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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. So here we are looking at the obnoxiously sharpened image at this point and in case you want to bring that obnoxiously sharpened image up on your screen. I've saved a catch up document called Smart Sharpen and edge mask.PSD which is found inside of the 06_For_Detail folder. Now it's an over the top sharpening effect. It looks pretty nasty on screen at this point. Despite the fact that we have this wonderful edge mask in play. Some of the reasons are, if we zoom in on the cab here, you can see that we have got some pretty nasty edges going on.
For one thing, we have a lot of color artifacts showing up. For example, along the side of this shadow that's being cast by the mirror, the rear view mirror here. It's got a very harsh edge, as you can see, and we've red going along one side of the edge and sort of blue going on, a little bit of blue going on the left side of the edge. So we have that color artifact. We also have some clipped highlights and some clipped shadows so some very nasty halos going on inside of the image.
We can temper both of those problems to a certain extent. We don't want to completely get rid off our halos, we just want to down play them and we will do that by changing the blending options. So go over to the Layers palette and you'll see that you have in the case this image anyway, I've got the cabs and the city Smart Object, then I've the Smart Sharpen filter applied to it as the Smart Filter of course, and I've got the Filter Mask. Next to the word Smart Sharpen, it's a little blending icon, go ahead and double click on it to bring up the Blending Options dialog box and it may take a moment and you may get this progress bar because there's a lot going on inside of this image, aggressive application of the Smart Sharpen filter with the More Accurate check box on, which takes more time to apply.
Now I want you to change mode from Normal to, of course, Luminosity. Right, that's the first step in order to get rid of the color artifacting and notice how that just went away. We got rid of that weird red edge there and we down played the blue edge as well. So we still have a little bit of coloring going on but not nearly what we've before. Next, I want you to change the Opacity value to 66%. This is going to workout beautifully for us and you can see how those clipped wide edges, go back into the visual range. So they are no longer cliped, they are no longer absolute white.
They are now obvious highlights, but they are visible highlights. Alright. AlSo by the way, we have down played the shadows, so that helps and I'll click OK in order to accept that modification. So just to give you a sense of what a big difference that very simple change made, this is before- see how we have got those edges going on. I'll zoom in even farther so you can really check it out there. You can see those brightly colored edges and you can see those blown highlights as well and this is after much more tempered, I shouldn't say much because it is a fairly subtle effect, but it makes a big difference.
I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+0 or Command+Option+0 to zoom out to the 100% view size and just so we have a sense of what we have accomplished here, this is the image as it appears without all of the Smart Sharpen stuff going on and this is the image after applying Smart Sharpen. So even though we've applied these very aggressive settings its a fairly subtle modification even at a 100% and if you zoom out a 50% its a subtle modification indeed. This is before and this is after, but it does make a difference.
It does sharpen up those tiny little details inside of the image. I'm going to go ahead and Shift+Tab away my palettes and zoom out to 25% so we can take in the entire sharpened cityscape and you can see at this sides here, this is not an over-sharpened image at all and in fact, it will print very well, especially after we add an application of output sharpening in a couple of chapters. In the next exercise, we are going to take a quick look at a medium frequency image and then after that we are going to see how we can balance multiple images sharpened for details and multiple images on multiple layers at the same time.
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