Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
FIX JAGGED LINES_SMUDGE Tool by ToysoldierThor FIX JAGGED LINES_SMUDGE Tool by ToysoldierThor

Removing "JAGGED ANGLE EDGES" from SL Photos using PS SMUDGE Tool

This is my 1st Tutorial ever (much less for this DA SL-PhotoArt group). I thought this would be a valuable tutorial for some of our group members that are new to SL Photography and photo art.


When taking photos within SL you are technically take a snapshot or an advanced form of "screen capture" of 2D renderings of a 3D created view. The 2D views is obviously all digital and therefore made up of very small pixels. The higher the resolution of your capture, the more pixels are used to create the image.

The problem is that unless you take a very high resolution snapshot within SL (which you actually can to by custom setting your resolution - I use 4500x2385 for my snapshots in SL), you will very quickly see that any edges of objects that are not perfectly vertical or horizontal, will show an ugly pixelated jagged edge. This jagged edge looks like steps in the line that you follow and this ugly anomaly is most noticable when the agle of the line is just off the perfect horizontal or vertical axis.

The problem becomes less noticable when using very high resolution snapshots BUT its still there.

This is still an issue even with Digital photos in Real Life if you zoom in close enough to see it. But because SL runs at a much lower resolution to allow for animations to be possible, its extremely noticable to SL photos.

If you are wanting to create a realistic RL photo art from an raw SL photo - these jagged lines dramatically reduce the realism of the photo and its beauty.


There are several ways to remove these ugly jagged edges. You can use some or all of these methods to reduce them in SL photos:

1) Substantially increase the SL snapshot resolution. Again, I take snapshots at 4500x2385 but you can even go higher (you dont have to take snapshots at the limit of your monitor and that is why SL photography is not just screenshots as some non-SL DA artist think we are doing). The higher the resolution, the less pronounced the jagged edges - but not gone. WARNING... you better have a good computer when taking high res photos or you might crash when you take the photo - its real intense on your PC to take such high res photos - BUT WORTH IT.

2) The "BLUR" tool in PS to blur the jagged angles. This is sometimes effective for me and works in some situations but by blurring the jagged edge, you are also softening the line itself which you may not want.

3) The "CLONE" tool in PS to heal a bad jagged line. Although the CLONE tool is one of my fave tools in PS for SL Photo Art work, I find this tool only useful when the SL photo edge is so distorted that tools like Blur and Smudge would take too long to fix.

4) The "SMUDGE" TOOL in PS. This is the most effective tool I know in PS to directly address pixelated jagged angled lines in SL photos. The next section talks in detail of this method.


I will not give a detailed explanation of how to use the PS SMUDGE tool as there are incredible tutorials on how to use the SMUDGE TOOL. In fact here is a link to an excellent YOUTUBE video to show how to use the SMUDGE TOOL in CS2 but the tool is pretty much identical in all versions of PS...

"Photoshop Tutorial : How to Use a Smudge Tool in Adobe Photoshop CS2" : [link]

The smudge tool is best for this job because it basicly blends the zig-zag pixels of the two contrasting colors into one averged line. It will work because even though the SL photo was at a resolution that caused the jaggedness, there is a lot more resolution in the PS image to fill in the gaps. The youtube video does a great job illustrating this.

The key to using the SMUDGE tool to fix SL photo jagged lines is to set your smudge tool to a low enough strength to be able to drag along the jagged lines of your photo to fix the jaggedness BUT not so high that it quickly distorts your image. I use about 10% to 20% stength depending hpw bad the jagged lines are. If you want more accuracy, set strength low but then you will have to rub along the line many times to smooth the jagged edge.

Also, this is important!! Smudge along the line - follow the line as you smudge. DO NOT smudge across the line. You will see what happens if you smudge across the line - the color from one side of the line pushes into the the other color and deforms the line. Sometimes you will want this - often times you will... but most times not.

You must also be aware / careful when your smudge along a jagged line and this line intersects with another line. If you just follow along this line, then the other line will be damaged because of what I just mentioned in the previous paragraph.


The Deviation I have provided here shows these angled jagged lines that was even visible on a high resolution SL photo (when zoomed in) and how I was able to fix all the jagged edges just by using the SMUDGE TOOL.

I would strong advice all my fellow SL PHOTO ARTISTS that are new to SL photography and would like to advance the quality of the SL images, to practice this technique. It can be a bit time consuming at first until you get very familiar with the SMUDGE tool (and other tools I mentioned), but the results are amazing and will improve your photo art dramatically!


