) opacity values are multiplied. The results are transparent like the results of the Minimum mode.

Neg. Multiply: The inverted opacity values are multiplied.


SF TransluSense 3.5

SF TransluSense auto

Without license the filter works as try-out-version. The try-out version has all the functionality of the licensed version, except that the filter applies watermarks to the image. In addition the maximum size of the filter dialog box is limited.

Please order the license key here

Related Documents

The Tutorial page (at work) shows hints and ten examples for the usage of the filter SF TransluSense.

The User interface page shows global functions and key shortcuts of the filters.

The Automation page shows how to use the filters in Photoshop actions and scripts.


(Full version)

16 bit color depth
The filter works with RGB images of 8 and 16 bit color depth per channel. Internally the filter always uses 16 bit color depth. This gives high-quality results even with 8-bit-images.
Remove Transparency
Weak or remove image transparency as you like. Pixels without any opacity (100% transparency, no color information) can be filled with a liking background color or alternatively the colors can restored from the edge pixels.
Add Transparency
Convert Brightness into transparency or remove opacity depending on the colors of the image
Choose color model and channel
Select colors in one of three color models (RGB, HSY, Lab) and one, two or three channels.
Easy range selection
The selection of boundaries (thresholds) between the transparent and opaque colors is done by two sliders per channel. Alternatively you can click with the right mouse button into the preview image. Three small color gradients visualizes the extent of the selection in the channels.
Soft Transition
Two Tolerance controls allows the adjustement of the transition between full transparent and full opaque colors.
Three Tolerance modes
"Perceptive", "Relative" and "Absolute".
Transform transparency into mask
Normally you will get the filter result as a RGB image with transparency. If you choose this option the opacity of each pixel is transformed into more or less gray. The transparency ist completely removed. You can use this grayscale image as a transparency mask - e.q. as a layer mask in photoshop.
Combine Variants
You can save and combine up to ten Variants easily into a single image. For combining you have the choice between seven blend modes and a "cumulative" mode.
Last Settings
The last applied settings are stored automatically and reloaded after restart. So you can work with up to ten favorite settings without manual reloading. Further you can store so many settings as you will in setting files.
Split Preview
Dividing the Preview window into two parts allows a Before/After comparison.
Choose Language
A mouse click changes the language between German and English.
Apply the filter automatically
You can use a special auto version of TransluSense filter from inside scripts and actions and therefore perform filters automatically on several images or whole folders. The settings are carried out conveniently in the Standard version of the filter.
New Features since SF TransluSense 3.3
Description Line: This option allows short descriptions to every variant. After OK the descriptions are stored with the settings.
Faster: The previews of all variants are stored in the background. Changing between variants is very fast now.


The filter is suitable for RGB images in 8 or 16 bit color depth (per channel). Gray tone images can be worked on likewise, if converted before into RGB color space.


Clicking the options button opens preferences and short help. You can select the display language here (at present German and English) and decide whether transparency or opacity will be shown in the appropriate fields.

Transparency versus Opacity


The two terms are two sides of the same coin. Each is the reversal of the other. The higher the transparency is, the more transparent is a pixel, and the smaller is its opacity. A completely transparent pixels has 100% transparency and 0% opacity. A completely covering pixel has 0% transparency and 100% opacity.

In SF TransluSense you can select whether transparency or opacity shall be displayed.