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PSD files with layers and mask need to make with hard edges


samsimon

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I'm noob.
1. I have many designs (i bought them long time ago) with many details (cannot manually adjust them all!) - is there any shortcut way (automated way) to convert PSD (with layers and mask) soft edges to Hard edges PSD file with layers and mask? Just basically from soft edges to hard edges.
2. Also, is it possible to save using Adobe Illustrator the designs with layers and mask, but need to be saved with hard edges, preferably in PSD format, or at least Ai format? Same thing, from soft edges to hard edges to be saved as PSD or at least Ai?
thanks
 

thebestcpu

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Hi @samsimon
You might need to share a PSD file for forum members to examine to get good recommendations.
It depends on what is causing the soft edges. If it is only in the Layer Masks, then its possible that just applying a Threshold adjustment to the Mask would sharpen things up.
If the softness is in the transparency layer build into the pixel Layer, that too could be extracted to a Layer Mask and also sharpened with a Threshold adjustment Layer
If the softness is in the pixel data itself, they that would need some level of sharpening applied to the pixels. Topaz AI Sharpen does a pretty good job yet there are others

When you mention Adobe Illustrator (AI), are you referring to converting to vector images? AI can also handled rasterized images so depends on what you want. If you want to convert to vectors, that is a bit more involved and again very specific to the type of image you have. I don't know how to convert directly to AI format yet they more standard approach if you have created shapes or vectors in PS, is to export to EPS format which can be read into AI.

To be more specific, seeing representative PSD files would be helpful to determine what is possible for sharpening and then more specific needs such as needing raster images in vector format or just moving raster images into AI.

Will wait for more details from you and either I and/or other forum members should be able to jump in with more suggestions.
John Wheeler
 

samsimon

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Hey Boss, me bothering you again. I've spent few hours and was not able to find easy fix (as I need the fix for many designs - so I need quick "automated" fix)
Here it is
thanks
 

thebestcpu

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Hi @samsimon
I believe I understand what you need as an end result. Unfortunately, when the image was created with anti-aliasing turn on, it gets baked into the image and there is no magic button to turn it off after it is created. So the steps I suggested were to as best as I knew how to correct the anti-aliasing.

For the example you provided, the approaches I documented above work well. There are other techniques as well. They all can be done with an Action and that action used on a batch of files with the File > Automate or File > Batch approaches.

The key with any of the techniques when you have a multitude of images to address and you want an automated solution is the files need to be of the same Layer and Layer Mask structure or be able to get the files in some standard condition. Next to best case is to group the files into similar classes of Layer Stack structure.

For example, are all of your images of the same structure as the PSD file you provided with an opaque set of pixels with no transparency and a Layer Mask that has the antialiasing? Do they all have the grouping as in the example (not sure why its group as there is only one Layer?

If the types of work you have are all different, it make be more involved and in need of a custom script to search and identify what needs to be done on every Layer of the PSD file and take appropriate action for each. Writing a script of that nature may be more work that an intermediate solution.

If your examples were all of the type where you did have the first Layer as non transparent pixels with a Layer Mask with antialiasing, that would yield to an Action quite well.

Maybe another forum member has some better suggestions yet I am pretty confident with at least one way that would work.

Hope this helps
John Wheeler
 

samsimon

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Gotcha, I will try your first suggestions.
And question, the designer I contacted said, he used Adobe Illustrator to create the designs. Do you know Illustrator well? Because he kind of stated:
1. It's not possible to create PSD file with hard edges using Illustrator!
2. It's not possible to create vector (Ai) with mask/layers!
are these statements true?
thanks!
 

thebestcpu

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I am no expert in Adobe Illustrator yet there are other forum members that have more experience.
Your set of questions begs another question of what is your final objective for your project.
If a set of AI vector files are already available for use, there is no no need to reverse engineer the soft edges to hard edges. You can start with the AI files directly and get much better results in almost all cases. A better understanding of what you have available are your disposal may help forum members help you with where you want to go.

More specifically to your questions:
In general, AI is a vector based program and PS is a raster based program and those are different beast
That said, AI does support raster images and PS also has vector capabilities.
If you convert your raster to vector (not easy or clean in many cases) or have already used Shapes (which are vector based), those can be exported in vector format and iimported to AI.
Also, vectors in AI can be exported and brought into PS (simplest example is bringing in an AI file as a Smart Object). The sharpness in PS then is a function of the pixel resolution you use and factors such as anti-aliasing.

Note the illustrator still has to be viewed on a monitor (which is raster) or printed on a printer which is also raster. The vector data scales extremely accurately which is one of its main advantages.

