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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
All right, I've gone ahead and saved out the file that I created in the previous exercise, just in case you want to take a look at it, it's called Basic vs advanced.psd and the Background layer shows the results of our basic modifications, The Advanced (70%) layer shows the results of our advanced settings faded to 70%. So it's not quite apples and oranges but it's very close. Anyway, think what we have when all is said and done is some very nicely sharpened squirrels here. Now, I'm going to switch over to Ceiling carving.jpg, also found by the way inside the 15_sharpen folder, and this is a ceiling frieze that I shot inside of San Simeon.
So I was actually shooting upward with my camera, which was a little bit awkward and as a result if you go ahead and zoom in on the image, you can see that there's a little bit of camera shake. Now, by camera shake, I mean that I'm moving a little bit while I'm shooting this image under lowlight and as a result I'm getting the impression here that the frieze is moving, which is quite impossible of course unless there was an earthquake, but otherwise, this mermaid here isn't going to move on me, she's a still image. Photoshop gives you a couple of different mechanisms for sharpening to account for camera shake.
One of them is inside the Smart Sharpen dialog box, another technique relies on the Emboss Filter and I'll show you both here. So, let's start things off by jumping a version of this layer. I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on a Mac and I'll call this SS motion blur like so and then click OK. So, we've got the original image on the Background layer, we'll be sharpening the SS motion blur layer using Smart Sharpen set to Remove Motion Blur in just a moment, and I'll create one more version of this layer, I'll press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac and I'll just go ahead and call this one Emboss overlay and you'll see why that is in the next exercise.
So, click OK in order to accept that new layer. All right, let's turn that guy off, click on SS motion blur right there and then press Ctrl+Alt+F once again or Command+Option+F on the Mac to bring up the Smart Sharpen dialog box complete with our last applied Advanced settings. I don't want those. I want to switch back to the Default here, which will rub out my Highlight modifications and my Shadow modifications, so I might as well switch back to Basic, and then I do have my Default settings at work. All right, the next step is to switch Remove from Gaussian Blur to Motion Blur, and I'm also -- so we can see what we're doing here, I'm going to raise the Amount value to 500%, once again it's maximum.
Now, what I'm doing at this point is I'm saying the angle of my camera shake is back and forth like so, because after all the Angle is zero degrees. The actual angle of my camera shake is up and down, that's how I happen to be moving the camera, at least that's my interpretation of what's going on by looking at the image. You wanted to look for repeated details and that kind of thing; you may find that you moved at some weird angle. So you'll just have to try to track that as best you can. Anyway, I'm going to drag this little line around here to 90 degrees like so, or I could have entered 90 degrees as my Angle value, leave More Accurate turned off, you don't want to combine More Accurate with Motion Blur, gives you pretty disastrous results in fact.
Then what I recommend you do is click inside the Radius value and press Shift+Up Arrow. Notice by the way, when you just press the Up Arrow key, when you're working inside the Radius value, you raise and lower the Radius in 0.1 increments. So, 10th of a pixel increment, which obviously results in some pretty small modifications. I recommend, when trying to gauge what you need to do with Motion Blur that you go ahead and raise and lower the value in much larger increments. So for whole number increments, you need to press Shift along with up or down arrow.
I'm going to press Shift+up arrow in order to raise that value to 3, then Shift+up arrow again to raise it to 4, and notice as I'm doing this that the details are sort of moving back and forth inside of my preview there. So, I'm continually pressing Shift+Up Arrow by the way, every so often here, so that we can see the effects of the modifications. Now, I'm going away too far. I think this is much more Radius value than I need here and the Radius is just a little different this time around, you're not so concerned with halos, that is what you're doing, you are creating halos using this Motion Blur effect.
However, what you're trying to really do is you're trying to match the distance of the motion that was tracked by the camera as recorded in pixels. So in my case, I'm figuring it's more like 4, that's based on my experience with this image, and we can see the difference here, if you click and hold inside the preview, this is the original version of that image, and this is the sharpened version as soon as I release. So, it appears that I've done a pretty good job. The one thing that you have to bear in mind is you get a lot of noise out of this effect.
So you're actually exaggerating noise when you apply Smart Sharpen combined with Remove set to Motion Blur. Now, before you click OK, you're going to write over your Default Settings and it's rare that you're going to use Remove set to Motion Blur. So, you don't want that to happen. What you want to do is create yet another set of settings here by clicking on the floppy disk and just go ahead and say something like Motion blur 4px or something along those lines or you can call it a camera shake, whatever you want, click OK and then of course, choose those Settings from the Settings pop-up menu there, and then click OK to apply them.
Now, let's see what we've got. I'll go ahead and zoom in on the image, so we're zoomed in past 100% here. If I turn off SS motion blur, this is the original unsharpened version of the image that is the pre-sharpened effect and this is the post-sharpening effect and you can see that we are bringing out a lot of noise inside the image, even though I have to say, we've done a pretty good job of correcting for the camera shake, and that's about the best you're going to do. Where camera shake is concerned, you can correct for small tiny bits of camera shake, not huge camera shake incidentally, and you can only correct to a certain extent.
However, you may be able to do a better job than this. If you're finding that your image is getting too noisy, you can take advantage of a top-secret technique that involves the Emboss Filter, which I'll tell you about in the very next exercise.
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