When it comes to creating illustrated imagery, one type of element that is important in every illustration, and is often taken for granted is an edge. In the non-digital illustration world edges are created by the physical use of an art material, but in the digital world, edges must be created in a virtual way to simulate a non-digital visual appearance. Image software programs like Adobe Photoshop provide both automated and user defined ways to manipulate or smooth an edge. So, as is the case with every aspect of a digital image, the illustrator has the ability to influence the look of edges in their work. It’s helpful to know how digital edges are rendered and displayed in order to do so.
|Closeup of aliased stair step in red, anti-aliased smoothing in blue.
|Aliased mountain rendering. © 2012 Don Arday.
|Anti-aliased mountain rendering. © 2012 Don Arday.
|Closeup of the anti-aliased edge of a rose petal.
Some Manual Techniques
|Gaussian blur applied to complimentary colors.
|Gaussian blur closeup.
|Noise applied. Note the addition of other color pixels to the original pair
of complimentary colors.
|Edge sharpening applied. Note the increased contrast at the edges of
the two colors.
|Edge sharpening closeup.