Smooth your ragged selection edges

Smooth your ragged selection edges

Post by Kris Zaklik » Wed, 28 Aug 2002 14:36:26



Nobody seems to have come up with good ideas for smoothing
ragged selection edges, so here is how to do it. The main
idea is that you make a selection, convert it to a mask so
you can fiddle with it, and then convert it back into a
selection.

Masks and selections do different things but they are
interchangeable by using the alpha channel. If you save a
selection to an alpha channel (Selection > Save To Alpha
Channel) you can retrieve it later as a selection (Selection >
Load From Alpha Channel) or as a mask (Mask > Load From Alpha
Channel. Similarly, if you save a mask to an alpha channel
you can retrieve it as a mask or as a selection. This sort
of interconversion is very handy.

So, you have a ragged selection, for instance made with the
Magic Wand. How would you make the ragged edges smooth?
Remember, we are not trying to soften the edges by feathering.
We want to remove the raggedness but we want to do it in a
controlled fashion so we don't lose important edge details.

1. Start with an image having an active ragged selection and
   duplicate the image (Window > Duplicate). All the work will
   be done on this duplicate until we have the selection we
   want.
2. Invert the selection (Selections > Invert). This selects
   everything that wasn't selected before. Flood fill this
   inverted selection with black (Blend Mode: Normal and
   Match Mode: None).
3. Invert the selection again to get back your original
   selection and flood fill that with white. Remove the
   selection with Selections > Select None. You now have your
   original selection as a white blob (or blobs) on a black
   background.
4. Do Masks > New > From Image, using Create from Source
   luminance and leaving Invert unchecked. You see the
   white blob or blobs on the transparent background. (Hint:
   go to File > Preferences > General Program Preferences
   and in the Transparency tab set Color 1 to something
   other than the default white so you can see things well.)
5. Do Masks > Edit Mask. Note that the Color/Style Palette
   now shows only greys because you are manipulating the
   mask, which is a special kind of greyscale image.
6. Now the SMOOTHING. Do Effects > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
   The edges of the white blob(s) will look greyish and
   soft. Do Colors > Adjust > Threshold at 128. Now you
   see a smooth blob with black where indentations in the
   blob got filled in. Protruding spikes have been rounded
   off. If you're not happy with the shape undo (Ctrl-Z)
   twice. Repeat the Gaussian blur with a lower value for
   less smoothing or a higher value for more smoothing.
   Threshold just as before. Now we have a mask with a
   smooth edge. Great, but we need a selection.
7. Do Masks > Save To Alpha Channel and call it My Mask.
8. Click on the title bar of the original image with the
   active ragged selection. Do Selections > Load From Alpha
   Channel, picking My Mask as the thing to load. Voila,
   your image has a smooth selection in it. You can now
   feather it if you want (Selections > Modify > Feather).
9. Delete the duplicate image.

No tracing. No guesswork. Complete control of selection
edge raggedness.

--
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Kris Zaklika              Jasc Software, Inc.                   The



----------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Smooth your ragged selection edges

Post by Mark Johnso » Wed, 28 Aug 2002 18:14:34



>Nobody seems to have come up with good ideas for smoothing
>ragged selection edges, so here is how to do it. The main
>idea is that you make a selection, convert it to a mask so
>you can fiddle with it, and then convert it back into a
>selection.

Aside from converting back, I specifically suggested the best approach
was to use masking.

Quote:>Masks and selections do different things but they are
>interchangeable by using the alpha channel. If you save a
>selection to an alpha channel (Selection > Save To Alpha
>Channel) you can retrieve it later as a selection (Selection >
>Load From Alpha Channel) or as a mask (Mask > Load From Alpha
>Channel. Similarly, if you save a mask to an alpha channel
>you can retrieve it as a mask or as a selection. This sort
>of interconversion is very handy.
>So, you have a ragged selection, for instance made with the
>Magic Wand. How would you make the ragged edges smooth?
>Remember, we are not trying to soften the edges by feathering.

That's what you blurring does, though.

Quote:>We want to remove the raggedness but we want to do it in a
>controlled fashion so we don't lose important edge details.

Don't think it can always be automatic. As you say, below, masking is
really the best way. Eyeballing it, tracing around, adding to the edge
here, deleting there, until the mask is complete, using a feathered
edge.

