If you’ve ended up with a graphic that has jagged edges, don’t worry, we all have been there and hated it when you just have to use a graphic somewhere, and it turns out to be this horrible pixelated thing with edges like that of a chainsaw.
To each graphics designer’s delight, though, there exists Photoshop. This magical tool, among many other beneficial applications, can help you fix those broken graphics and that’s exactly what we’re going to do in this article.
Note: While Photoshop can help you fix much of your graphic, don’t expect it to heal everything in there magically. If your graphic is really broken, you might end up having to use another one or use a vector instead.
Fixing rough edges in Photoshop
I’m loading a graphic here which has absolutely horrible edges. In case you’ve something like this, the best option is to redesign the whole thing as there’s not a lot you can do in terms of correction. Still, we’re going to give this a shot.
Step 1: Load your graphic/image in Photoshop. I’ll add a black background layer so you can see things correctly.
Step 2: Choose a part you would like to start the smoothing process from and zoom in on that.
Step 3: Ctrl+Click on your layer to select it (Ctrl+Click on the thumbnail instead if you want to use a mask).
Step 4: Goto Select > Modify > Contract and enter the number of pixels from where you’d like to shrink your selection. I’ll go ahead and type in 1 just because of how small my graphic is. You might have to use some other value.
Step 5: Go to Select, then Modify and choose feather. Again you’ll need to determine the feather size you’re going to use. Typically, you would use something smaller than your contract selection, but I’m just going to use the same value because of how bad the graphic is.
Step 6: Use Ctrl + Shift + I to inverse the selection.
Step 7: Use the eraser tool, set the opacity to 100 and the colour to black and start rubbing around the edges. You’ll notice they start getting smoothened out. If you’re using a mask, use the brush tool with the same settings instead.
You can hide the selection using Ctrl + H to see what you’re doing better.