Photoshop CC for Photographers: Sharpening
Illustration by John Hersey

Fine-tuning Smart Sharpen with advanced controls


From:

Photoshop CC for Photographers: Sharpening

with Chris Orwig

Video: Fine-tuning Smart Sharpen with advanced controls

In this movie we will continue to dive deep into how we can use our Smart Sharpen controls in order to improve our photographs. In particular I want to focus in on the sliders which are more advanced, which allow us to work with scaling back or changing the way that the sharpening effect is affecting the highlight or the shadow area of the photograph. Here let's select this image and then navigate to Filter. Then choose Sharpen, then choose the option for Smart Sharpen to open up our Smart Sharpen dialogue.
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  1. 6m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
    2. Raw sharpening in Lightroom or Camera Raw?
      3m 56s
    3. Using the exercise files
      40s
  2. 44m 15s
    1. Lighroom sharpening workflow first steps
      5m 35s
    2. Understanding how the Lightroom Detail controls work
      5m 36s
    3. Reducing luminance and color noise
      5m 47s
    4. Improving details in a portrait
      9m 13s
    5. Improving details in an outdoor photograph
      7m 12s
    6. Sharpening in order to emphasize small textures
      3m 49s
    7. Improving sky details and edge sharpening
      7m 3s
  3. 53m 3s
    1. Selective sharpening with the Adjustment Brush
      10m 19s
    2. Learning Adjustment Brush shortcuts
      4m 15s
    3. Reviewing Adjustment Brush techniques and shortcuts
      7m 36s
    4. Sharpening eyes in a portrait
      6m 44s
    5. Sharpening large areas with the Radial filter
      6m 50s
    6. Improving details with the Graduated filter
      7m 35s
    7. Creating custom presets
      6m 2s
    8. Sharing and installing presets
      3m 42s
  4. 40m 40s
    1. Camera Raw sharpening workflow: First steps
      3m 28s
    2. Understanding how the Camera Raw Detail controls work
      5m 46s
    3. Reducing luminance and color noise
      4m 40s
    4. Improving details in a portrait
      7m 28s
    5. Improving details in an outdoor photograph
      6m 6s
    6. Sharpening in order to emphasize small textures
      3m 48s
    7. Improving sky details and edge sharpening
      9m 24s
  5. 53m 40s
    1. Selective sharpening with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 16s
    2. Working with the Auto Mask option in the Adjustment Brush
      5m 6s
    3. Learning Adjustment Brush shortcuts
      8m 30s
    4. Reviewing Adjustment Brush techniques and shortcuts
      5m 45s
    5. Sharpening eyes in a portrait
      5m 15s
    6. Sharpening large areas with the Radial filter
      7m 4s
    7. Improving details with the Graduated filter
      4m 34s
    8. Further refinements with the Graduated filter
      4m 30s
    9. Creating custom presets
      5m 40s
  6. 49m 5s
    1. Resizing before you sharpen
      4m 37s
    2. Using Unsharp Mask
      8m 21s
    3. Using Smart Sharpen
      6m 5s
    4. Demonstrating how Smart Sharpen works
      4m 23s
    5. Fine-tuning Smart Sharpen with advanced controls
      5m 39s
    6. Applying blending modes to avoid color problems
      5m 9s
    7. Putting it all together: Workflow part one
      5m 57s
    8. Putting it all together: Workflow part two
      6m 42s
    9. A conversation about sharpening controls
      2m 12s
  7. 49m 34s
    1. Applying Camera Raw sharpening as a filter
      4m 41s
    2. Using smart filtering for increased flexibility
      5m 50s
    3. Smart filtering and masking
      4m 54s
    4. Selective sharpening with a hand-painted mask
      6m 0s
    5. Selective sharpening: Advanced shortcut tips
      6m 31s
    6. Using Quick Select and masking to sharpen selectively
      8m 20s
    7. How to sharpen a layered document
      3m 41s
    8. Fixing a blurry photograph with Shake Reduction
      4m 40s
    9. Shake Reduction: Advanced controls
      4m 57s
  8. 32m 47s
    1. High-pass sharpening essentials
      5m 55s
    2. Smart filter high-pass sharpening
      4m 2s
    3. Smart filter high-pass sharpening continued
      5m 50s
    4. Edge sharpening: Building an alpha channel
      4m 52s
    5. Edge sharpening: Creating the mask
      5m 3s
    6. Using Smart Sharpen in an unlikely way for midtone contrast
      7m 5s
  9. 10m 59s
    1. Recording a sharpening action
      6m 11s
    2. Playing the action for a single file
      2m 18s
    3. Batch sharpening multiple files
      2m 30s
  10. 28m 48s
    1. Sharpening and saving from Camera Raw
      6m 51s
    2. Sharpening and exporting from Camera Raw
      3m 44s
    3. Output sharpening from Lightroom
      5m 26s
    4. Final output sharpening from Photoshop for print
      7m 17s
    5. Photoshop sharpening for web, mobile, and displays
      5m 30s
  11. 31s
    1. Next steps
      31s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CC for Photographers: Sharpening
6h 9m Intermediate Feb 03, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Since the beginning of the photographic art form, photographers have been searching for clearer and sharper images. Now, you don't have to settle for what was captured in camera; you can perfect your photos in post-production. In this course, Chris Orwig tackles sharpening in three programs: Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom, and Photoshop. They all have their strengths, so he shows you how to get the best results from specific sharpening challenges with each one. Chris shows you how to reduce noise and sharpen with sliders and make selective adjustments to certain areas of raw images. In Photoshop, he uses powerful filters like Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen to sharpen larger areas of pictures, and masking to paint in sharpening. Last, he shares two advanced techniques, one using high pass sharpening and another that limits sharpening to the edges of your images.

