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Actioning a low-frequency edge mask

From: Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

Video: Actioning a low-frequency edge mask

In this exercise we are going to take that filter mask that we lifted from the green channel that's currently limiting the effect of the High Pass filter and we are going to convert that mask into a proper edge mask. Now there are a lot of steps involved here. We saw how to create an edge mask a couple of chapters back. At this point, I figure we might as well go ahead and record the creation of this edge mask as an action. So lets go ahead and do that together. I have got an entire series by the way. If you are a subscriber to the lynda.com Online Training Library you can gain access to my Photoshop CS2, it actually goes by the name Photoshop CS2 Actions and Automation.

Actioning a low-frequency edge mask

In this exercise we are going to take that filter mask that we lifted from the green channel that's currently limiting the effect of the High Pass filter and we are going to convert that mask into a proper edge mask. Now there are a lot of steps involved here. We saw how to create an edge mask a couple of chapters back. At this point, I figure we might as well go ahead and record the creation of this edge mask as an action. So lets go ahead and do that together. I have got an entire series by the way. If you are a subscriber to the lynda.com Online Training Library you can gain access to my Photoshop CS2, it actually goes by the name Photoshop CS2 Actions and Automation.

It's just that Actions and Automation hasn't changes that terribly much inside Photoshop CS3 and you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about recording actions. But right now lets just go ahead and bring up the Actions palette, which you can get to by the way by going to the Window menu and choosing Actions if you like. We are going to create a new folder, a New Action Set as it's known, by clicking on the little folder icon. So go ahead and click on the folder icon at the bottom of the applet and we will call this one Sharpening actions or something along those lines then click OK and next, I want you to start off a new action and to make a new action, record a new action inside Photoshop, you click on this page icon at the bottom of the Action palette and it allows you to name the action.

Lets call this one edge mask and I will go ahead and click on the Record button. Now you may recall, a couple of chapters ago when I told you back, creating image mask in the first place that this steps are always the same. We always run through the basic same steps especially where a portraits edge mask is concern, but the values may end up varying. I am just going to show you the values that I use in the when in doubt. So these are when in doubt values you can changes here values if you want to do for the specific resolution of images that you are using on the regular basis, but here we go.

The first thing is we are going to go ahead and click on the Smart Filter mask and that goes ahead and records that operation. I am not sure that's an operation that you want recorded, we'll go ahead and delete that just in moment, but I will go ahead and click on the filter mask in order to make it active, and I am going to even Alt+Click or Option+Click on the filter mask so that we can see the mask here inside the image window. That added another step to the action. Again, we will comeback and we will delete those in the moment. Now here are the real steps that we want to record. Go up to the Filter menu choose Noise and choose Median.

Now the value that you are going to enter will depend. It depends on the resolution of the image typically, but again a good sort of when in doubt values about 10 pixels. You could go higher with the high resolution image, you could go lower with the lower resolution image. I will go ahead and click OK to accept that modification. Now I am going to go up to the Filter menu. I am going to go choose Stylize and I am going to choose Find Edges and that's going to find the edges inside the image and tracing with black. Now I want to invert that of course because I want the edges to be white.

So I will press Ctrl+I or Command+I on the Mac in order to invert the image. You can see that step right there. Then I want to go ahead and bolster those light edges using Levels command. So I will press Ctrl+L or Command+L on the Mac to bring up the Levels dialog box. I will go ahead and drag this white slider triangle over to about 60. Now this might end up varying from one image to another. The other image I showed to you a couple of chapters ago, when I was introducing the edge mask. We ended up dragging this white point value down to 40.

So we were more aggressI've with our modification. This image would be harmed, if we went down the 40. We would end up getting too many edges. So I am going to leave its set to something that's a little more moderate about 60 and go ahead and click OK at this point and that records Levels operation of course. Now we want to thicken our edges up a little bit, so I am going to go the Filter menu. I am going to choose Other and I am going to choose Maximum, which expands the maximum brightness value, which of course is white and I want to radius of 4.

Again this is a value you might want to vary depending on the resolution of your image, 4 is a good when in doubt in my experience. I will go ahead and click OK to accept that modification. Now we want to round off those squares that have been formed by the Maximum filters. So I will go up to the Filter menu. I will choose Noise and I will choose Median and I will enter the exact same value I entered for Maximum. We definitely want to match the maximum value. So on the radius of 4, click OK and then I want to blur the edges inside the mask and I want all these harsh edges.

