What's new

Live, tweakable, non-destructive anti-aliasing technique


Power User
Well, hello, fellow shoppers! Welcome from Russia:)

I just finished this project where I've run into the problem of applying anti-aliasing to some layer or a set of layers.

There was a number of posts on this subject lately so I decided I might show you the technique I came up with in my particular case hoping that the very idea will help you in some other similar circumstances. If somebody knows other ways to deal with this problem, please feel free to share them here, I'll be glad to here from you...

In my particular case it was 3D animation that I wanted to put over some complex 2D background. In 3D the Interactive render mode gave me the best results(which is often the case, actually:)). But, unfortunately, Interactive mode provides no anti-aliasing and produced animation with crisp and jagged edges which proved to be pretty eye-catching over my background:frown:

So here are the steps I came up with to simulate the anti-aliasing in this or any other similar situation:

1. Convert your layer/s, animation, etc to Smart Object
2. Duplicate this Smart Object
3. Create a Clipping group from these two copies.
4. Select the bottom Smart Object copy and go to it's Blending Options. There just uncheck the "Blend Clipped layers as Group" option and check the "Transparency Shapes Layer" option. And set Fill Opacity to 0.
5. Now add Gaussian Blur filter to the bottom Smart Object copy. Choose the Radius parameter which gives you smooth enough edges for your particular case.

That's all:)

So this way I got controlled anti-aliasing applied automatically to all of the frames in my animation.

This method lets you change the Smart Object's content anytime and anyway you like. The edges smoothness will update accordingly.

Also, it lets you change edge smoothness strength by tweaking the Gaussian Blur radius any time working on your project(or maybe apply some other blur filter...)

Again, your Smart Object could be anything: animation, some complex multi-layer part of your project, etc...