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Noise reduction with Surface Blur

From: Photoshop CS4 for Photographers

Video: Noise reduction with Surface Blur

Welcome to the chapter on noise reduction or noise removal. In this chapter, you going to learn a handful of different techniques that you can use in order to remove noise from your images. Now I'm going to show you different techniques because each of our images will have a little bit different kind of noise and in addition there isn't one technique that's best for noise removal. So first I just want to comment on noise in general. This photograph has noise is in it as a result of shooting that an ISO 1600. This other photograph that I captured of the musician Eddie Vedder. The ISO was at 640, so it's going to have noise in it, but it's going to be a different type. The ISO isn't as high.

Noise reduction with Surface Blur

Welcome to the chapter on noise reduction or noise removal. In this chapter, you going to learn a handful of different techniques that you can use in order to remove noise from your images. Now I'm going to show you different techniques because each of our images will have a little bit different kind of noise and in addition there isn't one technique that's best for noise removal. So first I just want to comment on noise in general. This photograph has noise is in it as a result of shooting that an ISO 1600. This other photograph that I captured of the musician Eddie Vedder. The ISO was at 640, so it's going to have noise in it, but it's going to be a different type. The ISO isn't as high.

It has this really unique lighting, so we are going to see some different types of noise. So based on the type of noise, we are going to need to attack the problem a little bit differently. Let's first start off on this file here. We will go ahead double-click to open that one in Photoshop and then double-click the Zoom tool to take this image to 100%. Now when we zoom on this image, we see for the most part it's sharp, I was shooting it with the 70-200 lens except that ISO 1600 is just giving me some problems up in here. Now how then can I correct that? Well one technique that we can use is actually kind of interesting. We will go ahead and Right-click and choose Convert to Smart Objects, I go ahead and double- click on in that layer Fly for this flying motorcycle guy and then I'm going to navigate to my Filter pulldown menu, now I choose Blur and Surface Blur. Well, what Surface Blur can do is, it can allow us to find areas that are somewhat similar and then reduce the Noise on those areas.

So, I'm going to go ahead and increase the overall Radius here and then slowly bring up my Threshold. Now if I bring up my threshold too far, we are going to start to see that it will blur out the character here, the guy, we can see it when I go real exaggerated and right there even you can see how it's a loss of detail on the person, when I click on that. That's the before, let go, that's the after. So I go ahead and keep this really simple. I want a real nice subtle noise reduction. That looks pretty good there. Want to make sure my levels are good, click OK to apply that. Now let's zoom in even further so we can see how we have done. Here is our before and after. Well so far so good, except one of things I'm noting is that I have reduced noise on the guy, which I don't like, i.e I have lost detail there. How can I fix that? Well I click on that layer, grab one of my Selection tools, like the Quick Select tool, I'll go ahead and paint around this guy and go ahead and navigate around here and just make some quick selections. I'm not trying to be too careful here, because I want these selections to be somewhat rough, simply because, I know they can be, because we have such a strong solid background color there.

I'm going to make sure I get the entirety of the motorcycle or at least most of it and again this is a demo, so I'm not going to get all the little tiny details but that looks pretty good for a real rough selection. Little bit more on the shoe here and then up there, then click into the mask layer. I'll now fill with black. That's Option+Delete on the Mac/Alt+Delete on a PC. So we brought some of the nice detail back on the guy. Go to select the Deselect, now we need to reselect this area right. So we will go ahead and click in there hold down the Shift key, click right here and then click in our mask, press Command+Delete on a Mac/Ctrl+Delete on a PC. Let's take a look at how we are doing, before and after. Well so far what we are seeing is that, yeah we definitely reduced a lot of the noise from the background. Here is our before and here is our after.

Now, one of the things that's kind of nice about Smart Filters that we haven't talked about is you can actually add to this. So I'm going to go ahead and navigate to Filter and then I'm going to choose Blur and Surface Blur one more time. Now this time what I'm going to do is lower my Threshold and Radius way down. I'm going to zoom pretty far in here, I'm just going to look at the green structure of this, I'm going to increase my Radius just a touch there, a little tiny bit of Threshold and we can see I'm reducing some of the noise around edges. Click OK to apply that. Now, let's take a look at how we are doing. Here we have two different type of Surface Blur. We have the first one and then that second one which just smoothed things out even further. That will be a little bit tricky to see because I'm zoomed pretty far out, I'll zoom into this part of the helmet, you can see how I'm just cleaning up those edges a touch there. I'll go ahead and zoom out, see if we can catch that view there at all. Well hopefully you can see it a little bit; the sky on my monitor looks so much better.