Quote:>1. Start with an image having an active ragged selection and
>   duplicate the image (Window > Duplicate). All the work will
>   be done on this duplicate until we have the selection we
>   want.
>2. Invert the selection (Selections > Invert). This selects
>   everything that wasn't selected before. Flood fill this
>   inverted selection with black (Blend Mode: Normal and
>   Match Mode: None).
>3. Invert the selection again to get back your original
>   selection and flood fill that with white. Remove the
>   selection with Selections > Select None. You now have your
>   original selection as a white blob (or blobs) on a black
>   background.
>4. Do Masks > New > From Image, using Create from Source
>   luminance and leaving Invert unchecked. You see the
>   white blob or blobs on the transparent background. (Hint:
>   go to File > Preferences > General Program Preferences
>   and in the Transparency tab set Color 1 to something
>   other than the default white so you can see things well.)
>5. Do Masks > Edit Mask. Note that the Color/Style Palette
>   now shows only greys because you are manipulating the
>   mask, which is a special kind of greyscale image.
>6. Now the SMOOTHING. Do Effects > Blur > Gaussian Blur.

Someone else specifically suggested blurring.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:>   The edges of the white blob(s) will look greyish and
>   soft. Do Colors > Adjust > Threshold at 128. Now you
>   see a smooth blob with black where indentations in the
>   blob got filled in. Protruding spikes have been rounded
>   off. If you're not happy with the shape undo (Ctrl-Z)
>   twice. Repeat the Gaussian blur with a lower value for
>   less smoothing or a higher value for more smoothing.
>   Threshold just as before. Now we have a mask with a
>   smooth edge. Great, but we need a selection.
>7. Do Masks > Save To Alpha Channel and call it My Mask.
>8. Click on the title bar of the original image with the
>   active ragged selection. Do Selections > Load From Alpha
>   Channel, picking My Mask as the thing to load. Voila,
>   your image has a smooth selection in it. You can now
>   feather it if you want (Selections > Modify > Feather).
>9. Delete the duplicate image.

Very good explanation. That's a good method, indeed.

Quote:>No tracing. No guesswork. Complete control of selection
>edge raggedness.

Well, it's not automatic. You'd stil have to zoom in on the edges to
see what you've got.

 
 
 

Smooth your ragged selection edges

Post by Ra » Wed, 28 Aug 2002 19:13:43




Hi Kris,
thanks for explaining this method , I will try it out tomorrow.

Ray.

>Nobody seems to have come up with good ideas for smoothing
>ragged selection edges, so here is how to do it. The main
>idea is that you make a selection, convert it to a mask so
>you can fiddle with it, and then convert it back into a
>selection.

>Masks and selections do different things but they are
>interchangeable by using the alpha channel. If you save a
>selection to an alpha channel (Selection > Save To Alpha
>Channel) you can retrieve it later as a selection (Selection >
>Load From Alpha Channel) or as a mask (Mask > Load From Alpha
>Channel. Similarly, if you save a mask to an alpha channel
>you can retrieve it as a mask or as a selection. This sort
>of interconversion is very handy.

>So, you have a ragged selection, for instance made with the
>Magic Wand. How would you make the ragged edges smooth?
>Remember, we are not trying to soften the edges by feathering.
>We want to remove the raggedness but we want to do it in a
>controlled fashion so we don't lose important edge details.

