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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.
At the end of the last exercise I promised we are going to look at luminance nlending. We are, but in just a moment. In the next exercise actually, to be more specific. In the mean time, I want to show you a little bit of a problem associated with working with this High Pass layer and I was telling you this independent High Pass layer, this old school technique, provides two advantages over Smart Filters. One, we are able to adjust the amount of the High Pass independently using a clipped Levels adjustment layer and we are able to take the saturation out of the High Pass layer, so that we don't exaggerate any color discrepancies inside the image. But here is the downside, check it out.
I am going to go ahead and zoom in on this model's eye here and it looks like she is over-sharpened, but bear in mind we are printing this image, so I want it look extra crunchy on screen. But I am not sure that I want this. I am not sure what this thing is. First of all, it might be a lump of makeup because she has some makeup stuff going on over here. But if I was on the set or wherever this is, I would have recommended against this particular bit of makeup if indeed that's what it is. I think we should get rid of it, in fact. That's a little tricky.
If we were working with a Smart Object then I could just double-click on the Smart Object, edit this item inside of the independent image, inside of the Smart Object image. Then go ahead and save the changes and the Smart Filter would update automatically. But that's not the case. We have easier access to this image right here, we can edit the pixels directly without having to open up the Smart Object. That's a good thing, but the filtered version of the image is not going to update automatically. So here is what I am talking about. I am going to go ahead and deselect the image.
I am going to grab my Healing Brush right here, and this is the standard Healing Brush by the way, not the Spot Healing Brush, and I am going to Alt+Option+click in order to set a source point right about there. Then I am going to paint over this boogie here in order to get rid of it, then I'll release and I will hope that the thing goes way. Now it doesn't really appear to have totally gone away. We have a little bit of a remnant left behind right there and the reason that we have that remnant left behind is because the eye booger is still extent on the High Pass layer. It is still there.
So if I were to go to the High Pass layer for example, and I were to change this Blend Mode from Overlay to Normal, which I will go ahead and do right now, you can see there it is. Showing up right at that location, so we need to get rid of it. So I am going to have to get rid of it independently. I am going to have to heal twice essentially. And of course each one of my healing strokes is going to be slightly different, so I may end up getting a different effect, but it should be good enough and if you are at all worried, you could recreate this High Pass layer as we did in the previous exercise. But I am just going to go ahead and do a separate Healing Pass. I am going to Alt+Option+click on this layer, because you need to make sure that you are healing from the proper layer in this case. Otherwise you would be healing from the background layer and that would make a mess of things.
And then I am going to paint over this area. Hopefully, that will heal things well pretty nicely. It doesn't. I don't like that at all actually. Let me try Alt-clicking or Option-clicking over here instead and painting that away. I think we will get a better effect that way. That looks better to me. And it doesn't look perfect, we have got some weird pattern right at the allocation but that's OK, I mean this High Pass layer doesn't contribute all that much information, it doesn't contribute so much information that we are going to notice this repeat pattern. So here's what we going to do. We are going to go back to the Layers palette and change this Blend Mode back to Overlay from Normal to Overlay and now things look pretty darn good.
It looks like its more or less gone. And this is the unsharpened version of the image and this is the sharpened version of the image. And I lied! Look at that. We can see that patterning, it is getting repeated. So let's go ahead and reduce the size of the cursor a little bit by pressing the left bracket key a few times and I'll Alt+Option-click down here lets say, and then I will just click right there and see if that takes care of the problem. It works out pretty nicely. I don't want to do that, I don't think. Maybe this. Anyway, you could heal like a crazy person if you wanted to. Actually I am going to undo that last modification there.
This looks good to me; I am going to leave it alone. That's what I think is the best bet at this point, leave it the heck alone; looks much better. The main point here is not whether and I should be healing these various details, but the fact that if you do make a pixel-level modification to a layer that's affected by a static High Pass layer, you then need to turn around and apply that same pixel-level modification to the High Pass layer as well. Alright then, in the next exercise we will be taking a look at luminance blending, which is something we can only do if we have an independent layer. Doesn't work with Smart Filters. Coming right up.
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