Again it's going to be tricky to see in this movie because that's a subtle adjustment. Yet one of the things that we are discovering here is that we can use Surface Blur, when we have large areas of similar tones and we want to begin to reduce the noise in those areas and then in addition we can create a mask to limit the adjustment to specific areas, in this case we are limiting it to just the areas that are blue and all right that wraps up my first noise reduction tip for you.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 for Photographers
Photoshop CS4 for Photographers

228 video lessons · 36578 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 28s
    1. Introduction
      2m 43s
    2. Using the exercise files
      45s
  2. 19m 32s
    1. Taking visual snapshots
      2m 33s
    2. What's new in the Photoshop CS4 menus
      1m 24s
    3. The importance of the 30-minute blink
      2m 38s
    4. Isolation
      3m 32s
    5. Taking notes
      2m 29s
    6. Creative memorization
      2m 16s
    7. Verbalize, human, fun
      1m 18s
    8. Lessons from a legend: Douglas Kirkland
      2m 10s
    9. Resources and links
      1m 12s
  3. 30m 42s
    1. Is Photoshop CS4 worth it?
      2m 50s
    2. Seeing the new Tools panel
      3m 22s
    3. Working with the Application bar
      2m 51s
    4. Navigating with the Hand and Zoom tools
      4m 27s
    5. Rotating with the new Rotate View tool
      2m 0s
    6. New ways of arranging documents
      5m 41s
    7. Working with the panels
      2m 34s
    8. Customizing your workspace
      2m 11s
    9. Creating custom keyboard shortcuts
      3m 12s
    10. Creating custom menus
      1m 34s
  4. 39m 36s
    1. Choosing your Color settings
      5m 4s
    2. Setting Image Interpolation preferences
      3m 1s
    3. Zoom preferences
      2m 40s
    4. Interface preferences
      7m 46s
    5. File-handling preferences
      2m 33s
    6. Performance preferences: Memory
      5m 40s
    7. Performance preferences: Cursor
      5m 46s
    8. Performance preferences: Transparency and Gamut
      4m 44s
    9. Reviewing the other preferences
      2m 22s
  5. 21m 14s
    1. Bit Depth 101
      4m 34s
    2. Introducing image size
      2m 47s
    3. Image Resize overview
      7m 54s
    4. Resizing by cropping
      3m 33s
    5. Straightening
      2m 26s
  6. 10m 10s
    1. Introducing color management
      2m 3s
    2. Monitor calibration basics
      2m 43s
    3. Advanced monitor calibration
      2m 36s
    4. Creating a neutral work environment
      2m 48s
  7. 11m 17s
    1. Using Photoshop, Bridge, and Lightroom together
      2m 20s
    2. Bridge as a digital light box
      1m 19s
    3. General Bridge preferences
      2m 49s
    4. Thumbnail Bridge preferences
      1m 38s
    5. Advanced and Cache Bridge preferences
      3m 11s
  8. 28m 1s
    1. Creative tip 1: Discarding, the great selection technique
      4m 6s
    2. Introducing the Bridge interface
      3m 27s
    3. Getting photos from your camera
      4m 14s
    4. Choosing a workspace
      4m 16s
    5. Customizing the workspace and the Synchronized window
      4m 10s
    6. Using Bridge to rate and sort
      4m 3s
    7. Sorting with filters
      3m 45s
  9. 33m 53s
    1. Previewing multiple files
      5m 6s
    2. The Bridge Review mode
      7m 4s
    3. The Bridge Full Screen mode
      3m 8s
    4. Bridge slideshows
      4m 25s
    5. Stacking images
      3m 24s
    6. Renaming and batch-renaming
      4m 11s
    7. Adding favorites
      1m 58s
    8. Grouping images with Collections
      4m 37s
  10. 15m 3s
    1. Setting up metadata
      3m 34s
    2. Customizing the workspace for metadata
      2m 20s
    3. Creating a metadata template to add a copyright notice
      3m 55s
    4. Keywording images
      3m 33s
    5. Filtering images based on metadata
      1m 41s
  11. 9m 54s
    1. Recording an action
      2m 16s
    2. Batch-processing an action
      2m 11s
    3. Simplifying repetitive steps using the Image Processor
      2m 21s
    4. Opening multiple images as layers
      3m 6s
  12. 1h 13m
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      2m 47s
    2. Understanding the Camera Raw preferences