>1. Start with an image having an active ragged selection and
>   duplicate the image (Window > Duplicate). All the work will
>   be done on this duplicate until we have the selection we
>   want.
>2. Invert the selection (Selections > Invert). This selects
>   everything that wasn't selected before. Flood fill this
>   inverted selection with black (Blend Mode: Normal and
>   Match Mode: None).
>3. Invert the selection again to get back your original
>   selection and flood fill that with white. Remove the
>   selection with Selections > Select None. You now have your
>   original selection as a white blob (or blobs) on a black
>   background.
>4. Do Masks > New > From Image, using Create from Source
>   luminance and leaving Invert unchecked. You see the
>   white blob or blobs on the transparent background. (Hint:
>   go to File > Preferences > General Program Preferences
>   and in the Transparency tab set Color 1 to something
>   other than the default white so you can see things well.)
>5. Do Masks > Edit Mask. Note that the Color/Style Palette
>   now shows only greys because you are manipulating the
>   mask, which is a special kind of greyscale image.
>6. Now the SMOOTHING. Do Effects > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
>   The edges of the white blob(s) will look greyish and
>   soft. Do Colors > Adjust > Threshold at 128. Now you
>   see a smooth blob with black where indentations in the
>   blob got filled in. Protruding spikes have been rounded
>   off. If you're not happy with the shape undo (Ctrl-Z)
>   twice. Repeat the Gaussian blur with a lower value for
>   less smoothing or a higher value for more smoothing.
>   Threshold just as before. Now we have a mask with a
>   smooth edge. Great, but we need a selection.
>7. Do Masks > Save To Alpha Channel and call it My Mask.
>8. Click on the title bar of the original image with the
>   active ragged selection. Do Selections > Load From Alpha
>   Channel, picking My Mask as the thing to load. Voila,
>   your image has a smooth selection in it. You can now
>   feather it if you want (Selections > Modify > Feather).
>9. Delete the duplicate image.

>No tracing. No guesswork. Complete control of selection
>edge raggedness.

>--
>----------------------------------------------------------------------
>Kris Zaklika              Jasc Software, Inc.                   The



>----------------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

Smooth your ragged selection edges

Post by Matti Vuor » Wed, 28 Aug 2002 19:37:41



Quote:> Nobody seems to have come up with good ideas for smoothing
> ragged selection edges, so here is how to do it. The main
> idea is that you make a selection, convert it to a mask so
> you can fiddle with it, and then convert it back into a
> selection.
> (...)
> No tracing. No guesswork. Complete control of selection
> edge raggedness.

And only _nine_ simple steps! (BTW, Picture Publisher has as long as I
remember had a one step Mask Smoother command which has proven very useful
over the years.)

--
Matti Vuori, <http://sivut.koti.soon.fi/mvuori/index-e.htm>

 
 
 

Smooth your ragged selection edges

Post by Uni » Wed, 28 Aug 2002 20:02:50




> > Nobody seems to have come up with good ideas for smoothing
> > ragged selection edges, so here is how to do it. The main
> > idea is that you make a selection, convert it to a mask so
> > you can fiddle with it, and then convert it back into a
> > selection.
> > (...)
> > No tracing. No guesswork. Complete control of selection
> > edge raggedness.

> And only _nine_ simple steps!

I found that rather amusing, myself!!!!!! :)

I fell asleep around step # 3 :)

Quote:>(BTW, Picture Publisher has as long as I
> remember had a one step Mask Smoother command which has proven very useful
> over the years.)

Picture Publisher? Isn't that a Micrografix product? They have some darn
good programmers, THERE!!!

Uni

Quote:

> --
> Matti Vuori, <http://sivut.koti.soon.fi/mvuori/index-e.htm>

 
 
 

Smooth your ragged selection edges

Post by Kris Zaklik » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 00:29:21




> > Nobody seems to have come up with good ideas for smoothing
> > ragged selection edges, so here is how to do it. The main
> > idea is that you make a selection, convert it to a mask so
> > you can fiddle with it, and then convert it back into a
> > selection.
> > (...)
> > No tracing. No guesswork. Complete control of selection
> > edge raggedness.

> And only _nine_ simple steps! (BTW, Picture Publisher has as long as I
> remember had a one step Mask Smoother command which has proven very useful
> over the years.)

Great for you, since you have Picture Publisher. And I agree
that it is always convenient to have canned procedures.
Nonetheless, other people don't have Picture Publisher and yet
they can still do something for which you had to buy another
program.

People forget that the real purpose of an image editor is to
have it be flexible and functional enough to carry out all
sorts of operations just by arranging the right steps in the
correct order. The limits are imagination and understanding.
Steps that are formed into canned procedures should be those
that are most commonly carried out. I haven't seen a whole lot
of questions here about "how do I cope with my ragged selection
edges?". I have, however, noted your suggestion/complaint.

