Jump to content

Question about some sharpening techniques

Recommended Posts



I've been trying to follow a few sharpening techniques done by Blake Rudis using Photoshop, thinking it can be mimicked in Affinity Photo and I seem to have hit a road block.


One of the techniques is to use a high pass layer with linear light - I can do that in Affinity without any issues but then he adds a curves layer as well and I believe he puts it on top of the high pass layer. If I select the curves layer and either leave it or have it merge down it seems not to affect sharpening but whatever parameter I adjusted; in his example he shows it first on a grey scale of the image then the image itself. He has 6 techniques and it seems that he builds upon the adjustment or filter layers - What am I missing or is Affinity not capable of these actions. I can post the videos here if need be but don't want to violate any rules.


Also, I seem to lose the adjustment box in both high pass and curves and can't figure a way to recall them back (separate issue). I would assume this is going to be true for all items in layers


Thanks for any info!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to my old PS CS5 and tried a technique there and it seems that PS allows you to link one action with another.


The sharpening technique in PS starts with a high pass filter with linear light as I mentioned, then take the curves adjustment and make a clipping mask to the high pass filter; seems to work nicely in sharpening photos. I'm using this opportunity to bump my post but still asking the question of can Affinity Photo do this type of work or is this something that I need to keep CS5 around for.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's possible to recreate this in Affinity Photo - you can clip the Curves Adjustment to the High Pass layer so the Curves Adjustment only applies to the High Pass layer.


I've attached an example to this post.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! I posted this and since I didn't get any responses I totally forgot I asked the question. THANK YOU for responding!!


I am downloading Leigh's example as I type this and here is the video: http://f64academy.com/6-ways-to-sharpen-without-using-plugins/

I was reluctant in sharing the video as it has to do with Photoshop and was trying to be respectful of the Affinity program/people.


Thanks again!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

alright so the technique where he uses the curves adjustment on the highness layer:


- you "cmd J" to duplicate the layer 

- set the blend mode of the layer to linear light 

- go to filter > highpass, then apply

(- or set the blend mode of the layer to linear light now)

- add a curves adjustment and nest it into the highpass layer

- modify the curves adjustment 


in AP you could make a variant of this technique more flexible by using a live highpass filter set to linear light and then use blend if to exclude its effect, similar how he uses curves to adjust the highpass filter itself, blend if adjusts the effect of the highpass based on its own lightness and/ or the underlying lightness of the image which can as well be used to mitigate halos


(I wonder why he did not use a smart object in PS but anyway....)


if you do not feel comfortable using live filter/ destructive filter/ adjustment layers I recommend first checking out some basic tutorials which will then make it much easier to follow along 








some very basic things about image editing which might help to clear up some issues that may arise 


here is another recent thread about some sharpening things


and here is some more composite of useful techniques in AP which might then in turn take you some further 


hope that helps


just ask if there remains any specific issue/ question 



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Leigh and MBd,


Thanks for the example and all that info! I appreciate the time you both took to help me out.


I did try the first example (high pass with curve adjustment) and it worked where it didn't seem to work originally ... I obviously need to learn AP better! :)


Thanks again!!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

glad it helped


don't go crazy about sharpening...there are lots of crazy ideas out there that are very technical but in practice you may not need that much "technology"

just go with something that seems reasonable to you and gets the job done 


I liked these two approaches in affinity among others:




there is one major pain in AP for which there is no excuse and that is the missing unsharp mask threshold preview, PS people will know what I mean

requested two years ago https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/topic/14283-unsharp-mask-threshold-preview/


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Thanks for all your help!


I have 3 techniques now for sharpening and I think that is enough for me.  I like High Pass filter sharpening, I saw adding a curve to it does a little more and I also like using an inverted Gaussian blur that I saw on another video from a different person. Unsharp masking seems not to be my favorite but I have it as a technique.as well. I haven't tried the blend if as you suggested and still need to view the  links you provided ... I've been busy with my "Honey do" list!! :)

I've been playing around with a few programs for a about 7 years now but sharper photos have always been something I didn't know how to obtain ... I have a few ways now!


Thanks again!

Share this post

Link to post
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 the Annual Company Closure section in the Terms of Use. 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.