Game Development Reference
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controls. It has the same parameters that the Unsharp Mask fi lter
in Photoshop does. If you don't have a Photoshop background,
you might be surprised to know that After Effects' best sharpen-
ing effect is actually called “unsharp. ” Long story.
To give the Unsharp Mask effect a test drive, open up the
Sharpen.aep project again. Apply the Unsharp Mask effect to this
layer. As opposed to the Sharpen effect, the default results make a
subtle but noticeable difference.
I'm going to increase the Amount value to 100 so that the
results are more obvious on the printed page. I'm also going to
duplicate this layer and apply a Linear Wipe transition so that
you can see the sharpened version and unsharpened version side
by side (Fig. 4.70 ).
Figure 4.70 The left half of the
image shows sharpening with the
Unsharp Mask effect. The right
side shows the original image.
The effect is a subtle one, mostly noticeable in the brick pat-
tern and shrubbery. But that's kinda the point with the Unsharp
Mask effect. We want to enhance details, but we don't want that
enhancement obvious.
You can increase the intensity of the sharpening with the
Radius parameter, with the disclaimer that it's usually a bad idea
to take this value above 2. If the results are too intense, you can
lessen the sharpening by increasing the Threshold value.
Again, I prefer this effect to the Sharpen effect because of the
extra parameters (Radius and Threshold). But not only that, the
Amount value (that controls the amount of blur in the Unsharpen
Mask effect) produces more refi ned results than the Sharpen
Amount property in the Sharpen effect does. It's also far easier
to get those ugly sharpening artifacts with the Sharpen effect,
while the Unsharp Mask effect generally produces more subtle
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