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What is the trick to making a clean transperent image?

I am building a website and I want to play transperant images on it so that they look like they are laying over a background, but they seem to come out choppy. You can see the choppiness of them when they lay over the background. I want them to come out naturally smooth looking. I am currently using Paint Shop Pro and saving these images as .gifs. Should I be saving them as a differant file type? Can someone give me suggestions please?
I don't use PaintshopPro. I use Photoshop. To understand gif animations, make some research about pixel art.
When cleaning the space around an image, make sure you are erasing without smoothing.
Another good trick is to use drawings in which the outline is mostly vertical, horizontal, and diagonal of two thirds or one third. The diagonals of 1/3 or 2/3 look good.
Another aspect is the background in which your image will go upon. Suit your file to the background.

Hope this helps. I'm also learning by myself these subjects.
Well even i am a regular use of photoshop and most of my animated gifs are designed in there itself. As per the replacement of gifs are concerned PNG is good format with transparencies but it wont show on IE (Internet Explorer) browsers.

My suggestion:
If you are looking for fadein and stuff in an image for banner or some space on website with size more than 200x200. I suggest go for FLASH banner it gives good animation and effects. But as usual FLASH got many drawbacks on website which is not flash based.

Or else if you are looking for some effects where in the image changes after every second or so. I suggest you go with javascript. its great to have a small code doing things for you rather than having some heavy gifs on your site
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