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Smooth your edges with Photoshop

Photoshop Tutorial by Björgvin Guðmundsson


I know that there are many tutorials like this one on the web, and all of them are pretty good. So what makes this one better? Nothing really, it's just the way I work and believe me, I have spent a lot of time trying to find an easier way to do this. So, I'm going to show you step by step how to smooth your corners without getting the "jaggy" edges.

Step 1. Starting

a. Create a new file in Photoshop.

b. Make it 400x400 pixels - 72dpi - RGB color - Transparent.

c. Fill your layer with a background color of your choice, in this case "black"

d. Name this layer "background", or something similar.

e. Lock your background layer.

Step 2. Make the shape

a. Create a new layer.

b. Name it "shape".

c. Select the "polygonal lasso tool" polygonal lasso tool, or you can use the "pen tool".

d. Create your shape

Step 3. The channel

a. When you have created your shape hold the selection and select the channel palette. (Window>show channels)

b. Create a new channel by clicking the new channel button.

c. Fill your shape selection with the color white by pressing "alt - backspace".

d. Deselect the selection. (Ctrl - D)

e. Apply Gaussian blur "Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur" and set its values to 4 pixels.
(The higher the value is, the smoother the corners will be)

4. Adjusting the levels

Now press "Ctrl-L" or go to "Image>Adjust>Levels" and type in the following value:
130 - 1.00 - 165

You can play around with the values, as you want, the given values are suitable for the shape Im making. (The values, 110 - 1.00 - 145 are often used too)

Step 5. Load channel as selection

Load channel as selection by pressing Load channel as selection at the bottom of the channel palette.
(Shortcut: Hold down the Ctrl key and click on the channel to select the shape)

Step 6. Fill the selection

a. Now go back to the layer palette and make sure you have the "shape" layer selected and fill the selection with your chosen color. (Alt-backspace)

b. Press "Ctrl - D" to deselect the selection.

Step 7. Final shape

Now you can do whatever you want with your shape. Apply a texture or an effect to make your shape the way you want it. If you need images to play with, check out our Free Photos.

You can find more Photoshop tutorials at