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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, 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 CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right, now I'm going to show you the final Remove setting inside of the Smart Sharpen dialog box which goes by the name Motion Blur and it actually uses Motion Blur in order to sharpen the image. Thereby permitting you to account for a small degree of camera shake. If you've got a ton that's a problem, but if you have just little bit, it's great or if you have just a tiny bit of motion inside the image, it can work as well. The name of this image is Great Expectations, and this image comes to us from photographer Rasmus Rasmussen of iStockPhoto.com and I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on this dude so that we can see that this image was shot under natural light and probably a little bit of a prolonged exposure there because there is no strobe or any artificial lighting going on. We are just taking advantage of natural lighting. So while the colorings are really beautiful, we do have a little bit of blur going on, a little bit of camera shake, and it's most important that we get the eyes resolved because you may have heard that the eyes are the window into the soul and we really want to take that very seriously when we are trying to sharpen portraiture here inside of Photoshop.
The eyes are the parts that should be in the highest degree of focus, if possible, unless you've got some creative refectories for doing lights. But the best way to gauge the degree of camera shake is to look at these little hair right here. The hair in his unibrow, which are going to reveal the camera shake to its best. And I believe we've got to figure out an angle and a distance when trying to resolve camera shaking. It looks to me like the angles basically like this. If you are looking at the angle I'm moving my cursor back and forth here, and I don't know what that is. What is that, 75, 70 degrees? Something along those lines.
Also, it appears to be about three pixels worth of movement. I'll go ahead and bring up my Info dialog box, and I'll draw a tiny little selection outline that's about 3 pixels high, as you can see right there in Info that's all I needed to know, so it's now 3 pixels high. And I can move that over the hair and that looks like that's pretty good, that's about the amount of camera shake we have going on. It might be closer to 4 pixels what have you, but I think this is going to work out nicely. We'll see. All right, if you are working along with me, definitely, click off that selection in order to de-select the image because no surprises here but if you have a selection going, you are only going to sharpen the area inside the selection, you are not going to sharpen the entire image.
So if you want to sharpen the entire image, it needs to be deselected or entirely selected. All right, now zoom out to 100%, and notice that I'm not going to print size this time around because when you are accounting for camera shake you don't care the size at which the image is going to print. You are just trying to get rid of that camera shake. So all you need to do is press Ctr+Alt+F, Command+Option+F on the Mac to bring up the Smart Sharpen dialog box. Now, notice my Random settings have been saved in the previous exercise are at work here. Fine, it means we've got some fairly over the top settings for this particular image. Let's go ahead and change Remove from Lens Blur to Motion Blur, and then we want to get the angle of the Blur setup right. So I'm going to take this upward. I'm going to press Shift+Up Arrow, like so a couple of times until we get that angle where we want it. Something like 75 degrees is probably going to work out pretty nicely. Looks like it's having a nice effect.
And then I'm going to go ahead right now actually and take up the Amount value to 400% just so we can see what's going on nicely. And finally we want to adjust the Radius value so that we are accounting for the distance of the camera shake, that's what this is all about as measured in pixels as we saw it just a moment ago. So what I typically do is I reset this value to something like a Radius 1 pixel and then I press Shift+Up Arrow and see whether I've got it right. Notice the image kind of tends to move back and forth on you. Then I'll press Shift+Up Arrow again and it comes down the other direction and that's 3 pixels, press Shift+Up Arrow again for 4 pixels. That actually looks pretty good, but I might split the difference between 3 and 4 by taking this value down to 3.5 pixels which is entirely acceptable of course, when you are working with Radius value. Now don't turn on More Accurate. More Accurate is never your friend when you are working with Motion Blur because it starts bringing out a lot of noise.
Motion Blur already has a tendency to bring forward noise inside of an image and really exaggerate it, and More Accurate is going to even make it worse. In fact, why don't we try it just so you can see it happen? Look at that. Is that better? I don't think so. So I'll go ahead and zoom in and click so we can see the difference. Look at those hairs, for example. They are riddled with color noise, just terrible. So this is before and this is after turning on the More Accurate checkbox which is better before, so let's turn it off, leave it off, in fact. And then what we want to do is we want to make sure that we are getting that eye nicely focused and it's doing a brilliant job on that eye which is the most important part. So this is before, it appears to be a little fuzzy. This is after, nice and crisp. Now you are never going to get it exactly right. You are never going to completely eliminate the effects of camera shake, but Smart Sharpen combined with Motion Blur here does a very nice job of compensating.
All right, let's go ahead and back off the Amount value and I'm going to suggest we take this down to about 250%, which looks pretty good. So we are not over-sharpening the image, don't you know. Then finally, do we want to save it as something different? Most certainly, we do not want to save over Advanced settings and we don't want to save over our defaults because these are some weird settings we are applying here. Random settings I created as a bucket to accept whatever settings I was working on. If you want to setup something that's sort of the backbone of a future camera shake compensation, then you might want to go ahead and click on your floppy disk icon again, and let's call this one Camera shake or something along those lines and then click OK and then of course, make sure to select it. That's very important unless you want to save over your Random settings.
We would go ahead and select Camera shake and then click OK in order to apply our effect, and there it is, and just to give you sense of what we've managed to accomplish here, let's go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to see the before version of the image and then Ctrl+Z again to see the after version of the image. Once again, that's Command+Z on the Mac. And then if you want to try to downplay some of the color noise that's appearing inside the image, I'll go ahead and zoom in, and you can see that there is a world of color noise in this region. And as you know, it's always a good idea to do this, to follow up Smart Sharpen by going up to the Edit menu and this works very well for Unsharp Mask by the way as well. Choose Fade Smart Sharpen and then set the mode from Normal to Luminosity and see if that doesn't help resolve the issue and it resolves it beautifully.
Notice we no longer have all that color noise inside the Shadow detail inside of this image and go ahead and click OK, and our eye is still very nice and sharp. So just to make sure, I'll press the F12 key in order to revert to the original camera-shaky version of the image. So this is before and this is after, this is uncorrected Rasmus Rasmussen and this is corrected said gentleman and we've got a darn nice image as a result. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to sharpen portrait photography using the High Pass command.
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