In digital photoelasticity, one gets whole field information of isoclinic and isochromatic parameters based on intensity processing. Isoclinic values are undefined at isochromatic fringe contours and this appears as noise in the isoclinic phasemap which affects stress separation adversely. A new adaptive smoothing algorithm to remove the noise due to isochromatic-isoclinic interaction that automatically takes care of the isotropic points and π jumps present in the isoclinic phasemap is proposed. It is validated for the benchmark problem of a ring under diametral compression and verified for an angled bracket. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.