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Erasing the background in SCURK for Windows

If you've ever imported a graphic into SCURK for Windows 95 and tried to erase the background, you've probably cursed out loud at how difficult it is. Unlike the DOS version of SCURK, the Windows version doesn't have a transparent color in the color palette, making it impossible to use the fill tool to quickly erase the background. Well, there's hope...

The procedure for getting the job done more quickly is simple: we're going to use another program to fill in the background with the transparent color. SCURK perceives any color with RGB values of 0,0,0 as being transparent. With that in mind, here's what to do:

Before starting, it is strongly recommended that you:

  • download and install the shareware version of Paint Shop Pro (available from the JASC web site). Other paint programs may work, but PSP is the only one I've used, and will make the following process easier to follow.
  • make sure the background indeed needs fixing. Some don't. For example, the GIF files found in the Chicago Volume 2 tileset have already been fixed. Try loading the graphic into SCURK to determine if it needs fixing.

  1. Check your version of SCURK for Windows (check the Help screen of SCURK): you must be running the Windows 95 version of SCURK. If you are running the Windows 3.1 version, this method will not work. The Windows 3.1 version does not let you erase the background easily. With that version, you must erase the background manually. To get the Windows 95 version, check the main SCURK page of this site and go from there.
  2. Make sure the graphic you're importing is using a SCURK4WIN-compatible color palette. Visit this page if you need to apply the palette. Then go on to the next step.
  3. Open Paint Shop Pro and load the file you wish to import
  4. Now we need to select the transparent background color, which is actually a shade of black...

  5. Select the eye dropper tool
  6. Now move the eye dropper over to the color palette. Notice how the RGB values below the palette change. Move the cursor as far left on the palette as you can until all the color values read 0. This color will be black. Click the mouse to select that color.
  7. Now select the fill tool. The fill style should be set to "Solid Color."
  8. Click on the background of the image with the fill tool.
  9. The background will now be transparent when you paste the image into an empty SCURK tile base.

If you have problems with the steps above, let me know.

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