I know that it not a crisp answer so the answer is yes with limitation to your questions.
 

polarwoc

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Your set of questions begs another question of what is your final objective for your project.
I have been wondering what the purpose would be to remove Anti-Alias? One would end up with sharp edges, but jagged edges would in most cases not look very presentable.
 

samsimon

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As I wrote before, when I asked some questions a while ago, 12 printing companies that I got samples from hate soft edges, they don't want to fix the problem with their printers and make the proper white alignment, thus they print all soft edges with White outlines - which terribly messed up the designs. I got 12 samples from print on garment companies - 12 samples are messed up, and they will not fix it, no matter what. And I need to work with many of these companies - they have traffic etc.
 

samsimon

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I tried first suggested steps and methods, and was not able to successfully turn off "anti-aliased" for my PSD file.
 

thebestcpu

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As I wrote before, when I asked some questions a while ago, 12 printing companies that I got samples from hate soft edges, they don't want to fix the problem with their printers and make the proper white alignment, thus they print all soft edges with White outlines - which terribly messed up the designs. I got 12 samples from print on garment companies - 12 samples are messed up, and they will not fix it, no matter what. And I need to work with many of these companies - they have traffic etc.
Good explanation of your issue and I remember you prior posts with the same problem.
Removing the partial transparency from the image that comes with the image does solve that problem. I believe the above mentioned approaches deal with that issue and it came down to how to apply them productively.

For the image you provided a very quick and simple Action can do the work to remove the anti-alias transparency. The image shows the result to the left, the ending Layer Stack (started with the one you provided), and the short action steps to get the job done. The Action just merged all visible Layers, pulled the transparency out to a Layer Mask, removed with anti alias with a threshold adjustment on the Mask (I just used the default value of 128) and then applied the mask to make and end result a single image with surround transparency (no partial transparency)

The following image is the full PNG file save with the anit-alias removed.
Hope this gives you a good idea of a path that cold be taken
John Wheeler

111.png





Note that I attached the example end work as a zip file for download. I noticed the PS Gurus web site seems to add antialias to the PNG so will work that out with the moderator. The background is actually transparent yet shows through as white in the example. You can download and magnify to verify anti-alias is gone.
 
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puraidodes

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Gotcha, I will try your first suggestions.
And question, the designer I contacted said, he used Adobe Illustrator to create the designs. Do you know Illustrator well? Because he kind of stated:
1. It's not possible to create PSD file with hard edges using Illustrator!
2. It's not possible to create vector (Ai) with mask/layers!
are these statements true?
thanks!
What do you mean by this?
1- The option to switch off Anti-aliasing is right there when you export it to .psd from illustrator. I mean when you "Export" it to any formats like .png, .psd, there will always be an option at the end like do you want Anti-Aliasing or not!
2- Yes, there is masking in illustrator. I believe there are 2 types actually.
But @thebestcpu solution is the better one for now because you have a .psd file . Or
If you can somehow ask your designer to save another file in .psd and this time without AA that will be easier too.
 

samsimon

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1. he is saying it's not possible to make hard edges with illustrator to be saved as PSD
2. He said not possible to save Ai - as true vector with layers&masks to be used via photoshop, only one single merged design could be saved... and then it will have hard edges.
I don't know, as I said, I'm noob, and I don't have Illustrator, and I'm telling what he is telling me. We never had issues with single design, but with complex one, flags etc where layers/masks we faced this issue... maybe he made a mistake when creating flag image... or maybe it's impossible, I'm trying to find out and understand it...
 

thebestcpu

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Yes they do because they are not on the edge of the image against the transparency and will not cause the white banding that you were concerned about when printing (your stated concern). Those areas are a transition from a color to a white pixel area. Those should not cause white banding issue in printing as there is no partial transparency. I doubt when printed on fabric you would see those edges either as fabric is typically no very high resolution.
However, if you want these additional areas to be sharper for another reason, then that can be addressed as a separate issue and has to do with sharpening techniques.
Let me know if you need to proceed to this second potential issue
John Wheeler
 

samsimon

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Thank you!
I think designer messed up with the mask, and thus we have this issue. This issue shouldn't be there at all, if he created proper mask and properly saves the file....
 

samsimon

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@puraidodes
Could you please confirm the issue shouldn't be there if he properly created and saved the file as PSD with proper mask and anti-aliased Off using illustrator?
 
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puraidodes

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hmm...I do not want to say anything about him screwing up. Because he may not know it or misunderstood the problem. But it seems likely.

Here are some screenshots of an example illustration file. I am saving it as .psd
1-
psd1.png




2- It's right there!

psd2.png



3- Even for .png

png3.png



4- Mask from illustrator to ..psd . I have just put a simple rectangle mask and cut off the character's head in illustrator and "exporting" it to photoshop

mask1 illu.png



5- the same file opened in Photoshop and I can even adjust the mask as you can see.

mask1 ps.png


So, there you go! :cool:

Oh and also a close up of without Anti- Aliasing

no AA.png
 

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