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Calculating very large-format settings

From: Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

Video: Calculating very large-format settings

In the previous exercise we were talking about the ideal sharpening settings for commercial reproduction, and I was suggesting different Radius values to apply using the High Pass filter based on the print resolution,. And the idea is we want those halos to be as small as they possibly can while remaining visible. If they get any bigger they become obvious halos and that ruins the effect. If they become any smaller, they are not visible at all anymore and you're not going to see the results of your sharpening. These values have been put through the paces, they should work out beautifully for you, but they assume that you're seeing the artwork up-close and personal, so no farther way then about a foot.

Calculating very large-format settings

In the previous exercise we were talking about the ideal sharpening settings for commercial reproduction, and I was suggesting different Radius values to apply using the High Pass filter based on the print resolution,. And the idea is we want those halos to be as small as they possibly can while remaining visible. If they get any bigger they become obvious halos and that ruins the effect. If they become any smaller, they are not visible at all anymore and you're not going to see the results of your sharpening. These values have been put through the paces, they should work out beautifully for you, but they assume that you're seeing the artwork up-close and personal, so no farther way then about a foot.

That works great for your print publications, for books and your magazines and your newsletters and newspapers and so on and so on. It also works well for calendar art, it works well for posters that you put on a wall inside of your home or office, it works well for artwork that you're printing yourself and hanging. Where this breaks down is if you're talking about very, very large artwork that's going to be viewed from a distance, say 5-feet or more away, and that would be images that are blown up on the side of bus or on a billboard or printed on a side of a building or images that are hung very high in a gallery, very, very large images that are hung high so that you can't get very close to them.

In that case you've got to bear in mind that as you walk away from your artwork, these halos get smaller and smaller and smaller, and the pixels in general gets smaller and smaller and smaller. In fact, your image gets higher res as you back away from it. So consider this. Imagine that you're looking at an 11x17 piece of artwork on a wall. So that's a standard tabloid size piece of artwork, right? 11 inches wide x 17 inches tall and its five feet away. That image is going to look the same as an image that's just 2 inches wide x 3.5 inches tall that's a foot away.

That's the kind of difference that it makes. So just a tiny image a foot away looks as big as much larger one five feet away. What does that mean to us? Well, let me show you. I am going to switch to this fairly nondescript image right here. I have not provided it to you; it's just a demonstrational image and obviously doesn't contain anything. The thing that's interesting about it is how big it is. I am going to press Ctrl+Alt+I or Command+Option+I in a Mac to bring up the Image Size command, and this is the guy that's just a foot away. It's 2.2 inches wide, 2.267 x 3.5 inches tall with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch.

I am going to turn off the Resample Image checkbox, and I am going to change that Height value to 17 inches, the one that's five feet away from us. Notice, I am just letting the resolution drop to 60 pixels per inch. that's going to look the same, even though it's an extremely low resolution artwork. If I am guaranteed that nobody is going come within five feet of this piece of artwork, they will never know its low res. It will appear to them just like a 300 pixels per inch image inside of a magazine. So it's going to look great, in other words, even though it has no resolution to speak of.

We are also going to have to, however, factor in the fact the halos have gotten smaller, so we have to multiply them times five. Notice that 60 is 1/5th of 300. So we are going to have to multiply for five, meaning five for five feet or more away or we are going to have multiply times five in order to figure out the proper Radius value that we want to apply using the High Pass command. Alright, so I am just going to go ahead and cancel out of there. Now we can let the resolution drop when we know that the image is going to be viewed from a distance.

We cant afford to do that if the peson might get close to the image. So if you have a big huge gallery quality image that somebody could walk very close to it just hanging at about four-and-a-half feet high or something like that, they can get very close and peer at the details and then they can backup in taking the entire image, then you've got to keep that guy high res. It's only if you know theres no way they're going to be close to it, like a billboard. My Gosh! People are going to come within 20 feet of a billboard, so you can let the resolution drop, and by the way they do let the resolution drop.

If you were to get up there and take a close look at the billboard, you would see pixels. Lets go back to our little chart right here. If your image might be viewed up close then you've got to stick with the values I've given you. If, however, your image is not going to be viewed any closer than five feet away, then go ahead and figure out what resolution you are working with and multiply it times five. So if you are working with a 100 pixels per inch, that's going to be your resolution, then you need to calculate that for purposes of this chart you're working with a 500 pixels per inch image which means you need to go much higher with your Radius value.

In fact, if its a 100 pixel per inch and that multiples out to 500 pixels per inch then you are going to be applying something that's about twice as 220 value right here, and that would be about 3 pixels, about 3 to 3.5 pixels of Radius with High Pass. If you are going higher obviously you need to take these values up as well. So remember if it's going to be viewed from 5 feet away or more, multiply these values by five. If it's going to be viewed up close, stick with what youve got here. In the next exercise we are going to be talking about ideal sharpening settings for your inkjet output.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

115 video lessons · 17102 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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