Using the Background layer

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The Background layer is at the bottom of the Layer Editor. When hidden (tap Hiding a layer group icon to hide it), this creates an alpha channel. The Background layer can also be used to change the background color‍ of your image.


Why create an alpha channel

Making your background transparent in Sketchbook

It’s handy when compositing (combining) an assortment of images. The alpha channel will enable the background of one image to show through the alpha channel of the other images. This is because the alpha channel doesn’t contain any pixels. Sketchbook will display a grey and white checked pattern to indicate an alpha channel. For how to create an alpha channel, see Creating an alpha channel‍.


Changing the background color

Changing the background layer color in Sketchbook Pro for desktop

If you want to change the background color of your composition, tap Background layer and select a color.


Using the Background layer in Sketchbook Pro for desktop

The Background layer cannot be selected. You can do one of two things, change the color of the background (canvas) or create a transparent background or alpha channel.


Using the Background layer in Sketchbook for mobile devices

Sketchbook Layer Editor with Background layer on mobile

The Background layer cannot be selected. You can do one of two things, change the color of the background (canvas) or create a transparent background or alpha channel.


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Warning

The iOS Photos app is known to convert PNG files to JPG, with the most obvious result being the loss of a transparent background. It is more common for files over 4k and under 360px, but it can happen to any file. The only workaround if this is happening on your device is to save your PNGs to Files instead of to Photos.