Photoshop CS4: Sharpening Images New Features
Illustration by John Hersey

Photoshop CS4: Sharpening Images New Features

with Deke McClelland

Video: Evaluating the print size

This exercise is by way of preparation for the next exercise. What we're going to do in the next exercise, I am going to show you how to measure the resolution of your screen. In this exercise, I am going to show you why in the world we would want to do such a thing. Now the idea is we need to accurately judge how our sharpened image is going to print. The thing is, our image is going to print a lot smaller than it looks on screen, and so things like halos are going to start disappearing because they are going to be packed in a smaller amount of space, and then we stand the chance of loosening our sharpened effect if we are not careful.

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS4: Sharpening Images New Features
58m 40s Intermediate Sep 25, 2009

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Photoshop CS4 New Features: Sharpening Images explores the changes to CS4's image-sharpening tools. As a companion to Deke McClelland's Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images, this short course teaches the new features for sharpening in CS4, focusing on the OpenGL support. OpenGL allows the user to preview an image at the size it will print, rather than waiting on output. For more information on sharpening after this course, continue with Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images. Exercise files accompany this course.

Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Evaluating the print size

This exercise is by way of preparation for the next exercise. What we're going to do in the next exercise, I am going to show you how to measure the resolution of your screen. In this exercise, I am going to show you why in the world we would want to do such a thing. Now the idea is we need to accurately judge how our sharpened image is going to print. The thing is, our image is going to print a lot smaller than it looks on screen, and so things like halos are going to start disappearing because they are going to be packed in a smaller amount of space, and then we stand the chance of loosening our sharpened effect if we are not careful.

So we want to be able to view the image as it will look when it prints, and you can do that by going to the View menu and choosing the print Size command right here. That will simulate the size at which the image prints. Under the right circumstances, by default, it's not going to work right. So I'll just tell you that right now. Don't choose the command. We'll come back to it in a couple of exercises. Notice it has a keyboard shortcut. I am just bringing that up, because yours might not. Mine has got a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Alt+0, Command+Option+0 on the Mac.

That's because I have my Deke keys keyboard shortcuts loaded. If you would like to load those shortcuts, then go to my Photoshop CS4 One-on-One Fundamental series and you will find my Deke keys shortcuts there. I tell you how to install those shortcuts in the series. Go ahead and do that. Come on back. That's just an FYI. Anyway, what this print Size command is designed to do is show you the image at the size it will print. But in order for it to work properly, we have to know the screen resolution so that Photoshop can compare the screen resolution to the print resolution, and show us the image properly on screen.

As I say it's not set up to do that by default. It thinks the screen resolution is 72 pixels per inch, and I'm here to tell you, it ain't. All right, so let me first explain why this whole thing is so important. Why do you care about seeing the image at the size it's going to print? I'm still working in sharpshapes.psd. I have gone ahead and restored the Standard view right here, the unsharpened version of the image. Let's switch over to the Sharpened View. I'm looking at the image at the 200% zoom ratio, so the image looks over-sharpened. But bear in mind it's going to print way smaller than this.

So let's say I press Ctrl+Minus or Command+Minus on the Mac. Now I am seeing the image at the 100% zoom ratio, which means that I am seeing one image pixel for every screen pixel. Again, that's much bigger than the image it's going to print, but we are starting to see the sharpening effect decline a little bit. This is the original version of the image, pre-sharpened. This is the Sharpened version of the image. So you should be able to tell the difference there in the video. Now imagine I zoom out even more. I'll go ahead and take this image out to the 50% zoom size by pressing Ctrl+Minus a couple times in row.

That's Command+Minus on the Mac. Now let's compare the Standard view of the image to the Sharpened view of the image. Much less of a difference. And the reason is, we are losing our halos. We are not losing the Amount value. The Amount still stays, but the halos go smaller and smaller, so that Radius value is in decline, essentially. And if our halos disappear to nothing, there goes our sharpening effect, because without the halos, we have no sharpness. Let's go ahead and take this out now to 25% view size, by pressing Ctrl+Minus a couple of times, Command+Minus on the Mac.

There is the original version of the image. There is the Sharpened version of the image. Just a tiny, tiny difference at this point. And so the moral of the story is you need to be able to see that because when you're zoomed into the image, the Radius values all look just enormous. They are magnified, and so you're tempted to go with very small Radius values. When you're zoomed out from an image, You know better than that. You know to go with larger Radius values as I am going to show you. So we need to know our screen resolution. All right. Having conveyed that to you, I need to show you how to measure your screen resolution.

And what I need you to do, and really honestly I want you to do this along with me. It's this important. Get yourself a ruler or a measuring tape or anything you can measure with. I also want you to grab a calculator. So those two things: measuring tape and calculator. And then, not going to make it too hard, just a little tiny bit of math, just some division, and then join me in the next exercise.

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