• SilverFast - Quality Scanner and Digital Imaging Software made in Germany since 1986
Achieve crisp and pin sharp images using SilverFast luminance based Unsharp Masking


The ultimate Image sharpening Technique

The Unsharp Masking technique (USM) originates from traditional lithography. Sharpness impression is increased by contrast rise of small brightness changes.

Sharpened pictures appear more detailed, since the human perception is aligned to the recognition of edges and lines. This principle of Unsharp Masking can be transferred to the digital treatment of images.

In order to sharpen an image correctly, the resolution which will be used has to be taken into account. Varying scan resolutions require individual sharpening parameters.

The SilverFast Unsharp Masking USM is a sophisticated tool for luminance based calculation of brightness values in order to improve image sharpness without compromising color saturation and tonal values of the image.

Sharpening made easy with current SilverFast software: Initially and before you start sharpening, set your desired resolution. Now open the USM tool dialog and our new Auto Sharpness feature will automatically select sharpness parameters, which have been adjusted to your specific scanner and scan resolution by our SilverFast experts. This procedure applies a basic sharpness to your images. In most cases the sharpness impression will now be considered as sufficiently optimized. If you are not yet satisfied with the sharpening effect, you can also make manual adjustments for fine tuning.

USM Video

Watch our Video to learn more about SilverFast's Unsharp Masking

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Image Example USM for black and white images

The b/w image on the left is a little bit blurry. The b/w image on the right has been processed with SilverFast USM and appears much sharper. More image details are visible.

Feature Range

SilverFast Version SE SE Plus Ai Studio
Power slider
Radius slider
Threshold slider
Expert Mode - 4 more sliders
Soft Shadows
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How is SilverFast USM working?

USM in SilverFast SE
USM in SilverFast SE

Conventional sharpening functions often increase the detail contrast in general and therefore also strengthen any image interference of the original. The image begins to appear very bumpy and unnatural. In contrast, SilverFast USM carefully raises the contrast at edges and lines without loosing any details. The SilverFast scanner software has a sophisticated, automatic sharpening function (adjustable in five steps), which leads to good results for most scans. As a function of the used scanner, output resolution and desired sharpness degree SilverFast USM computes the sharpened image.

USM in SilverFast SE

Select a preset for image sharpening from the drop-down menu “Preset”. Use the “Power”slider to increase or decrease the sharpening effect, if you are not entirely satisfied with the effect of the USM automatic.

USM in SilverFast SE Plus
USM in SilverFast SE Plus
USM in SilverFast Ai Studio
USM in SilverFast Ai Studio

USM in SilverFast SE Plus

Moving the “Power” slider, you can increase or decrease the sharpness effect. The “Radius” slider defines the size of the area around found lines and edges that will be sharpened. The further you move the “Threshold” slider to the right, the smaller are the contrast differences, which are taken into account for sharpening.

USM in SilverFast Ai Studio

In addition to the slider controls existing in SilverFast SE Plus, there are a number of further configuration options in the Ai Studio Expert settings. For example, you may setup different sharpening effects for light and dark edges or may soften shadows.