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Real focus happens inside the camera's lens element. The sharpening features in Photoshop CS3 exaggerate the contrast along edges in a photograph to transform a well-focused image into an outstanding image. In Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images, Deke McClelland teaches a host of sharpening and noise reduction techniques, including using filters such as Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen, High Pass, and Reduce Noise. The training teaches the essentials of sharpening, including what it does, why it's important, and how the filters function. Plus, the training covers Deke's recommended best practices, including the four distinct varieties of sharpening, which can be used independently or in combination with each other. Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images is about how to transform images from looking good to looking their absolute best. Exercise files accompany the course.
Alright gang, in this exercise we are going to be Daniel Booning it again. We are going to be doing it old style. This time around we are going to be building Smart Sharpen using nothing more than the Lens Blur filter in one case and the Motion Blur filter in another case. So this is not a technique that I am suggesting you use; this is complete and total theory. The only reason I offer it because it helped me understand how Smart Sharpen is put together and it help me know how to use the filter. So presumably it is going to help some of you as well if you think like me. God forbid. So what I have got here is this document called More testing.PSD and that's found inside the 03 sharpen filters folder.
Notice that it's got a flatten version of the serpentine line with the texture background, blah, blah, blah. And in front of that we have two Smart Sharpen variations, hence the ss, and then the x means either the Lens Blur variation or in the case of MB, we have got the Motion Blur variation. So with Lens Blur, I have applied- I'll go ahead and zoom-in so we can really see the effect there. With Lens Blur, I have applied an Amount value of 100, as you can see over here in the layer name, and a Radius value of 12. Note that by the way, 12, because we'll be approaching this a little differently with Lens Blur.
Then with Motion Blur, I will go ahead and turn it on and notice that it will shift slightly on screen there. You can see that now we have a directional blur going on so that its appearing just on the right and left side. So that is a directional effect as what should I say and that's both with the dark halo and the light halo instead of omni-directional, that is surrounding the entire circle. So that is SSxMB 100 for the Amount value, 20 for the radius time and then 0 for the angle. So lets go ahead and build these ourselves using nothing more than, in this case the Lens Blur filter and a nine volt battery.
In another words, we are getting very rustic here. I am going to go ahead and select the Background layer; the other two layers are turned off. Then I am going to press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command Option+J in the Mac in order to jump this layer and name it of course. I will call this one Lens Blur and this time its going to be a Lens Blur with a Radius value of 24. Now notice how that compares with the Smart Sharpen filter set to Lens Blur, we are using the Radius value of 12. I was telling you how the Lens Blur radius is more subtle than the Gaussian Blur radius.
Well it's so subtle that you actually have to double the Lens Blur to even get there. So Lens Blur is just a more subtle filter in the first place. So go ahead and click OK so its actually twice the Radius value. Then I am going to go up to the Filter menu, I am going to choose Blur and I am going to choose Lens Blur. Now the whole idea behind Lens Blur is that its simulating actual optical blur, the kind of blur you would get if you unfocused your camera; if you want to focus on, for example, a background that would be a Lens Blur. So I'll go ahead and choose that very different from a Gaussian Blur, much more complicated as you can see as well.
These are the default values you are seeing here. I am just going to change one value. Assuming default settings, I am just going to change the Radius value to 24, we are going to leave everything else set the way it is. So Shape is Hexagon, Blade Curvature is 0, Rotation is 0. Look at the values, make sure those are same as yours then if you are following along with me, of course, then click OK in order to apply that Lens Blur. Now I am going to create another duplicate of the Background layer by pressing Ctrl+Alt+J or Command Option+J on the Mac and we'll call this one Orig minus LBlur this time around and I'll drag it to the top, we are going to go to Apply Image under the Image menu.
And I am going to change the Layer from Merged, I certainly don't want; I want it to be Lens Blur 24 and we are going to go ahead and subtract, the Blending should be set to Subtract, Invert should be turned off and these are values you should be set the way you see them then click OK. Notice we get a very subtle effect this time around. I am going to go ahead and zoom-in so you can see that a very subtle highlighting effect right there. Now we need to apply it to the original image so lets go back to the original image, Ctrl+Alt+J, Command Option+J on a Mac, and I am going to go ahead and call this guy Orig+(O-LB) this time around and then I'll click OK in order to accept that.
Move it to the top of the stack, go up to the Image menu, choose the Apply Image command. I am going to go ahead and change the layer this time around to this guy, Orig minus LBlur, and we are going to add it of course in order to get a highlight effect as you are seeing there. Click OK in order to accept that. Now once again, we are going to go back to the Background layer and going to press Ctrl+Alt+J, Command Option+J on the Mac to jump it, we are going to call this one Orig plus LBlur. Click OK, go ahead and move that guy to the top of the stack.
Go up to the Image menu, choose the Apply Image command and I am going to change the layer this time around back to Lens Blur. We are going to turn on the Invert checkbox and we are going to leave the Blending mode set to Add. You can see that we have these nice dark haloes this time around. I will click the OK button in order to accept that modification. Lets go to Orig+(O-LB), press Ctrl+Alt+J, Command Option+J on the Mac and we'll change the name of this new layer to - and this will be O+ LB and then oopsactually, inv. We want invert. I didn't add this time around, we do want to invert.
That will be the name and click Ok and of course, layer names aren't absolutely essential, you get the layer name, right? We are just going for a technique here- not a technique, just some theory. So I move that guy to the top of the stack. Lets go up to the Image menu, well choose the Apply Image command. I am going to change the layer to Orig plus LBlur and I am going to make sure that the Invert checkbox is turned on still and I am going to change this guy to Subtract. So the Blend mode is Subtract this time around. To invoke the dark halos, click OK and that is the finished effect. Now lets go ahead and compare it to Lens Blur to SSXLB 100/12.
I'll go ahead and turn on that layer and you can see its identical; exactly the same effect. The one weird thing that you have to do is you have to double that Lens Blur value. So Smart Sharpen goes ahead and doubles the effect of the Lens Blur as it applies it, that's the only difference. That's how you create the Smart Sharpen filters, the Lens Blur variation using just the Lens Blur filter. It turns out you can do exactly the same if you have a mind to. You can follow those exact steps and do the very same thing with Motion Blur with the Motion Blur filter. Abd I'll just go ahead and show you under the Filter menu, you got to Blur and you got a Motion Blur, this guy right there.
You run through the exact same steps and you will get the Motion Blur variation of Smart Sharpen as well. So that's where those function come from,. So Smart Sharpen, just like Unsharp Mask, is using Gaussian Blur in order to invoke a sharpening effect, Smart Sharpen is using either a Gaussian Blur or Lens Blur or Motion Blur to invoke its sharpening effect as well. In the next exercise, I am going to show you yet another way to account for Motion Blur inside of an image but this time we'll use the Emboss filter.
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