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Sharpen – After Effects Spotlight

Sharpen effects are basically the opposite of the blur effects. Blur effects soften and remove details. Sharpen effects enhance them. With my footage selected, I’m going to apply Sharpen by going to Effect, Blur & Sharpen, Sharpen. The only property you can edit is Sharpen Amount.

I’m going to turn the amount up to 50, which is much higher than should normally be used. But I want to make sure you can see the result of the effect, and show you what happens when you use too much sharpening. Sharpening effects work by finding edges, and then increasing the contrast of those edges. You can see the increased contrast on the chairs. But you can also see how much noise this effect is creating.

Additionally, you should be aware that the Sharpen effect will enhance both good and bad details. For example, let’s pretend the noise we created from our first Sharpen here is noise from compression. If we add the Sharpen effect again, we end up enhancing that noise.

The Unsharp Mask effect is the only other sharpen effect in the Blur & Sharpen category. It gives you more control than Sharpen does, and I will cover it in another tutorial.