I am attempting to clean up the below vector image at the bottom, since the pixellation is not very sharp. However, I am told that I will need to rasterize it in order to adjust the pixels. So my questions are:

1) Should shape layers or vector images not have exact pixel dimensions rather than this fuzziness? and,

2) How can I make it sharper without rasterizing it?

Thanks very much in advance.

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


The fuzziness is called Anti-alias.

Playing around with the adjustments may sharpen the edge, but that will also screw up the contrast/brightness of the rest of the element. I'd still say your best bet is to rasterize the layer, make a clean cut (with anti-alias unchecked) and then converting the shape back to a smart object. Just copy any effects you may have now on the object, inactive the effects and rasterize the layer, make the cut, convert it back to a smart object (if that's what you want it in) and paste the effects you copied earlier. Now you'll have the element with a hard edge and all effects still accessible for adjustments.

  • Thanks. I get the theory here, but how do I a) rasterize the layer (with the layer selected, I go to Layer > Rasterize, but then only "All Layers" is selectable, rather than just Layer), and b) How do I make a "clean cut" with anti-alias unchecked? Sorry for the newbie question :/ Mar 19, 2013 at 9:40
  • Don't worry, everyone had the same questions as you at one point. Right click the layer in the Layers list down to the right, and choose rasterize. If that option isn't available the layer is already rasterized or it's of a kind that can't be rasterized. To make the cut I would suggest you use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (shortcut L), uncheck the Anti-alias checkbox and make your selection in the lower angle of what you want to remove. If the angle is 90 degrees you could also use the square marquee tool, rotate the selection 90 degrees move it over what you want to remove and click delete. Mar 19, 2013 at 10:02
  • Thanks again, I really appreciate the help. Your solutions worked perfectly :) Mar 20, 2013 at 6:48
  • I also tried pixel by pixel adjustments, but this led to problems with the paint brush...! graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/16754/… Mar 20, 2013 at 6:49

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