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Downsampling (and why you shouldn't upsample)


Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

with Deke McClelland

Video: Downsampling (and why you shouldn't upsample)

Alright, so here we are in the midst of the conventional sharpening workflow. The next step is to resample the image for print. So I now in the case of this image right here and by the way, I am working in a catch up document called Flattened holiday.TIFF that's found inside the 02_when_to_sharpen folder. If you are still working in your version of the document, that's fine, just keep working along. I just provide this so that people can catch up if they want to and you may recall that this the 2007, so last year version of my family holiday card right here.
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  1. 50m 30s
    1. Why every image needs sharpening
      2m 37s
    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 55s
    10. Gauging the ideal sharpening settings
      6m 13s
  2. 59m 28s
    1. Everyone knows you sharpen last (and everyone is wrong)
      1m 7s
    2. Understanding the conventional sharpening workflow
      5m 3s
    3. Flattening and saving to TIFF
      6m 40s
    4. Downsampling (and why you shouldn't upsample)
      6m 8s
    5. Understanding last-step sharpening
      6m 43s
    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 48s
    13. Learning that technique trumps timing
      4m 40s
  3. 1h 30m
    1. Comparing and contrasting neighboring pixels
      1m 6s
    2. Using the Gaussian Blur filter
      4m 25s
    3. Using Gaussian luminance distribution
      7m 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 24s
    2. Using the Median filter and Dust and Scratches
      7m 6s
    3. Using Smart Blur and Surface Blur
      6m 14s
    4. Using the Despeckle filter
      8m 18s
    5. Softening flesh tones selectively
      10m 16s
    6. Using the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 27s
    7. Combining smoothing and sharpening
      8m 23s
    8. Making an image into a smart object
      9m 23s
    9. Applying editable smart filters
      6m 10s
    10. Combining two smart filters
      8m 6s
    11. Assigning a filter mask
      5m 59s
    12. Nesting one smart object inside another
      10m 31s
    13. Employing a static High Pass layer
      9m 0s
    14. Matching static pixel-level edits
      4m 37s
    15. Avoiding clipping with luminance blending
      9m 7s
    16. Sharpening and smoothing
      6m 37s
    17. Making an edge mask
      8m 15s
    18. Making a non-edge mask
      7m 17s
  5. 1h 33m
    1. Sharpening with Adobe Camera Raw
      1m 28s
    2. Introducing Camera Raw (4.1 or later)
      8m 12s
    3. Understanding why to sharpen for source
      5m 14s
    4. Using Camera Raw’s sharpening control
      5m 51s
    5. Previewing limitations and tricks
      6m 45s
    6. Why downsampling doesn’t work
      3m 12s
    7. Reducing chromatic aberration
      7m 29s
    8. Using the Defringe option
      3m 31s
    9. Understanding high frequency, low radius
      5m 21s
    10. Raising the Detail value
      3m 6s
    11. Using on-the-fly edge masking
      5m 40s
    12. Sharpening a low-frequency portrait
      6m 35s
    13. Eliminating color noise
      4m 47s
    14. Reducing luminance noise
      4m 41s
    15. Correcting “false sharpening”
      7m 14s
    16. Reducing shadow noise
      5m 22s
    17. Approximating ACR sharpening in Photoshop
      8m 35s
  6. 59m 12s
    1. Gauging and exploiting luminance frequency
      1m 26s
    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 1s
    8. Actioning a high-frequency edge mask
      5m 5s
    9. Downplaying color artifacts and clipping
      4m 5s
    10. Sharpening a medium-frequency image
      5m 25s
    11. Sharpening a layered composition
      7m 17s
    12. Sharpening for multiple frequencies
      4m 12s
  7. 1h 8m
    1. Who needs dull when you have sharp?
    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 38s
    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 27s
  8. 1h 18m
    1. Reverting back to convention
      1m 36s
    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 19s
    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 44s
    11. Sharpening for inkjet output
      4m 57s
    12. Revealing high-frequency multipass sharpening
      5m 21s
    13. Using Gaussian Blur to sharpen hair
      5m 42s
    14. Flatten, Save As, Resample, and Sharpen
      5m 10s
    15. Revealing low-frequency multipass sharpening
      3m 31s
    16. Sharpening an image for web or screen
      6m 22s
  9. 1m 51s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 51s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
10h 33m Intermediate Feb 15, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the effects of sharpening
  • In-depth examinations of Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen, Emboss, and High Pass
  • Smoothing an image with the Surface Blur, Despeckle, and Reduce Noise features
  • Working with smart objects and smart filters
  • Creating edge masks and non-edge masks
  • Sharpening for digital-image capture using Camera Raw
  • Gauging and exploiting luminance frequency
  • Exploring creative applications of sharpening
  • Sharpening a multilayer composition
  • Sharpening eyes, hair, and out-of-focus backgrounds
  • Reducing noise in a high-frequency image
  • Determining ideal settings for commercial and inkjet output
  • Sharpening very large-format images
  • Sharpening an image for the web or screen output
Deke McClelland

Downsampling (and why you shouldn't upsample)

Alright, so here we are in the midst of the conventional sharpening workflow. The next step is to resample the image for print. So I now in the case of this image right here and by the way, I am working in a catch up document called Flattened holiday.TIFF that's found inside the 02_when_to_sharpen folder. If you are still working in your version of the document, that's fine, just keep working along. I just provide this so that people can catch up if they want to and you may recall that this the 2007, so last year version of my family holiday card right here.

