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Help with icon sharpness

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I'm really into making icons and so far I'm happy with the results.

However, compared to people who use PSP ect my icons don't come out as sharp or clear.

I was wondering if there is a way to achieve the same effect as PSP using paint.net.

Here are a few examples.

1. Original picture: http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb86 ... lbn058.jpg

2. My version. I cropped it to 528x528. Duplicated the picture. Increased a bit of the hue/saturation to 123 and changed the layer mode to screen. Duplicated the screen pic 2 times so it was clearer and lighter.


3. This is the crispness, clearness I would like. Also the colouring is really bright.


Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks very much.

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