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Density mask sharpening

From: Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

Video: Density mask sharpening

All right, now put the Density Mask. I am still working inside of that Jet black hair.PSD image that you can find inside of the 07_For_Effect folder. And what I have done is, I have gone ahead and double clickws on the Smart Object, so that I am looking at the Smart Object that's why its called Layer O2.PSD on screen. Your's might be call something different. I went ahead and converted the background layer to a Smart Object. I loaded the red channel as a selection outline and I applied the Smart Sharpen filter. Now my Smart Sharpening effect, which happens to be over the top, I have got a 500% Amount value going, is affecting just the lightest detail, just the highlights inside of the image.

Density mask sharpening

All right, now put the Density Mask. I am still working inside of that Jet black hair.PSD image that you can find inside of the 07_For_Effect folder. And what I have done is, I have gone ahead and double clickws on the Smart Object, so that I am looking at the Smart Object that's why its called Layer O2.PSD on screen. Your's might be call something different. I went ahead and converted the background layer to a Smart Object. I loaded the red channel as a selection outline and I applied the Smart Sharpen filter. Now my Smart Sharpening effect, which happens to be over the top, I have got a 500% Amount value going, is affecting just the lightest detail, just the highlights inside of the image.

A little bit of mid-tones and it's not affecting the shadows at all. that's exactly the opposite of what I want and that's a function of the fact that I am working with a Straight Luminance Mask, which happened to be a copy of my red channel as I was saying. What I want is a Density Mask, which happens to be the exact opposite of a Luminance Mask. So all I do to get a Density Mask is I press Ctrl+ I or Command+I on the Mac to invert the colors. Voila! We have a density mask and incidentally, it gets its name after ink densities.

So where the inks are denser, they are going to be darker; where the inks are less dense, they are going to be lighter. Alright, so it just happens to be the inversion of a Luminance Mask, however, despite its fancy name. Now I am going to Alt-click or Option-click on the Filter Mask thumbnail in order to return to the full color image and you can see that we are now affecting the darkest color inside the image, the shadow detail. And we are living the highlight detail alone. We are still affecting the highlight detail just a little bit however.

If I zoom in on the eye for example, if I turn off the Smart Sharpen effect, you can see that we are bringing out those highlights around the eye and I don't want to do that. I don't want to bring out any of this glitter or any of the other surface details in her skin. So I am going to make the dark luminance levels inside of this Filter Mask that much darker. So I am going to click on the Filter Mask thumbnail to make it active, then I am going to press Ctrl+L or Command+L on the Mac to bring up the Levels dialog box and I am going to drag this black slider triangle over to a 100.

So we want the black point value right here to be a 100, meaning anything that has a luminance level of a 100 or darker is going to become black and that's going to do a great job of protecting the highlights because we have inverted the mask of course. So the shadows are going to protect the highlights. I will click OK in order to accept that modification. So this is before. See how we have got a lot more highlights showing up inside this image, getting sharpened that is to say, and this is after. Now there is still one more modification I need to make to this effect.

If you take a close look at the hair detail and some other details inside the image as well, you will see that there is some color artifacting that's occurring here because we are sharpening not only the luminance levels, but also the color values inside this image. We need to change that by double clicking on the little blend icon to the right of the word Smart Sharpen and I am going to change the mode from Normal to Luminosity; standard stuff of course. Then I will click Ok in order to accept that modification and you can see those little color pixels go away and this was before. If you look very, very closely inside the video you will see them right here and this is after they disappear.

It's a subtle change, but a very important change as well. You never know when those color details, those little color artifacts are going to come bite you when the image goes to print. Alright, we are done; this the Density Mask, the embedded Density Mask inside of this image. I want you now to go up to the File menu and choose the Close Command. Photoshop is going to ask you if you want to save your changes to the Smart Object. Click the Yes button here on the PC or the Save button I believe its called on the Mac and you will return to the larger composition that contains of course the yowo layer right there and the High Pass filter that's modified by an Edge Mask.

Now I had said a couple of exercises ago, I went ahead and set this High Pass effect to the over the top blend mode of Linear Light and that's too much. We no longer need that kind of emphasis for High Pass anymore. So lets go and settle things down, return it to a reasonable level of sharpness by double clicking on that blend icon and changing the mode from Linear Light to Overlay, which is going to workout much better for us of course. Then go ahead and click Ok in order to accept that modification and we now have some brilliant details going on inside of the hair. Check it out.

If you zoom in there, you are going to see some very nice hair contrast going on and the eye looks spectacular as well. And we are not bringing out any surface detail inside of that skin. So just to give you a sense of what we have accomplished in the last couple of exercises with the addition of the Density Mask Sharpening Pass, I will go ahead and press the F12 key to revert to the original version of Jet black hair. So this is the High Pass only effect with High Pass set to Linear Light and you can see how we are bringing out some sharpening inside of the highlight and this is the result of toning down High Pass and focusing in on the shadow detail thanks to that Density Mask.

A much better affect. Works great for your dark hair people and of course for blondes, who aren't really blondes, who have got their blondes in a bottle and you want to bring out the eyebrows and the eyelashes and other dark detail, other shadow details inside of your professional quality portraits.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

115 video lessons · 16967 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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