So I will go to the Filter menu and I will choose Blur and I will choose Gaussian Blur and I am going to double the value that I applied for both Median and Maximum. So instead of 4, I will do 8 and then I will click OK in order to accept that modification and now we are done. We have now created the edge mask. So you stop recoding the action by clicking on the square Stop button right there and that stops the recoding. Now I was telling you we have a couple of cluttered steps up front here. So lets go ahead and drag those down throw them in the trashcan here and that's all it takes.

Now we want to leave Median through Gaussian Blur and that's Edge Mask and I am actually get to rename this action a little bit I am going to call this LF edge mask meaning that's its a Low Frequency edge mask because this kind of edge mask does work very well for low frequency images. We would change the steps up a little bit, if we are working high frequency. We now have an action that will go ahead and automatically convert our luminance mask into an edge mask. To test it out, lets go back to the History palette here and notice this point at which we applied the Median filter, the first time around that's what we want to get rid of.

Lets go ahead and click on Edit Filter Blending Options which takes us back to the original luminance mask, it is right there so that you can see it. Now go ahead and switch back over to the Actions palette, make sure that your mask is active that it has a double outline around it and you may also want to go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+Click on that thumbnail so that you are viewing the mask on screen. Then click on the LF edge mask action and press the Play button there. Go ahead and click on the Play button and it will go ahead and convert that luminous mask into an edge mask look at the spit, very quickly indeed.

Lets go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+Click once again on the filter mask in order to view the affected image. So this is what the image looks like without the application of the High Pass filter, subject of course to its filter mask to the edge mask and this is what it looks like with the High Pass filter. Let me go ahead and zoom in so that we can see this a little more closely inside the video, this is without and this is with. So we have a double pass sharpening effect going on here. We sharpened inside of Camera RAW for the source and of course taking into account that this was a low frequency image and then we brought it into Photoshop and sharpened again for detail taking into account that this is a low frequency image, but I will tell you what, doesn't really add up to well at this point.

It looks pretty good its over-sharpened actually I have to say, but what we are doing is we are basically double sharpening the exact same stuff inside the image and what I am going to suggest you is, if you are going to do multi-pass sharpening like what we have seen here then you want to switch out your source sharpening. You don't want to take the low frequency content into a effect. You just want to go ahead and do a standard source sharpen and then take a low frequency details into account here inside Photoshop. I will show you exactly what I mean by that, because we have set this up as a very flexible image.

We can modify our sharpening settings to our harsh content. I will show you how in the next exercise.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