Topics include:
  • Reducing luminance and color noise
  • Improving details in portraits and landscapes
  • Selective sharpening with the Adjustment Brush
  • Sharpening with filters
  • Creating sharpening presets
  • Using blending modes to avoid color problems when sharpening
  • Smart filtering and masking
  • Edge sharpening
  • Batch sharpening
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop Lightroom Camera Raw
Author:
Chris Orwig

Fine-tuning Smart Sharpen with advanced controls

In this movie we will continue to dive deep into how we can use our Smart Sharpen controls in order to improve our photographs. In particular I want to focus in on the sliders which are more advanced, which allow us to work with scaling back or changing the way that the sharpening effect is affecting the highlight or the shadow area of the photograph. Here let's select this image and then navigate to Filter. Then choose Sharpen, then choose the option for Smart Sharpen to open up our Smart Sharpen dialogue.

In this case, we want to view this at 100% here. So let's take our view to 100%. And let's again apply an exaggerated amount with our overall Amount and Radius. As we start to bring up the radius, we can see that the edges are really glowing. When we bring up the amount that intensifies that effect, so that it's really exaggerated. Having an exaggerated amount in Radius will be helpful to understand how our Shadows / Highlights controls work. Click to open up those controls, and you'll find that there are three sliders for each group.

Fade Amount, Tonal Width, and Radius. Well what is all of this about? Well Fade Amount, what it does is it actually fades away, or removes the effect in the highlight area. In this image if I exaggerate for a moment by cranking this up all the way to 100. What we'll see is that it cleans up some of this part of the photograph. Let me increase my Amount and Radius here even more so you can see that perhaps a bit more dramatically. Here's without this. And then here's with this. Do you see how it's removing from some of those highlight areas, the sharpening effect in its entirety? Now, how far this reaches into the shadow area is tonal width.

With a low tonal width, the effect isn't, or this amount here isn't really affecting the image as much. As we drag this to the right, well, it's going to affect it even more. Again, now you can see that before and after of how we're scaling back or fading away the sharpening from that side of the image, or that part of the image from those shadow edges. Well, what about highlights? This works in a similar way. Here, let's increase the Tonal Width for demo purposes and let's bring up the Fade Amount of the highlights.

You can see how I've done here is successfully removed all of the sharpening in its entirety. Now why does this even matter? Well it matters because sometimes what you might want to do is remove some of the sharpening. Or maybe you can allow just a little bit of it to come through, which you can customize by working with all of these sliders. And you can define exactly how you want that to appear. And even now, I think if we click on the image, here's our before, and then here's our after, it looks pretty good.

Yet we have an exaggerated amount in radius, how is it that it looks good? Well, it looks good because we started to work with these sliders, which allow us to fade the effect, and then the Tonal Width slider is the the reach, how many tones or how many tonal variations is it reaching into. How broad is the adjustment. Then the Radius as we've seen before is sort of that edge extension as well. So each of these sliders and controls allow us to scale back the sharpening or to fine tune the sharpening so that the image looks its best. Okay, well that's how they work.

Let's reset their values. Let's bring back all of the sharpening that we have here and let's see if we can't use these controls to improve this picture. What we've seen before is, what I like to do at least is to bring my radius to somewhere around one pixel or so, and to bring the amount down below 100. Then I slowly bring up my amount until I think I've brought it to a good place, and here we'll this up, let's say we want a little bit of a higher amount of sharpening. That looks good except for the noise.

So we bring up noise reduction here to reduce and to clean out and smooth out some of those noisy areas. I'm going to exaggerate my amount even more. Then if I find that there's an area which just feels like it's too intense, like the shadow edges are glowing too brightly, I might work with those. Well bring up the fade amount and the tonal width. For the radius we can start to incrementally bring that up as well. And just bring these values up here. And sometimes you have to almost exaggerate them. Look at your before and after.

And I need to zoom in so you can see what I'm seeing here because I know it gets tricky in these movies. So let me zoom in to this little motor right here. Take a look at this. Before you see how there's all this strange noise and even some artifacting in that part of the image? And then when I reduce the sharpening from that portion the, the image what I'm doing is cleaning up those shadow edges. So the glowing aspect of the edge is now fading away. If I click on the image, I can see here's my before and after. I still have sharpening which is being applied, it's just that I've scaled it back from that area.

We can do a similar thing with our highlights as well, right? We can bring up these amounts to target those edges. So the point with all of this is that as you start to work with Smart Sharpen, there may become a point where you want to fine tune or finesse the way that the smart sharpening is affecting your photographs. If you want to do that, all that you need to do is to open up the Shadow / Highlights controls, and then begin to exaggerate the settings on these controls to actually see which area you're affecting.

And then scale those values back until you feel the photograph looks its best.

There are currently no FAQs about Photoshop CC for Photographers: Sharpening.

 
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