      3m 15s
    3. Opening files in Camera Raw
      5m 23s
    4. The Camera Raw interface and essential controls
      5m 13s
    5. White Balance, Straighten, and Tone
      3m 2s
    6. Crop, Rotate, and Vignette
      5m 6s
    7. Improving color and tone
      4m 45s
    8. Saturation vs. Vibrance
      4m 46s
    9. Converting an image to black and white
      4m 7s
    10. Split-toning an image
      3m 32s
    11. Working with tone subjectively
      5m 56s
    12. Adjustment Brush essentials
      3m 19s
    13. Using the Adjustment Brush
      7m 24s
    14. Working with the Graduated filter
      4m 6s
    15. Sharpening and noise reduction
      6m 10s
    16. Working with multiple images
      4m 45s
  13. 38m 42s
    1. Creative tip 2: Worth the risk
      2m 30s
    2. Introducing layers
      2m 53s
    3. Working with layers
      2m 21s
    4. Working with History and the History Brush
      4m 1s
    5. Aligning layers
      1m 56s
    6. Organizing layers
      4m 17s
    7. Layer style effects
      4m 21s
    8. Creating a clipping mask
      4m 27s
    9. Creating a reflection of an image
      2m 37s
    10. Targeting and moving layers
      5m 36s
    11. Reviewing layers shortcuts
      3m 43s
  14. 31m 31s
    1. Introducing masking
      2m 8s
    2. Creating a simple layer mask
      3m 51s
    3. Masking shortcuts
      3m 25s
    4. Using Color Range to create a detailed mask
      3m 48s
    5. Creating a layer mask with Color Range
      5m 5s
    6. Masking and brightening eyes
      3m 35s
    7. Masking and selective sharpening
      2m 58s
    8. The Quick Mask mode
      6m 41s
  15. 24m 15s
    1. Creating a custom border with masking
      5m 41s
    2. Using pre-built borders
      7m 6s
    3. Exploring sample image frames
      4m 59s
    4. Frame plugin highlight: Photoframe
      6m 29s
  16. 51m 47s
    1. Creating a mask with the Quick Selection tool
      5m 39s
    2. Working with the Quick Selection tool
      4m 12s
    3. Creating color range selections
      4m 46s
    4. Advanced selection enhancements
      5m 1s
    5. Using the Magic Wand
      2m 33s
    6. Using the Lasso tool
      5m 37s
    7. Pen and path shortcuts
      5m 20s
    8. Understanding paths
      4m 7s
    9. Creating path selections
      6m 3s
    10. The Magnetic Lasso tool and paths
      8m 29s
  17. 21m 10s
    1. Introducing the Adjustments panel
      2m 26s
    2. Brightness and contrast
      3m 39s
    3. Understanding the difference between Vibrance and Saturation
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Target Adjustment tool
      4m 9s
    5. Hue/Saturation adjustments and masking
      3m 15s
    6. Hue/Saturation blending with Shadow/Highlight
      4m 46s
  18. 17m 45s
    1. Introducing levels
      1m 58s
    2. Enhancing color and tone with levels
      3m 3s
    3. Modifying color with levels
      3m 47s
    4. Levels and masking
      3m 13s
    5. Using levels and masking to get the most out of adjustments
      5m 44s
  19. 40m 58s
    1. Demystifying curves
      6m 52s
    2. Using curves for contrast and tone
      3m 33s
    3. Midtones and advanced blending
      2m 50s
    4. Curves and general Hue/Saturation
      2m 54s
    5. Enhancing color with curves
      6m 18s
    6. Curves, color, masking, and tone
      5m 10s
    7. Curves and masking
      4m 54s
    8. Creative tip 3: Using curves for publication
      5m 14s
    9. Using, modifying, and saving curves presets
      3m 13s
  20. 24m 7s
    1. Creative tip 4: Ordinary ingredients = extraordinary results
      2m 23s
    2. Introducing blend modes
      5m 36s
    3. Blend modes visualized
      6m 48s
    4. Blending multiple images
      6m 9s
    5. Blend modes shortcuts
      3m 11s
  21. 42m 57s
    1. Correcting color with eyedroppers
      4m 37s
    2. Advanced color correction with eyedroppers
      2m 27s
    3. Color correction with Camera Raw
      3m 3s
    4. Performing difficult color correction with Camera Raw
      3m 1s
    5. Performing easier color correction with a color chart
      2m 31s
    6. Color-correcting skin by the numbers
      3m 42s
    7. Color-correcting by the numbers
      4m 10s
