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Reducing luminance and color noise

From: Photoshop CC for Photographers: Sharpening

Video: Reducing luminance and color noise

My goal in this movie is to help you

Reducing luminance and color noise

My goal in this movie is to help you truly understand how the various noise reduction sliders work. In order to accomplish that goal, let's reset the photograph. Hold down Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows. That will change the Cancel button into Reset, and click on Reset. That will reset the photograph back to its default settings. Then next, let's go back to the Basic panel. Here in the Basic panel, lets brighten up the exposure and also bring up some of the detail of our shadows.

The reason why I want to do this. because I want to be sure to be able to see some color and luminance noise in the background so as we seek to reduce the noise, we have something that we can start to evaluate and really see how these sliders work. Next, let's go over to the Detail panel. Let's add a little bit of sharpening here. We'll increase our sharpening Amount. Maybe drop the Detail down a touch. I think that looks fine. Alright, well what about noise reduction? I'm going to zoom in past 100% for a moment.

And when I do that, what you should be able to see here is that in the background, we have all of this texture. We have color noise and we have what's called luminance noise. You can think of luminance like luminosity or brightness. If we drag the Luminance slider to the right, here I'm going to exaggerate, what it will do is it will remove all of the variation that we had in that part of that image. Notice how the face looks really strange, it's almost like it smudged out. Here's without luminance noise reduction and here's an exaggerated amount of that. Alright? Well, luminance is a phenomenal slider.

Most images need at least a touch of Luminance noise reduction. You can further customize that by working with these two sliders underneath. The Detail slider works just like the Detail slider above. Drag to the left and we see less details in the luminance area, the area where it's fixing the brightness artifacts. Drag this to the right and we're going to see more noise in there. In particular you can kind of see this on the edges of the face and also in the glasses. It may be tricky to see on my screen, but focus in on this area say for example.

See how I have less detail and now I have more. Luminance Contrast, well, that's the one which adds a little bit of shape or definition to the photograph. Did you notice how when I exaggerated the luminosity noise reduction it flattened out the image. Well, the contrast slider can bring back a little bit of shape to that area. So, it isn't quite so smudged or smooshed down. All right. Well, let's bring this back to something a little bit more normal and typical. Here, I'll drop these values down. All right? Well, I still see color artifacting in the background.

Let me zoom in even closer on that so we can really get close to that. See all the color pixels which look strange. Well if we drag our Color slider to the right, we can get rid of that issue. Take a look at how quickly that happened. This can mean that you can have a file which just has a stronger, or create a stronger and better file. You can clean up those little issues. Most images need a certain amount of color noise reduction as well. Our Detail slider works in a similar way. Here we can have less detail in that area or we can bring out more.

Drag too far to the right, and you'll actually bring back some of the noise. So you have to be careful with how high you go with this one. Now Smoothness, we can either have a smoother or a rougher look by dragging this to the left. Now, out of all of these sliders, the two which really don't make that much of a difference are the Luminance Contrast slider, and the Color Smoothness. If I go back to 100% view, which is the view that you want to have, as you start to apply these settings. As you drag these around, you'll be hard-pressed to even notice that big of a difference.

Yet still, what I tend to find, is that as I increase these values, the color smoothness slider is a bit of a tag-along. It likes to tag along with the color slider here. So if bring this up pretty high, this one sort of creeps up with it. The same thing can said for Luminance Noise Reduction and Luminance Contrast. It tends to offset some of the strange things that happen with this value gets too high. All right. Well there you have it, a bit of a deconstruction of those sliders and controls. And obviously what we need to do next is take all of this theory and put it into practice.

