Take the 2-minute tour ×
Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional graphic designers and non-designers trying to do their own graphic design. It's 100% free, no registration required.

So, a while back I created this icon from a game, but looking back on it behind a white background instead of an alpha-channel its edges are super choppy in some places while it's smooth in others, which is possibly due to the method I used to select certain regions before bucket-filling it. I was using GIMP and I was wondering if there is any possible way to easily fix this (ie make all edges even instead of choppy). Maybe some rendering filters or selection methods that I don't know about? I've googled and youtubed but with no avail.

My image:


(As you can see, the inner crescent-shaped things are choppy as well as the exterior of the circle on the left and right is choppy)

share|improve this question
You've tagged is as raster and state you used Gimp. Raster apps are always going to result in some pixels at the edges of arcs. If you use a vector application, you can get cleaner lines. –  Scott Jun 26 '13 at 21:27
@Scott Well I was the one that tagged it as raster (though it's clearly a raster image) –  Ben Brocka Jun 26 '13 at 21:33
I used GIMP and somewhere along the lines (no pun intended) it ended up looking like a really choppy raster image. I was wondering if there's a quick solution to just round out all of the edges. –  Jacedc Jun 26 '13 at 21:34
@BenBrocka - the question states Gimp.. so raster is a good tag. not sure why it was removed. Jacedc - are you asking how in Gimp??? As I've commented, a raster app isn't going to offer many more solutions. There is no "magic' button. –  Scott Jun 26 '13 at 21:45
add comment

migrated from ux.stackexchange.com Jun 26 '13 at 21:06

This question came from our site for user experience researchers and experts.

2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I'd say there's no quick and dirty fix for choppy lines, you just gotta recreate it using vectors. The following took me 3 minutes in Photoshop with Circles and Stroke effect:

Logo Example

I'm not going to do it all for you, but all you need is two more half circles and you've got a shape based logo, which should scale beautifully to any size. So that's 6 circles, two semi-circles and a stroke applied to some of them. In your case it's very simple to recreate, but a detailed logo would take a lot longer.

There are various ways to do this, though in your case I'd just knuckle down and spend a little while doing this, if you're proficient with any GD software that creates shapes, this shouldn't even take half an hour and if you aren't, now is a good time to learn a few reusable skills.

Also Save for Web & Devices..

share|improve this answer
Okay. Yeah I'm not really "proficient" in any GD software except GIMP which I guess doesn't do vectors. Anyways, thanks for the help. –  Jacedc Jun 26 '13 at 21:52
Photoshop has vector tools but "doesn't do vectors" either in reality. –  Scott Jun 26 '13 at 21:54
@Jacedc I've not used GIMP before unfortunately, but I find it odd that they don't. Scott I didn't know that, as far as I know these shapes will scale up to whatever size is necessary without degrading. I'm guessing you mean technically? –  Dominic Jun 26 '13 at 21:56
@Dominic Yes, within Photoshop and ONLY within Photoshop. True vector files can be scaled anywhere. –  Scott Jun 26 '13 at 22:07
Note that Inkscape is suitable for this sort of thing and is GPL –  horatio Jun 27 '13 at 18:13
show 4 more comments


In case we can not easily recreate the original in a vector oriented application we may also trace the bitmap to a vector graphic.

Below example was done with Inkscape where I imported the bitmap to trace it with 2 color steps:

enter image description here

This will not preserve the exact circular geometry of the source (note the slightly wavy shapes above), as tracing was done with Bezier curves rather than circles or boxes. Because of that such traces will always have a much bigger file size than properly recreated vectors.


Another possibility to reduce aliasing in a bitmap if we can not use a vector graphic replacement is to apply a soft blur to the image.

Below I used the GIMP plugin GREYC's magic filter: Enhancement - Smooth (mean-curvature) with 8 iterations for smoothing the outlines while keeping the alpha channel:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Hmm. Very nice! I'll take a look at inkscape. Thanks! –  Jacedc Jun 27 '13 at 21:50
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.