Quote:> --
> Matti Vuori, <http://sivut.koti.soon.fi/mvuori/index-e.htm>

--
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Kris Zaklika              Jasc Software, Inc.                   The



----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 

Smooth your ragged selection edges

Post by A Sobero » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 03:45:29


Kris:

You don't have the smallest idea of the hard work you have saved us all in
my office with this solution to "clean" the jaggies!!!

THANKS !!!!

Antonio

 
 
 

Smooth your ragged selection edges

Post by Bob Cowa » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 13:13:01



<snip>
| The limits are imagination and understanding.
<snip>

The help you give to my understanding makes it far easier to use my
imagination, even if it is assisted considerably by examples from others.
Thank you for explaining this in a methodical, easy-to-understand manner.

Bob

 
 
 

Smooth your ragged selection edges

Post by Embe » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 14:37:05




Quote:>Nobody seems to have come up with good ideas for smoothing
>ragged selection edges, so here is how to do it. The main

Any suggestions Kris on creating a ragged test selection?  Using
freehand selection with anti-aliasing off on a typical jpeg yields a
selection with so-so jaggies. Outcome is okay but not dramatic. Is
this what you mean by ragged? Does ragged = jagged?

Thanks, Ember

 
 
 

Smooth your ragged selection edges

Post by Kris Zaklik » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 16:06:26





> >Nobody seems to have come up with good ideas for smoothing
> >ragged selection edges, so here is how to do it. The main

> Any suggestions Kris on creating a ragged test selection?  Using
> freehand selection with anti-aliasing off on a typical jpeg yields a
> selection with so-so jaggies. Outcome is okay but not dramatic. Is
> this what you mean by ragged? Does ragged = jagged?

Drink heavily for a long period of time and then stop
suddenly. The delirium tremens that results will be just
right for producing the ragged selection I'm talking about.
Too much trouble? Sworn off drink? Just shake your hand a
bit while making the freehand selection. Or use the Magic
Wand on an image with a complex color distribution.

Quote:> Thanks, Ember

--
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Kris Zaklika              Jasc Software, Inc.                   The



----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
 

Smooth your ragged selection edges

Post by Sally Beacha » Thu, 29 Aug 2002 16:13:27






> > >Nobody seems to have come up with good ideas for smoothing
> > >ragged selection edges, so here is how to do it. The main

> > Any suggestions Kris on creating a ragged test selection?  Using
> > freehand selection with anti-aliasing off on a typical jpeg yields a
> > selection with so-so jaggies. Outcome is okay but not dramatic. Is
> > this what you mean by ragged? Does ragged = jagged?

> Drink heavily for a long period of time and then stop
> suddenly. The delirium tremens that results will be just
> right for producing the ragged selection I'm talking about.
> Too much trouble? Sworn off drink? Just shake your hand a
> bit while making the freehand selection. Or use the Magic
> Wand on an image with a complex color distribution.

You know, this is even funnier than you would normally imagine... Ron and I
tried WICKED HARD to make a couple bad images today to use for class
material, and neither one of us could do it,   it was the most frustrating
thing, we were purposely TRYING to get banded gradients and halo'd edges...
couldn't do it.  I don't know if it's a testament to PSP 7's power, or
subconscious brain functions on both our parts that won't allow us to make a
big boo boo.

But that can't be it, lord knows when I DON'T try to make a mess, I get one.

--
Sally Beacham / www.dizteq.com
www.lvsonline.com / PSP, Filter Frenzy, Xara X
FilterMunky / www.psppower.com
reply to sbeachamATdizteq.com

 
 
 

Smooth your ragged selection edges

Post by Embe » Fri, 30 Aug 2002 03:34:32







>> >Nobody seems to have come up with good ideas for smoothing
>> >ragged selection edges, so here is how to do it. The main

>> Any suggestions Kris on creating a ragged test selection?  Using
>> freehand selection with anti-aliasing off on a typical jpeg yields a
>> selection with so-so jaggies. Outcome is okay but not dramatic. Is
>> this what you mean by ragged? Does ragged = jagged?

>Drink heavily for a long period of time and then stop
>suddenly. The delirium tremens that results will be just
>right for producing the ragged selection I'm talking about.
>Too much trouble? Sworn off drink? Just shake your hand a
>bit while making the freehand selection. Or use the Magic
>Wand on an image with a complex color distribution.

Hic... watchza maggic wad...
 
 
 

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