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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Exporting Transparent Layers from Livebrush

I volunteered to write this simple tutorial for Livebrush because many people in SNL@DSP use it, but there has been some difficulty in exporting the images transparently for use in other programs, such as PS, PSE or PSP.  So, first you need Livebrush, which is a drawing application which simulates a brush and lets you draw smooth curves or even decorated lines (with flowers, leaves, swirls, etc).  There is a free version and a $10 paid version.

1.  Open up Livebrush and draw your image.  The immediate problem which appears is that each line/object drawn by Livebrush becomes a separate layer.  I drew some inkblots as a demo.

2.  Also, the default project has a paper and a black background.  The background is locked so you cannot remove it.

3.  To export your image, you have to first select all of them. Do this by left-clicking on the layer above the paper layer.

4.  Press the shift key, scroll up the layers and then left-click the topmost layer.

5.  Select Export Layer(s) to Image (File > Export > Export Layer(s) to Image).  This will export only the selected layers to the file.  If you choose Export Image, then everything will be exported, including the paper and background.

6.  Select the location you want to save and type in the name of the file.  You do not need to add the PNG extension.  Livebrush will automatically append it to the file name.

Here is the example file.  Notice that is has a transparent background because I excluded the paper and the black background from the layer selection.

Livebrush does not have a layer merge because its original concept seems to be flash animation, not vector graphics.  The layer merge occurs at export, not before.


  1. Excellent tut. I needed this!
    Roberta T

  2. Spencer, this is just what I needed. Thank you for this, and for your help at SNL. Now I'm off to try this technique.

  3. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [18 Apr 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  4. In the sense that the layers do not react with one another, like they can in PS, Livebrush does not have a 'merge' but for locking selected layers together use the button at the bottom of the layers panel, 3rd in. This down arrow flattens the selected layers. Great tut!

  5. hiya

    I recently came across LiveBrush a few months ago, Ive been having quite a ball playing with it :) Not many tutorials or anything for this app (unfortunately). Doing certain things in that app is and can be confusing, especially with the exporting part. So Thank you for sharing this tut and your other lovely things. If I can, I'd like to add another piece of info, for others who are just learning LiveBrush. As far as the background layer, what I do is rename their background and make a new background and give it their original name ex:
    (their name)"paper1024W.jpg", which is that grey grungy background, I renamed it "paper-1024Wa.jpg", I made another background in a different color and named it "paper-1024W.jpg". I did that because when Live brush opens, it automatically looks for that "paper-1024W.jpg". I hope it was ok to post this, its just because there are next to no other sites that offer info about LiveBrush, other than their site and forum, but it gets confusing at times there.
    If I upset you, I apologize it wasnt my intention and would understand if you delete this. Have a beautiful holiday!

    Best Wishes