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Question: Blending image to transparent
I want to blend the edges of an image so that they have a smooth transition to transparent (alpha) like the top part of the image shown in the screen shot image attached (except all around each side of the soup can). I plan on printing this on green colored paper so that it prints less and less towards the edge so that the brown carpeting in the background gradually blends into the green of the paper. I can't seem to figure out how to do this with GIMP. I am using version 2.10.0. Here are the steps I've tried so far.

1. Open the image.
2. Under layers right click the selection and click add layer mask.
3. Click the gradient tool and draw a vertical line across the image.
4. Select background color (BG) in the gradient popup that appears.
5. Then under the layers tab right click the layer and select apply layer mask.

When I do step 5 the image goes back to normal again instead of how it appears in the attached screenshot which is what I want. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I also tried using feathering as described in, but this isn't quite what I want as I noticed it causes the soup can in the center to become distorted and its colors faded. I want the soup can to be unaffected and only the carpet in the background to be faded. Can anybody tell me how to do what I want with GIMP?

Attached Files Image(s)
To apply the gradient to the mask you need to press ENTER to complete the effect (this is what is needed on 2.10)

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