Toysoldier Thor
Add a Comment:
hanciong Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
wow, I always have problem with jagged lines. usually I use blur tool or alpha to selection, shrink, feather edge, invert, delete. thanx for providing this information!!
ToysoldierThor Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
your welcome. The discussion thread under the tutorial does also provide other approaches to deal with jagged digital edges including ideas when taking photos in virtual worlds like SecondLife.
Tacimur Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Interesting, thanks! :) Also, what did you use to make the perfectly peaceful closed eyes expression in the illustration?
ToysoldierThor Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Actually what you ask is explained in the artist's comments of the actual deviation in my gallery called "ASSASSINS PRAYER" [link] where the avatar was used. It is challenge #4. Below is a clip of the paragraph:

> Fouth Challenge: BIGGEST CHALLENGE! Try to take a photo of your avatar with his eyes peacefully closed in SL. Believe it or not, there is NO EASY WAY TO CLOSE AN AVATAR'S EYES! After searching Google and asking my fellow creators, the best approach is to try to catch your avatar in the middle of a blink! YUP! Thats right. I sat there for 30 minutes perfecting it and finally I caught a photo of him fully eyes closed in the middle of a blink.

One needs a lot of patience to capture the avatar blinking.
ilyraChardin Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I haven't tried this because i generally do not like the "expressions" that are offered - so i leave them out of my animated furniture.  I much prefer imagination to a goofy rendering of emotion.  However, I'm pretty sure that there is a sleep expression, which should fix the avatar's eyes closed.  A simple animation to fix both your position with that expression is supposed to work.

Let me know if you're still wanting to experiment with this.
ToysoldierThor Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If you can point me to an animation that closes the avatar's eyes, I would love to know what it is.  I looked all over and even asked many around me and in forums.  No one has a solution whereby an animation closed the avatar's eyes.

A few people came back to me with the same response.... "you have to catch the avatar blinking"
ilyraChardin Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
sending you a bunch of information. 

One person's solution (without animations) is this:
-Go to the appearance editing window.
-Before doing anything save your current appearance under the name 'awake'.
-In the tab 'shape' select the button 'eyes'.
-Set the 'eye size' and 'eye opening' to 0.
-Tweak some of the other eye options to get the eyes "closed" just as you want them to look.
-Your avatar's eyes should now be closed, or as good as avatars in SL can close them anyway.
-Save this appearance under the name 'asleep'.

There is the SL internal animations:… (which people combine with a pose to get the eyes to close.  For example: There's several expressions that close the eyes. using a combination, you can probably get something quite acceptable. Combining express_toothsmile and express_distain gives a nice "eyes closed, small smile" look.)

I hope this helps.
ToysoldierThor Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yes! :) I will take a look at these suggestions.  I did already try the Appearance idea.  The problem with that as far as I tried was that my avatar looks like he is majorly squinting and not just peacefully closing his eyes.

So I will try the tooth and distain expressions.  My fear of them is that these animations have already pre-modified other facial features that would not make it look like his eyes closed peacefully - similar to the squinting issue.
Tacimur Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
x) Noooo.... too bad. But thanks! And what patience, wow.
angelknight36 Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
perrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrfect tutorial
ToysoldierThor Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks Angel. I finally got the time to make one up.
angelknight36 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well you did a really good job on this one.
MaddieTheHijabi Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Also, using refine edge in CS5 does a good job for a shot taken without anti aliasing on. Alternative would be using a lauer mask, then adding guassian blur to it, then adjust the levels of that mask and edges will start tucking in. smudging does help with areas that arent the outline.
ToysoldierThor Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I would agree with you that there are some awesome tools and techniques to get a smooth edge selection (of which I often forget some of these techqinues each time I end up needing them), :) , but this tutorial focused on dealing with edge lines within a layer from a digitial photograph - specially lower resolution ones that normally come out of SecondLife. You can select them as they are part of the overall image you want to "clean up". So you need to actually use techniques to reduce these ugly jagged angled lines in the photo (like higher resolution and anti-aliasing) and/or use painting techniques like SMUDGING to level these lines straight).

But thanks for pointing the techique on getting smoother edges on a selection. It would be great if someone did a tutorial for the SecondLife-PhotoArt group on how to more easily and effectively select and a subject and remove the backgrounds. I have read a few good ones. The new CS5 content-aware quick selection tool has so far not been as effective for me as the PS Evangelist made it look.
MaddieTheHijabi Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I agree with you, infact I use this method a lot. I was just sharing other ways. You can't avoid smudging inside a selection, than around it. =)
carsonhadlee Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010
I might add... check your anti-aliasing settings. If your card can support it... it will go far to removing the "jaggies".

:love: :love: :love:
ToysoldierThor Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thanks for the added ideas.

I am sure there are other excellent effective methods. Please feel free to mention ideas you all have used.
Add a Comment:


Submitted on
December 26, 2010
Image Size
632 KB


7 (who?)