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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, in this exercise we are going to create a third level Smart Object. Actually we're going to make a second level Smart Object in between the Smart Sharpen first level and the Camera RAW third level. If you're just joining me you can catch right up by opening this image called XXX placeholder.PSD that's found inside the 08_for_output folder. Basically what we're going to do is we are going to convert these crop rows, this crop rows Smart Object, we're going to convert it to a Smart Object, to another Smart Object.
So we're going to assign it in the Smart Object container and then we're going to move our Smart Sharpen effect onto that container. So here's how it works. First thing is to select crop rows. So go ahead and click on its thumbnail to make it active, then go up to the Layers palette menu and choose Convert to Smart Object, and that puts the Smart Object inside of another Smart Object. So we now have three levels of Smart Object here. We've got the crop rows Smart Object, and if I double-click on it, we've got another crop rows Smart Object inside of it.
This is the second generation Smart Object and it has Reduce Noise applied to it. Lets go ahead and call this one daddy, if you will, because it's the second generation Smart Object, and if you double-click on it you'll bring up the child, the little boy Smart Object, if we're sticking with single gender here. And this is the Camera RAW Smart Object. So we're three levels deep at this point. You can do that inside Photoshop. Photoshop doesn't seem to care how many Smart Objects you nest. You can go very, very deep. I've never run into any issues.
I have to say I haven't gone like 22 levels deep or anything, but I have gone 5 and it hasn't given me any trouble. I cant imagine why you don't want to go more than that, but I am sure there is a reason. Anyway I am going to go ahead and escape out of there and then I am going to close this Smart Object. Oh, it's asking me if I want to save the changes because I called it daddy. Alright I'll go ahead and say yes, and I am closing this Smart Object by pressing Ctrl+W or Command+W on the Mac. This one by the way is of course grandpa; this is the grandpa Smart Object.
Now lets go over to XXX, the placeholder. Now we're not really doing anything with it; it's just sort of saving our place, saving our work, so we didn't lose the Smart Sharpen effect so we didn't have to recreate it. I am going to drag the words Smart Filters down on to grandpa like so. Under Vista, you get that little icon on the fly; on the Mac you don't, but just go ahead and drag and drop it and that will go ahead move this Smart Sharpen filter and it's edge mask- if you click on the down-pointing arrowhead here, you can see they're both intact- onto grandpa.
Now we can get rid of XXX; we're done with it. It was just a placeholder as I said. So that's it, and oh! Let me show you what difference it makes. It makes a big difference actually; the Reduce Noise function does. I am going to go ahead and Shift-click on this edge mask to turn it off. You're going to have the work from memory here, because I can't do a before and after for you. But you may recall that there was a ton of noise inside the sky before. Now we just have a little bit of noise going on, not nearly so bad, despite the fact that we have heck of this Smart Sharpening effect being applied to that sky.
It gets even better; the noise looks even better if we Shift-click on that edge mask to turn it back on. So we have virtually no noise inside the sky now. It's a very clean sky at this point. So what we have now at this point is a very nicely constructed use neutral composition. We could do anything we want with it. We can commercially reproduce the image, we can print it to an inkjet printer, we can print it as a piece of little spot art, we can print it across the side of bus or at least you know across the side of a building since its a vertical image, we could go ahead and post image on the web.
It's just a matter of scaling of image to the proper size and sharpening it for output. We will begin to learn about how to sharpen an image for output starting in the next exercise.
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