Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Introducing the Smart Sharpen filter

From: Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate

Video: Introducing the Smart Sharpen filter

In this movie, I'll introduce you to the Smart Sharpen filter, and I'll also show you how to apply it as a dynamic effect that you can later modify to your hearts content. We're looking at a macro shot that I captured a few years back. And it definitely could stand a little bit of sharpening to bring out these finely wrought details. So, I'll go up to the Filter menu and choose Sharpen. And you can see that that brings up a sub-menu of options. All of which we're going to ignore for now, except for Smart Sharpen. The reason being that sharpen through unsharp mask just aren't as powerful.

Introducing the Smart Sharpen filter

In this movie, I'll introduce you to the Smart Sharpen filter, and I'll also show you how to apply it as a dynamic effect that you can later modify to your hearts content. We're looking at a macro shot that I captured a few years back. And it definitely could stand a little bit of sharpening to bring out these finely wrought details. So, I'll go up to the Filter menu and choose Sharpen. And you can see that that brings up a sub-menu of options. All of which we're going to ignore for now, except for Smart Sharpen. The reason being that sharpen through unsharp mask just aren't as powerful.

These first three commands right there, Sharpen, Sharpen Edges, and Sharpen More don't have ellipses after them. The little dot dot dot, and that means that they don't bring up dialog boxes and therefore they don't give you any control. You just choose the command and hope for the best. And in my case, it barely made any difference whatsoever. So, I'll go ahead and just press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac to undo that change. Then I'll return to the Filter menu, choose Sharpen. Unsharp Mask is a decent command but it's just not nearly as powerful as Smart Sharpen.

Where as Shape Reduction is an entirely different animal that we'll look at in a future course. So, for now, just go ahead and choose the Smart Sharpen command. And if this is your first time inside the dialog box, then the preset will read default and you'll see these values right here. But for the sake of demonstration, I'm going to adjust the values so that we're over sharpening the image. In that way, you'll just be able to better see what's going on. I'm going to start by changing Remove to Gaussian Blur, because that will just speed things up a little bit.

And then I'm going to crank the amount value, that is the amount of sharpening, to it's absolute maximum, which is 500%. I'm going to take the radius value up to 3 pixels, we'll see what that means later. And I'm going to take the reduce noise value down to 0%. Again, that's going to help speed things up as well, and I'm going to save out my settings as a preset. So notice now, preset reads custom. If I click on this Pop-up menu, I can choose the save preset command. And then I'll just go ahead and name this guy over-sharpen, because we are definitely over-sharpening the image.

It's looking way to crispy on the screen here. And then I'll click Save. You don't have to specify a different location. In fact, you want to save this file inside of this folder right there. Then click Save in order to do so, and you'll see that preset now reads over-sharpen, if you're working along with me. Alright, now notice that we have two previews. One outside in the larger image window. And one inside the dialog box, which might seem a little repetitive. But the nice thing is that they're set to different zoom ratios, so you can get a good sense of what's going on.

If you want to center any point inside the image, inside the dialog box, you just click on it with this square. And notice that re-centers the preview. You can also zoom in on the image by pressing Ctrl+Plus or Cmd+Plus on a Mac. If you wann zoom out you press Ctrl+Minus or Cmd+Minus. You also have the option of pressing Ctrl+Spacebar or Cmd+Spacebar, and clicking in order to zoom in. Add the Alt or Option key and you zoom out. And then finally, if you press the Spacebar, you can drag the image around.

If you want to zoom the preview inside the dialog box, then you click on either this Plus button to zoom in or the Minus button to zoom out. Notice that you can turn off this Preview check box, if you wanted to see the before version of the image outside here in the image window. Turn the preview back on to see the effect. And then if you want to turn the preview on and off inside the dialog box, you click and hold. So when you click and hold, you'll see the before of the image, when you release you'll see the after version. You can also scale this dialogue box, just as you can in the case of the image-size command, and make it quite big indeed.

So, if you'd like to just focus in on the in-dialog box preview, this is the way to do it. And then you would go ahead and click on the OK button to apply the effect. Problem is, that would apply a static modification. So, in other words, you would permanently rewrite those pixels. Which is why, I'm going to go ahead and click the Cancel button to abandon my changes. The better approach is to apply Smart Sharpen as what's known as a Smart Filter. Which you can go back, and edit any time you like. And to apply a Small Filter, you have to turn the image into a Smart Object.