115 video lessons · 17014 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 50m 30s
    1. Why every image needs sharpening
      2m 38s
    2. Understanding the effects of sharpening
      5m 26s
    3. Understanding the mechanics of sharpening
      4m 19s
    4. Understanding sharpening and gradual transitions
      3m 21s
    5. Understanding sharpening and noise reduction
      4m 0s
    6. Understanding amount and radius
      7m 50s
    7. Measuring your screen resolution
      6m 19s
    8. Using reliable zoom ratios
      5m 30s
    9. Calculating the actual print size
      4m 54s
    10. Gauging the ideal sharpening settings
      6m 13s
  2. 59m 31s
    1. Everyone knows you sharpen last (and everyone is wrong)
      1m 8s
    2. Understanding the conventional sharpening workflow
      5m 4s
    3. Flattening and saving to TIFF
      6m 39s
    4. Downsampling (and why you shouldn't upsample)
      6m 8s
    5. Understanding last-step sharpening
      6m 44s
    6. Recognizing problems with the conventional workflow
      9m 38s
    7. Erasing sharpening with the history brush
      4m 30s
    8. Using alternative sharpening workflows
      2m 37s
    9. Sharpening a scanned photograph shot on film
      2m 45s
    10. Sharpening a digital photograph
      3m 6s
    11. Sharpening specific details
      3m 43s
    12. Finding broad workflow conclusions
      2m 49s
    13. Learning that technique trumps timing
      4m 40s
  3. 1h 27m
    1. Comparing and contrasting neighboring pixels
      1m 6s
    2. Using the Gaussian Blur filter
      4m 25s
    3. Using Gaussian luminance distribution
      4m 47s
    4. Using the Unsharp Mask filter
      4m 54s
    5. Understanding the history of Unsharp Mask
      3m 51s
    6. Building your own USM with Gaussian Blur
      7m 35s
    7. Using the Smart Sharpen filter
      7m 35s
    8. Compensating for camera shake
      8m 50s
    9. Building your own Smart Sharpen with Lens Blur
      6m 59s
    10. Using directional sharpening with Emboss
      9m 13s
    11. Using Smart Sharpen extras
      8m 56s
    12. Using Convolution Kernels for more accuracy
      7m 8s
    13. Using the High Pass filter
      7m 32s
    14. Using Luminance Sharpening
      5m 5s
  4. 2h 14m
    1. Smoothing filters, smart objects, and masks
      1m 25s
    2. Using the Median filter and Dust and Scratches
      7m 7s
    3. Using Smart Blur and Surface Blur
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Despeckle filter
      8m 17s
    5. Softening flesh tones selectively
      10m 15s
    6. Using the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 27s
    7. Combining smoothing and sharpening
      8m 24s
    8. Making an image into a smart object
      9m 24s
    9. Applying editable smart filters
      6m 8s
    10. Combining two smart filters
      8m 5s
    11. Assigning a filter mask
      5m 59s
    12. Nesting one smart object inside another
      10m 32s
    13. Employing a static High Pass layer
      8m 59s
    14. Matching static pixel-level edits
      4m 37s
    15. Avoiding clipping with luminance blending
      9m 7s
    16. Sharpening and smoothing
      6m 36s
    17. Making an edge mask
      8m 14s
    18. Making a non-edge mask
      7m 17s
  5. 1h 33m
    1. Sharpening with Adobe Camera Raw
      1m 29s
    2. Introducing Camera Raw (4.1 or later)
      8m 13s
    3. Understanding why to sharpen for source
      5m 14s
    4. Using Camera Raw’s sharpening control
      5m 52s
    5. Previewing limitations and tricks
      6m 45s
    6. Why downsampling doesn’t work
      3m 12s
    7. Reducing chromatic aberration
      7m 30s
    8. Using the Defringe option
      3m 32s
    9. Understanding high frequency, low radius
      5m 21s
    10. Raising the Detail value
      3m 6s
    11. Using on-the-fly edge masking
      5m 41s
    12. Sharpening a low-frequency portrait
      6m 36s
    13. Eliminating color noise
      4m 47s
    14. Reducing luminance noise
      4m 42s
    15. Correcting “false sharpening”
      7m 15s
    16. Reducing shadow noise
      5m 22s
    17. Approximating ACR sharpening in Photoshop
      8m 35s
  6. 59m 8s
    1. Gauging and exploiting luminance frequency
      1m 27s
    2. Using low-frequency source sharpening
      5m 53s
    3. Using High Pass for portraits
      4m 19s
    4. Actioning a low-frequency edge mask
      7m 42s
    5. Modifying the source sharpening
      5m 21s
    6. Using high-frequency source sharpening
      5m 26s
    7. Using Smart Sharpen for cityscapes
      3m 2s
    8. Actioning a high-frequency edge mask
      5m 4s
    9. Downplaying color artifacts and clipping
      4m 4s
    10. Sharpening a medium-frequency image
      5m 24s
    11. Sharpening a layered composition
      7m 16s
    12. Sharpening for multiple frequencies
      4m 10s
  7. 1h 8m
    1. Who needs dull when you have sharp?
      56s
    2. Focusing in on a person’s eyes
      4m 22s
    3. Blurring the area outside the eyes
      4m 22s
    4. Sharpening eyes and other details
      5m 38s
    5. Darkening the lashes and eyebrows
      7m 13s
    6. Sharpening dark-haired people
      5m 2s
    7. Edge mask and emphasize
      3m 39s
    8. Nesting a Smart Sharpen effect
      4m 48s
    9. Density mask sharpening
      5m 35s
    10. Adding depth of field
      4m 39s
    11. Sharpening a background
      4m 23s
    12. Masking background from foreground
      8m 51s
    13. Eliminating halos around a person
      5m 38s
    14. Deepening and warming a background
      3m 28s
  8. 1h 18m
    1. Reverting back to convention
      1m 37s
    2. Understanding the use-neutral composition
      4m 15s
    3. Restoring much-needed antialiasing
      4m 2s
    4. Reducing noise in a high-frequency image
      7m 24s
    5. Making a third-level smart object
      3m 55s
    6. Preparing an image for print
      5m 18s
    7. Using ideal settings for commercial reproduction
      5m 37s
    8. Calculating very large-format settings
      5m 11s
    9. Using ideal settings for inkjet output
      4m 26s
    10. Sharpening for commercial reproduction
      5m 45s
    11. Sharpening for inkjet output
      4m 58s
    12. Revealing high-frequency multipass sharpening
      5m 21s
    13. Using Gaussian Blur to sharpen hair
      5m 41s
    14. Flatten, Save As, Resample, and Sharpen
      5m 9s
    15. Revealing low-frequency multipass sharpening
      3m 30s
    16. Sharpening an image for web or screen
      6m 22s
  9. 1m 50s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 50s

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