Jump to content
Our response time is longer than usual currently. We're working to answer users as quickly as possible and thank you for your continued patience.

[AD] Edge-Aware Unsharp Mask


Recommended Posts

This GENIUS figured out a method that does edge-aware sharpening.


The method is to do edge-detection on the image, and then using the detected edges as a mask to avoid sharpening the edges. It lets you massively sharpen textures while completely avoiding all halos around edges and it is the most amazing thing I have seen in a decade of photography. It's the biggest revolution since the invention of the Unsharp Mask.


This technique is like the Yin to Unsharp Mask's Yang. The results are preferrable almost 100% of the time you want an unsharp mask. Because "haloed edges" are the bane of sharpened photos. If this is implemented, I would probably never use the regular Unsharp Mask again.


Please consider creating a new "Edge-Aware Unsharp Mask" filter, which internally does all the work of finding edges and avoiding them when sharpening. So that we can keep all of the non-destructive power workflows of Affinity Photo, but still achieve this AMAZINGLY USEFUL new effect.





PS: I don't see the embedded video above. If someone has the same problem, type this URL manually instead, to see the technique: youtube.com/watch?v=iVgfbiH4-fw


PPS: Here is how to currently achieve this in Affinity Photo, with many minutes of very destructive pixel-based steps: youtube.com/watch?v=7EVXy6fc_rE


This incredible technique begs for a built-in non-destructive filter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By definition unsharp mask is edge aware... but in a sense that it sharpens edges. You are asking something else. Maybe that is clarity, or micro contrast enhancement. 

Personally I would prefer to see Shake Reduction and similar tools, the newest new in image processing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That isn't a new technique - I have been aware of it for years. I taught that in Photoshop classes myself (granted, with some variations). It is also quite handy to avoid sharpening those pesky JPG artifacts, and still improve the overall texture.


The trouble in Photoshop is that layer masks cannot be cloned or used as a smart object, unless you resort to clunky clipping layers. And adjustment layers cannot be cloned or put in a smart object and still affect the main document.


In Affinity Photo, as you state yourself, layers and masks cannot be cloned or instanced either, nor are smart objects available (yet?). Without the option in either application to virtually clone/instance layers and recycle those as layer masks, it is going to be impossible to create a non-destructive option - unless the developers implement a dedicated tool for this type of functionality - which is not the right path to be taking, in my opinion.


Here's how you would do it in a competitor that does support cloned layers (fully non-destructive, and very controllable with the outline and gray mixer adjustment layers).


Notice how the unsharp masking layer mask is an instance of the original photo layer. When the background is replaced with a different photo, the virtual copy that creates the mask updates automatically. 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

That would be the best way!


Then all other techniques would also be non-destructive!


What's needed in Affinity


- Being able to create a "Virtual copy" layer and choosing to set the copy to "visible image below this layer" or to a specific layer or group.


- Live filter version of edge detection.


Then we could insert an Unsharp Mask, create a Virtual Copy pointed at "visible image below this layer" (below the unsharp mask), drag the virtual copy to be its mask, then apply live filter/adjustments to the virtual copy to make it into an edge mask.


Wow......... that's more steps but still non-destructive and is way more powerful than what i proposed. No more need to constantly copy layers.


Affinity, are you paying attention? :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

Please note there is currently a delay in replying to some post. See pinned thread in the Questions forum. These are the Terms of Use you will be asked to agree to if you join the forum. | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.