And that's a two step process. The first thing you do, is you double-click on the background item, there the Layers panel, in order to convert it into an independent layer. And I'm going to go ahead and name this guy butterfly, and click OK. And then with your Rectangular Marquee tool active, you right click inside the image window and you choose Convert to Smart Object. And that'll go ahead and place the image inside a protective container. Now, it's not going to look much different inside the Layers panel. It's not going to look any different out here inside the image window.

The only difference at this point is that you're seeing this little page icon right there. Which tells you that you embedded this image inside of this layer. And you know that it's protected, because notice that if I were to switch to the Brush tool and move my cursor inside the image window, I get this little Ghost-buster's icon that's telling me that I cannot modify this image directly. And if I click, I get this warning that tells me that I'd have to rasterize the smart object, that is convert it back to standard pixels. I'm not interested in doing that, so I'll just click Cancel instead, and then I get this additional helpful warning.

I'm being sarcastic I must admit, and so I'll just go ahead and click OK to that one. Alright. I'll press the M key to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool. And now I'll go up to the Filter menu, choose Sharpen, and choose Smart Sharpen. And notice that Photoshop has gone ahead and restored the preset to default. But, my preset was saved, so I can go ahead and select it even though I cancelled out just a few moments ago. And now, I can drag this guy around if I want to, or I could restore my dialog box to the small view right there.

And then click on the butterfly's head in order to center the in dialog box preview. And now, I'll go ahead and click OK to apply that filter. And you can see that Photoshop has now applied the filter as a dynamic effect that's available to me here inside the Layers panel. And if I want to modify these settings, all I have to do is double-click on the words Smart Sharpen, and that'll bring back my settings and allow me to change them as much as I like. And I'm not re-applying the settings. Notice that.

I am actually modifying the settings on the fly. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and cancel out. Because for the present, I want to leave my butterfly over-sharpened. And that's how you work with the smart-sharpen filter, as well as how you apply it as a dynamic, editable effect here inside Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate
Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate

123 video lessons · 12592 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 4s
  2. 1h 1m
    1. The best of Photoshop automation
      35s
    2. Content-Aware Fill and Color Adaptation (CC 2014) NEW
      7m 44s
    3. Combining two layers with a layer mask (CC 2014) NEW
      5m 37s
    4. Content-aware healing (CC 2014) NEW
      10m 17s
    5. Introducing the Patch tool
      3m 43s
    6. Using Content-Aware Patch UPDATED
      7m 17s
    7. Retouching with Content-Aware Patch UPDATED
      3m 45s
    8. Using the Content-Aware Move tool UPDATED
      7m 41s
    9. Using Content-Aware Extend
      2m 4s
    10. The Content-Aware Scale command
      6m 35s
    11. Scaling in multiple passes
      2m 22s
    12. Protecting skin tones
      3m 31s
  3. 32m 55s
    1. Editing the histogram
      1m 50s
    2. The new automatic Levels adjustment
      4m 33s
    3. Customizing a Levels adjustment
      4m 53s
    4. Understanding the Gamma value
      2m 7s
    5. Opening up the shadows
      2m 48s
    6. Previewing clipped pixels
      3m 40s
    7. Retouching with Output Levels
      4m 25s
    8. Making channel-by-channel adjustments
      2m 19s
    9. Faking a gray card in post
      2m 51s
    10. Assigning shortcuts to adjustment layers
      3m 29s
  4. 57m 43s
    1. How sharpening works
      1m 38s
    2. Introducing the Smart Sharpen filter
      6m 56s
    3. Understanding the Radius value
      5m 20s
    4. Gauging the best sharpening settings
      5m 45s
    5. Addressing color artifacts and clipping
      5m 49s
    6. The Remove and Reduce Noise options
      4m 22s
    7. The Shadows/Highlights options
      7m 36s
    8. Correcting for camera shake
      6m 47s
    9. Sharpening with the Emboss filter
      5m 45s
    10. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      4m 44s
    11. Painting in sharpness
      3m 1s
  5. 1h 12m
    1. Vector-based type
      1m 35s
    2. Creating and editing point text UPDATED
      8m 8s
    3. Font and type style tricks UPDATED
      7m 58s
    4. Type size and color tricks UPDATED
      6m 42s
    5. Kerning and tracking characters UPDATED
      8m 9s
    6. Creating and editing area text UPDATED
      3m 50s
    7. Selecting and formatting paragraphs UPDATED
      6m 50s
    8. Setting text inside a custom path UPDATED
      5m 34s
    9. Creating text along a path
      6m 12s
    10. Adjusting baseline shift
      4m 45s
    11. Creating and stylizing a logo
      6m 49s
    12. Masking text into image elements UPDATED
      6m 14s
  6. 1h 9m
    1. The other vector-based layer
      1m 39s
    2. Dotted borders and corner roundness
      8m 14s
    3. Drawing and aligning custom shapes
      3m 55s
    4. Creating your own repeatable custom shape
      5m 43s
    5. Selecting and modifying path outlines (CC 2014) NEW
      6m 5s
    6. Isolating selected layers (CC 2014) NEW
      6m 39s
    7. Combining simple shapes to make complex ones UPDATED
      6m 31s
    8. Cropping, adjusting, and merging shapes UPDATED
      8m 49s
    9. Creating a soft, synthetic sparkle
      6m 22s
    10. Saving a resolution-independent PDF file
      6m 42s
    11. Turning a small image into a huge one
      8m 38s
  7. 1h 14m
    1. Depth, contour, and texture
      1m 28s
    2. Imparting depth with a layer effect
      9m 9s
    3. The power of the drop shadow
      7m 37s
    4. Modifying a layer and its effects
      6m 21s
    5. Saving custom default settings
      4m 12s
    6. Creating a custom contour
      8m 5s
    7. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      8m 8s
    8. Multiple effects and multiple layers
      7m 45s
    9. Global Light and rasterizing effects
      8m 5s
    10. Gloss and surface contour
      6m 4s
    11. Adding texture to Bevel and Emboss
      7m 21s
  8. 34m 48s
    1. Styles store settings
      1m 38s
    2. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      3m 41s
    3. Redefining a style and styling a word
      5m 38s
    4. Creating and styling a placeholder style
      5m 43s
    5. Applying and creating layer styles
      5m 45s
    6. Loading and customizing layer styles
      5m 42s
    7. Merging and saving layer styles
      6m 41s
  9. 56m 48s
    1. Meet the transformations
      1m 55s
    2. Transformations and Smart Objects
      5m 46s
    3. Adjusting the interpolation setting
      5m 10s
    4. Rotating a layer with Free Transform
      5m 22s
    5. Scale, duplicate, and repeat
      4m 30s
    6. Creating a synthetic star field
      5m 20s
    7. Warping a logo with Arc and Flag
      5m 34s
    8. Distort, perspective, and skew
      4m 15s
    9. Using transformations to draw and correct
      7m 0s
    10. Bolstering text with layer effects
      5m 43s
    11. Adding highlights with Lens Flare
      6m 13s
  10. 43m 36s
    1. Removing the weight that the camera adds
      1m 7s
    2. The Warp and Reconstruct tools
      6m 44s
    3. Brush size, hardness, and opacity
      4m 29s
    4. The Pucker, Bloat, Push, and Twirl tools
      7m 12s
    5. Saving and reapplying Liquify settings
      4m 9s
    6. Lifting and slimming details
      9m 42s
    7. Warping legs, arms, and fabric
      5m 33s
    8. Improving a model's posture
      4m 40s
  11. 58m 46s
    1. Shoot in color, convert to black and white
      1m 55s
    2. Three ways to grayscale
      5m 36s
    3. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 31s
    4. Simulating an infrared photograph
      6m 39s
    5. Creating a sienna-infused sepia tone
      5m 38s
    6. Creating a hyper-saturated image
      5m 26s
    7. Introducing the Black & White command
      3m 16s
    8. Customizing the Black & White settings
      4m 50s
    9. Black & White meets the Channel Mixer UPDATED
      7m 29s
    10. Infusing an image with tint and color
      5m 9s
    11. Grayscale and Split Tone in Camera Raw
      5m 17s
  12. 41m 34s
    1. The many ways to print
      1m 41s
    2. Using the test document UPDATED
      3m 18s
    3. Print, position, and size
      5m 57s
    4. Description and printing marks
      3m 3s
    5. Establishing a bleed
      3m 44s
    6. Getting reliable color
      5m 54s
    7. Special printing options
      5m 1s
    8. Previewing an image at print size
      4m 16s
    9. Creating contact sheets
      4m 49s
    10. Creating a multipage PDF
      3m 51s
  13. 31m 9s
    1. Making Internet imagery
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing Save for Web UPDATED
      4m 39s
    3. Creating the perfect JPEG image
      5m 14s
    4. Creating a high-contrast GIF image
      6m 23s
    5. The two varieties of PNG
      3m 57s
    6. Downsampling for the web
      5m 59s
    7. Adding copyright and contact info
      3m 51s
  14. 1m 3s
    1. Until next time
      1m 3s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.