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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.
Now that we've crafted this wonderful used neutral composition, how do we go about sharpening it for output? Well I need to remind you, those of you who have been with me throughout the series, about the conventional workflow because we are going back to the conventional sharpening workflow, although I've got quite a few unconventional things to share with you. So I am going to go ahead and bring up that slide from Chapter 2, the last time we discussed this, it's this guy right its called Conventional Workflow.PSD, found inside the 02_When_to_Sharpen folder.
There's not really any reason to open it, but just in case. Notice that the first step is to edit the image. We've already done that. We've got all of our stuff, we've got a ton of nondestructive edits applied as independent layers. We're doing awesome; we haven't changed a single pixel inside of the original image from photographer Nick Roberts. Then we need to flatten the image. So we need to go ahead and save our changes of course as a PSD image. So we're going to save all of our layers and alpha channels, and paths and all that jazz to the PSD format, and then we'll chose Layer, Flatten Image, and we'll save that flat image as a separate- here's where were going to change things, a TIFF file.
Now that's part of the conventional sharpening workflow is to work with the flat TIFF file. We're going to stay with a multilayered PSD image, but we are going to change its name. We're going to go ahead and save it under different file name to protect the original, then we'll go ahead and resample the image for print, that's very important to do, and then we sharpen. So you always work in this order, you resample first, so that we get the image to the proper print size or the proper output size. If we're going to screen, and then we go ahead and sharpen the image, and then convert it to CMYK if necessary.
We're going to stick in RGB for our examples here, but anyway that's how its works. So lets go back to our image at hand which by the way- I'll go ahead and bring back my Layers palette- I have got a catch up version of this document if you're just joining me, or for whatever reason you want to open it, its called Triple Smart Object.PSD and its found inside of the 08_for_output folder. This image has been saved. If you're working along with me, I encourage you to go ahead and save your changes by choosing Save As presumably, so that you can save it under different a file name. So you protect the document I gave you if you want to and call it whatever you want, but make sure that you save your modifications; that's very important.
Now go up to the Layer menu and choose Flatten Image in order to merge all the layers into a single background layer. That also gets rid of all those nested Smart Objects. So we no longer have three levels of Smart Object; we just have one flat background layer and nothing more. You might also want to check the contents of your Channels palette and your Paths palette and your Layer Comps palette as well, just to make sure that they're all cleaned out. Get rid of all the garbage, And then go up to the File menu choose the Save As command and lets go ahead and save this image as Output photograph, lets say.
We do want to save the image in the native PSD format, the Photoshop format right there, and leave the ICC checkbox on, make sure As a Copy is turned off, and then click Save in order to save that image. I am going to go ahead and save it into the 08_for_output folder. You can save it wherever you want, and we're now ready to resample the image. Now lets say that I want to print this image at 4 inches x 6 inches x 300 pixels per inch. So I am going to go up to the Image menu and choose the Image Size command, or you can press Ctrl+Alt+I or Command+Option+I on the Mac.
Notice right now it measures 7 inches x 10.5 inches by a resolution of 240 pixels per inch. So I don't know if I am going to make my image larger or smaller, that that old thing. So I am going to go ahead and change the Width value to 4 and I'll see what happens. And that automatically changes the Height value to 6 because Constrain Proportions is turned on. And incidentally I want you to make sure that all of your checkboxes are turned on, Scale Styles doesn't matter, but we will leave it on, and that the Resample image is set to Bicubic (best for smooth gradients), which as we know is best for any image.
Since Photoshop went ahead and automatically entered the proper Height value, I'll change Resolution value to 300 pixel per inch. Now how do I know that I am downsampling as oppose to upsampling? I was telling you long, long ago that there's no point in upsampling the image. It's not going to do you any good. Whereas down-sampling the image can serve a really great purpose; it can help to fuse the details together and get rid of noise inside the image and basically make the remaining pixels that much better, and in our case I know that I am downsampling because the first pixels dimensions value is smaller than the second value.
So it's going to be 6.18 MB. It was 12.1 MB; that means it use to be bigger so we are downsampling it. That's a good thing. Alright. So after going ahead and entering these values go ahead and click OK in order to downsample the image. You might want to go ahead and save it in order to update your changes. So I'll just go ahead and choose the Save command from the File menu. We are now ready to sharpen the image for output. The question becomes, what settings do we apply? And I am prepared to tell you the best settings for this job and many other jobs as well in the next exercise.
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