And we need to do that with a few different types of photographs. And we need to do it so the photographs actually look good. So let's go ahead and dig deep into this process of sharpening and noise reduction. And let's do that in the next few movies.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC for Photographers: Sharpening
Photoshop CC for Photographers: Sharpening

67 video lessons · 4649 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 5m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Raw sharpening in Lightroom or Camera Raw?
      3m 56s
    3. Using the exercise files
      40s
  2. 44m 15s
    1. Lighroom sharpening workflow first steps
      5m 35s
    2. Understanding how the Lightroom Detail controls work
      5m 36s
    3. Reducing luminance and color noise
      5m 47s
    4. Improving details in a portrait
      9m 13s
    5. Improving details in an outdoor photograph
      7m 12s
    6. Sharpening in order to emphasize small textures
      3m 49s
    7. Improving sky details and edge sharpening
      7m 3s
  3. 53m 3s
    1. Selective sharpening with the Adjustment Brush
      10m 19s
    2. Learning Adjustment Brush shortcuts
      4m 15s
    3. Reviewing Adjustment Brush techniques and shortcuts
      7m 36s
    4. Sharpening eyes in a portrait
      6m 44s
    5. Sharpening large areas with the Radial filter
      6m 50s
    6. Improving details with the Graduated filter
      7m 35s
    7. Creating custom presets
      6m 2s
    8. Sharing and installing presets
      3m 42s
  4. 40m 40s
    1. Camera Raw sharpening workflow: First steps
      3m 28s
    2. Understanding how the Camera Raw Detail controls work
      5m 46s
    3. Reducing luminance and color noise
      4m 40s
    4. Improving details in a portrait
      7m 28s
    5. Improving details in an outdoor photograph
      6m 6s
    6. Sharpening in order to emphasize small textures
      3m 48s
    7. Improving sky details and edge sharpening
      9m 24s
  5. 53m 40s
    1. Selective sharpening with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 16s
    2. Working with the Auto Mask option in the Adjustment Brush
      5m 6s
    3. Learning Adjustment Brush shortcuts
      8m 30s
    4. Reviewing Adjustment Brush techniques and shortcuts
      5m 45s
    5. Sharpening eyes in a portrait
      5m 15s
    6. Sharpening large areas with the Radial filter
      7m 4s
    7. Improving details with the Graduated filter
      4m 34s
    8. Further refinements with the Graduated filter
      4m 30s
    9. Creating custom presets
      5m 40s
  6. 49m 5s
    1. Resizing before you sharpen
      4m 37s
    2. Using Unsharp Mask
      8m 21s
    3. Using Smart Sharpen
      6m 5s
    4. Demonstrating how Smart Sharpen works
      4m 23s
    5. Fine-tuning Smart Sharpen with advanced controls
      5m 39s
    6. Applying blending modes to avoid color problems
      5m 9s
    7. Putting it all together: Workflow part one
      5m 57s
    8. Putting it all together: Workflow part two
      6m 42s
    9. A conversation about sharpening controls
      2m 12s
  7. 49m 34s
    1. Applying Camera Raw sharpening as a filter
      4m 41s
    2. Using smart filtering for increased flexibility
      5m 50s
    3. Smart filtering and masking
      4m 54s
    4. Selective sharpening with a hand-painted mask
      6m 0s
    5. Selective sharpening: Advanced shortcut tips
      6m 31s
    6. Using Quick Select and masking to sharpen selectively
      8m 20s
    7. How to sharpen a layered document
      3m 41s
    8. Fixing a blurry photograph with Shake Reduction
      4m 40s
    9. Shake Reduction: Advanced controls
      4m 57s
  8. 32m 47s
    1. High-pass sharpening essentials
      5m 55s
    2. Smart filter high-pass sharpening
      4m 2s
    3. Smart filter high-pass sharpening continued
      5m 50s
    4. Edge sharpening: Building an alpha channel
      4m 52s
    5. Edge sharpening: Creating the mask
      5m 3s
    6. Using Smart Sharpen in an unlikely way for midtone contrast
      7m 5s
  9. 10m 59s
    1. Recording a sharpening action
      6m 11s
    2. Playing the action for a single file
      2m 18s
    3. Batch sharpening multiple files
      2m 30s
  10. 28m 48s
    1. Sharpening and saving from Camera Raw
      6m 51s
    2. Sharpening and exporting from Camera Raw
      3m 44s
    3. Output sharpening from Lightroom
      5m 26s
    4. Final output sharpening from Photoshop for print
      7m 17s
    5. Photoshop sharpening for web, mobile, and displays
      5m 30s
  11. 31s
    1. Next steps
      31s

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