Game Development Reference
result of the effect, but also so that you could see the artifacts that
excess sharpening can create. These artifacts (“halos” as they're
called) are to be avoided at all costs. While the Sharpen effect
does enhance details, it doesn't give you the control that the
Unsharp Mask effect does to avoid such problems. Also remem-
ber that as you enhance good details with sharpening (such as
the cool brick texture in the background here), you also enhance
bad details, such as noise and compression artifacts.
The Smart Blur Effect
The Smart Blur effect is a lot like the Bilateral Blur effect intro-
duced in After Effects CS4. I actually prefer the look of Bilateral
Blur, but the Smart Blur effect is similar and renders much faster.
Depending on your hardware and deadlines, you may prefer one
to the other.
Both effects attempt to keep edges intact while blurring sur-
faces. I think it also works well as an effect to stylize a layer like a
cartoon or painting.
Let's open up the Smart Blur.aep project from the Chapter 4
folder. This project has a composition (called Smart Blur) that
contains a nested composition with a few layers (a vector logo on
top of an Artbeats video clip). It's important to note that this is all
on one layer (Fig. 4.65 ).
Apply the Smart Blur effect to Precomp 1 layer here. The default
results blur some of the windows and surfaces of the buildings,
but the hard edges of the logo have not been affected by this
intelligent blur in the slightest.
Figure 4.65 The Smart Blur.aep
project. Remember that all this
stuff is on one layer.