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Sharpen Brush - is it not working, or is it just me?


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Hi,

 

New to Affinity Photo and photo editing at this level generally.  This may be a lack of understanding on my part, but I can't seem to get the Sharpen Brush Tool to do anything in Photo 1.4.1.  The Blur Brush works obviously and immediately, and I was expecting using it with Alt held to have a reversing effect i.e. sharpen back up again.

 

Neither doing that nor changing the brush to Sharpen Brush has the desired effect - in fact, there is no effect.  I can undo the blurring with Cmd+Z, but that's no good if I need to come back much later. 

 

Is Sharpen just not working (ie. a bug) or is my understanding of it (that it will undo the Blur brush effect) just wrong?

 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions...

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  • Staff

Hi Jack,

 

Welcome to the forums.

 

The Sharpening brush, does work, sometimes you need to zoom in to your image to actually see the changes take place as you brush. If you hold down Alt while using the Sharpening brush, that will blur, you can see the different options on the Status bar at the bottom of the window, below the image.

 

Hope this helps.

 

L

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Thanks for the reply - but I just don't see it having any effect at any level of zoom.  

 

When you blur it's completely obvious that it's happened - it blurs straight away.  I expected Sharpen to do the exact opposite but it just doesn't.

 

I think it's a bug to be honest.

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Jack,

 

It may seem a bit counterintuitive but blur & sharpen are not opposites, nor can applying one really "undo" or reverse the effects of the other.

 

To oversimplify slightly, blur changes the colors of pixels to be closer to a (usually weighted) average of their nearest neighbors, while sharpen intensifies the color transition along edges (regions where there is already a color transition). So for example, in a region where their are no well defined edges, sharpen will do little or nothing, while blur will.

 

Both brushes are destructive -- they alter the actual pixels they are applied to. If you want non-destructive (& more flexible) alternatives, try the various blur & sharpen "live filters" (from the Layers menu), which can be applied to entire images, or with some duplication & masking or erasure tricks selectively to just parts of one. The Affinity Photo - Sharpening video demonstrates how to use the "Live Unsharp Mask" & "Live Clarity" live filters, which may give you some idea about the possibilities.

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V2.5.0 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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Thanks R C-R.

 

That's what I needed - a better understanding.  I thought saying it's a bug might provoke someone to provide one!  I didn't think it could be as simple as that it just wasn't working or it would have been noticed by someone before me.

 

Thanks - I'll have a go with the live filters instead.

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Anything like this for designer? I need to sharpen a pixel layer in Designer, when I try to edit in Photo I usually get "Designer Quit" notice, PITA!

Mac MacBook Pro 15 in.  OS X 10.9.5, Mid 2012 456.77 GB Affinity Design and Photo.

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As you probably already know, Designer's Pixel persona has blur & sharpen brushes very similar (if not identical) to those in Photo, but as far as I know there are no live filters of any kind in Designer, although there is a Gaussian blur effect.

 

Designer quitting sounds like something that may not be caused by the Affinity apps but instead by some systemic problem, like maybe a corrupted installation or file system problems.

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V2.5.0 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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  • 2 years later...

hi Jack,

Did you ever get your sharpening tool working? I'm also new to Affinity photo and have no photo editing experience whatsoever. I'm just playing with the various tools to see what they do and the effect they have

I have a very sharp flower, and am using the sharpening tool on the edges, but like you experienced, nothing at all is happening. I can blur those edges quite happily.

I've looked online tutorials what the effect should be, and everyone seems to get quite a dramatic effect but it doesn't do anything for me. It's like nothing is activated at all

So what is going on here????

 

Many thanks

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