I now need to sample it down so that it becomes four inches wide by seven inches tall. That's what I am going for. So I'll go up to the Image menu, and I'll choose the Image Size command or I can press Ctrl+Alt+I or Command+Option+I on the Mac in order to bring up the Image Size dialog box. Now the first thing that I want to do is I want to turn on the Resample Image checkbox. So make sure that's turned on. Also make sure that Constrain Proportions is turned on. We don't care about Scale Styles because we are working with a flattened version of the image so we don't have any layer styles but might as well leave it turned on too since it's a best practice.

Now I want to change all of these values: Width, Height and Resolution. So I am hard-pressed to know whether I am downsampling or upsampling. I was telling you that downsampling is good, contrary to what you might think. Downsampling is good because getting rid of pixels froces Photoshop to smooth away noise inside the image, to smooth away rough transitions. That ends up creating a cleaner version of the image whereas upsampling just adds unnecessary pixels. That adds pixels that don't do you any good; they are just weird transitional averaging pixels because Photoshop doesn't know any better; it can't invent detail out of whole cloth and as a result you get more complexity but you don't get more information.

So anyway, how do I know that I am going the right route? Well, go ahead and enter your values for starter. I know this one is to be four inches wide, seven inches tall and I also know that I want to print at a resolution of 360 pixels per inch. Now that's pretty high. The reason I am going a little high is because I've got text inside of my document. So any time you have high-contrast art work, whether it's graphic art of text, you want to go on the high side of your Resolution value. So I could even go higher than this if I want to but I'll stick with 360.

Now how do I know that I've downsampled or upsampled? I might have upsampled, never know. Well, you go up here to your Pixel Dimensions and you note the values. If the first value is lower than the second value, which it is in our case, then you are downsampling and that's a good thing. So it's 10.4 megabytes, that's what it's going to be. It was, before I brought the dialog box up, it was 18.5 megabytes, which is bigger, so I am downsampling. What if you look at it and you notice you are upsampling? For example, let's say I really want to print this at 12 inches wide and 21 inches tall, sort of almost a poster.

I still want to go with the resolution of 360 pixels per inch, that's my preference anyway. Then I look at the Pixel Dimensions and I see gosh, it's going to be 93.4 megabytes. Now that's really big, it used to be 18.5 megabytes, I'd say that it's upsample. Now you might think, wow! Almost 100 megabytes. That's going to be a great file, a super high resolution file. Not really- you are just adding a bunch of pixels. They are not doing you any good; they are meaningless pixels, so you are just adding complexity. If you see this happen, turned off the Resample Image checkbox so that you are not re-sampling, you are not changing the actual number of pixels inside the image.

Then enter your desired Width and Height values and it's going to tell you 'Hey, your resolution is only going to be 160 pixels per inch, buddy, that's the best I can do for you.' That's OK. That it is preferable to print low-resolution art work than to add a bunch of pixels that don't do you any good whatsoever. I have problems getting that across to people; a lot of people don't believe me. Do the work yourself. You are going to find out that those new pixels that you would create, if you raise that Resolution value are meaningless; they are just junk pixels. That's not what we want to do; we want to go ahead and take this value down.

I am going to go and turn the Resample Image checkbox back on, I'll take the Width value down to four inches, the Height value down to seven inches. I am going to raise the Resolution about to 360 pixels per inch and then I am going to click on OK in order to downsample the image and there it is. Now there was one option that I skipped there. I am going to undo that modification and bring that dialog box back up by pressing Ctrl+Alt+I or Command+Option+I on the a Mac. Let's enter those values again. 4, tab down here to 360, so we've got 4, 7, 360, we know we are downsampling.

What about our interpolation options? Should you be working with Bicubic, you definitely don't want Bilinear or Nearest Neighbor, those guys are bad for our purposes here. But do you want Bicubic, which is best for smooth gradients supposedly? Do you want to Bicubic Smoother, which is best for enlargement- but I am telling you, you never want to do that. You don't want to adjust enlarge for a print; you sometimes want to enlarge in order to make layers match each other but that's all. What do you want Bicubic Sharper, which is best for reduction, which is what we are going to do here. So naturally if you reading this and you believe Adobe, you would think I want Bicubic Sharper.

Of course, I want to sharpen the image anyway because I need to account for the downsampling, which introduce the softness, so this is the way to go. No, it's not the way to go. You want to work with best for smooth gradients. This is nuts, this is just utter and complete hogwash by the way. Bicubic Smoother is great if you have a very noisy image, and you want to get rid of the noise. Bicubic Sharper is great if you don't have any noise inside the image whatsoever and you don't anticipate applying any more sharpening to the image, which we are going to do, and actually sharpening the image manually is better way to work.

So let's just go away with what is the best option and what's the default option as well, it has nothing do with gradients, which is Bicubic. So those are the settings that I want you to apply, now go ahead and click on the OK button in order to resample the image once again and this is dramatically reduced version of the image actually. It's quite a bit smaller; it is now ready to print. The only thing that's left to do, given the conventional sharpening workflow, the only thing that's left to do is to apply some sharpening settings and we are going to do that in the next exercise.

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