    8. Color correction: Studio shot
      3m 6s
    9. Color correction: Light skin tone
      3m 6s
    10. Color correction: Dark skin tone
      3m 44s
    11. Color correction: Multiple skin tones
      6m 40s
    12. Color correction plugin highlight: SkinTune 2
      2m 50s
  22. 44m 44s
    1. Replacing color with Hue/Saturation
      3m 2s
    2. Replacing a color
      5m 6s
    3. Modifying color with Selective Color
      3m 5s
    4. Color focus
      5m 59s
    5. Experimenting with cool and warm colors
      5m 18s
    6. Enhancing a portrait with sunset colors
      5m 16s
    7. Enhancing a landscape with sunrise colors
      5m 19s
    8. Enhancing a color group shot
      3m 17s
    9. Using photo filters with black-and-white photos
      3m 14s
    10. Using photo filters with color photos
      5m 8s
  23. 22m 3s
    1. Introducing the Burn and Dodge tools
      2m 56s
    2. Using the Burn and Dodge tools
      3m 47s
    3. Darkening corners with the Soft Light blend mode
      3m 0s
    4. Adding contrast to the highlights
      2m 30s
    5. Darkening a portion of an image
      2m 45s
    6. Correcting bright and dark tones
      3m 56s
    7. Reducing highlights with the Multiply blend mode
      3m 9s
  24. 19m 30s
    1. Creative tip 5: Seeing beyond the color - your gear is good enough
      4m 58s
    2. Introducing black-and-white conversion
      3m 37s
    3. Portrait black-and-white conversion
      3m 31s
    4. Landscape black-and-white conversion
      2m 40s
    5. Adding grain and tone to a black-and-white image
      4m 44s
  25. 11m 16s
    1. Introducing Smart Filters
      2m 36s
    2. Applying Smart Filters
      3m 21s
    3. Blending and masking Smart Filters
      5m 19s
  26. 19m 38s
    1. Noise reduction with Surface Blur
      4m 36s
    2. The Noise Reduction filter
      2m 54s
    3. Advanced noise reduction with Channels
      5m 32s
    4. Advanced noise reduction with the Dfine plugin
      6m 36s
  27. 33m 29s
    1. The Dust and Scratches Filter
      3m 57s
    2. Using masking to remove dust and scratches
      5m 10s
    3. Introducing the trio of healing tools
      6m 18s
    4. Using the Healing and Clone Stamp tools
      4m 21s
    5. Using the Patch tool
      7m 40s
    6. Cleaning up an image with what's there
      6m 3s
  28. 58m 58s
    1. Creative tip 6: A beautiful mistake
      2m 51s
    2. Cleaning up a background
      3m 21s
    3. Removing blemishes
      4m 19s
    4. Cleaning up backgrounds and blemishes
      3m 46s
    5. Brightening eyes
      3m 12s
    6. Changing eye color
      4m 55s
    7. Darkening the edge of an eye
      1m 32s
    8. Adding makeup
      2m 25s
    9. Correcting distortion
      2m 19s
    10. Reducing eye wrinkles
      4m 4s
    11. Adding height and reducing wrinkles
      7m 55s
    12. Whitening teeth
      4m 6s
    13. Whitening teeth using Quick Mask
      3m 39s
    14. Softening skin
      5m 5s
    15. Removing red-eye
      2m 21s
    16. The next steps in retouching
      3m 8s
  29. 38m 35s
    1. Introducing Smart Sharpen
      3m 23s
    2. Smart Sharpen demystified
      4m 10s
    3. Smart Sharpen and masking
      8m 46s
    4. Using the Unsharpen Mask filter
      5m 19s
    5. Black-and-white High Pass sharpening
      8m 2s
    6. Color High Pass sharpening
      3m 27s
    7. Sharpening and tone
      5m 28s
  30. 28m 38s
    1. Resizing for email and the web
      3m 1s
    2. Image size considerations
      2m 54s
    3. Preparing files for the web
      4m 37s
    4. Sharpening for the web
      2m 12s
    5. Correcting color for the web
      3m 10s
    6. The Save for Web dialog
      3m 51s
    7. Creating a web gallery
      6m 21s
    8. Sharing your photos online
      2m 32s
  31. 23m 33s
    1. Creating contact sheets
      4m 19s
    2. Presenting your photos as a PDF slideshow
      2m 55s
    3. Desktop printing recommendations
      1m 40s
    4. Preparing to print
      5m 53s
    5. Using Soft Proof to pre-visualize printing
      3m 46s
    6. Using the Print dialog
      3m 31s
    7. Print settings
      1m 29s
  32. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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