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Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
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Reducing luminance noise


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Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

with Deke McClelland

Video: Reducing luminance noise

In the previous exercise we saw that it's pretty easy to eliminate color noise inside of an image. For example, in the case of the Subterranean ventilation.dng file, found inside the 05_for_source folder, all we had to do in order to fix a considerable amount of color noise, this was the before version of the image, all we had to do was raise this color value, here inside the Detail panel to 20, and that took care of everything, it took care of that problem. Luminance noise is trickier. Its not just the matter of adjusting the luminance slider, you also have to fiddle around with a few other options, but it does center on the luminance slider.
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  1. 50m 30s
    1. Why every image needs sharpening
      2m 38s
    2. Understanding the effects of sharpening
      5m 26s
    3. Understanding the mechanics of sharpening
      4m 19s
    4. Understanding sharpening and gradual transitions
      3m 21s
    5. Understanding sharpening and noise reduction
      4m 0s
    6. Understanding amount and radius
      7m 50s
    7. Measuring your screen resolution
      6m 19s
    8. Using reliable zoom ratios
      5m 30s
    9. Calculating the actual print size
      4m 54s
    10. Gauging the ideal sharpening settings
      6m 13s
  2. 59m 31s
    1. Everyone knows you sharpen last (and everyone is wrong)
      1m 8s
    2. Understanding the conventional sharpening workflow
      5m 4s
    3. Flattening and saving to TIFF
      6m 39s
    4. Downsampling (and why you shouldn't upsample)
      6m 8s
    5. Understanding last-step sharpening
      6m 44s
    6. Recognizing problems with the conventional workflow
      9m 38s
    7. Erasing sharpening with the history brush
      4m 30s
    8. Using alternative sharpening workflows
      2m 37s
    9. Sharpening a scanned photograph shot on film
      2m 45s
    10. Sharpening a digital photograph
      3m 6s
    11. Sharpening specific details
      3m 43s
    12. Finding broad workflow conclusions
      2m 49s
    13. Learning that technique trumps timing
      4m 40s
  3. 1h 27m
    1. Comparing and contrasting neighboring pixels
      1m 6s
    2. Using the Gaussian Blur filter
      4m 25s
    3. Using Gaussian luminance distribution
      4m 47s
    4. Using the Unsharp Mask filter
      4m 54s
    5. Understanding the history of Unsharp Mask
      3m 51s
    6. Building your own USM with Gaussian Blur
      7m 35s
    7. Using the Smart Sharpen filter
      7m 35s
    8. Compensating for camera shake
      8m 50s
    9. Building your own Smart Sharpen with Lens Blur
      6m 59s
    10. Using directional sharpening with Emboss
      9m 13s
    11. Using Smart Sharpen extras
      8m 56s
    12. Using Convolution Kernels for more accuracy
      7m 8s
    13. Using the High Pass filter
      7m 32s
    14. Using Luminance Sharpening
      5m 5s
  4. 2h 14m
    1. Smoothing filters, smart objects, and masks
      1m 25s
    2. Using the Median filter and Dust and Scratches
      7m 7s
    3. Using Smart Blur and Surface Blur
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Despeckle filter
      8m 17s
    5. Softening flesh tones selectively
      10m 15s
    6. Using the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 27s
    7. Combining smoothing and sharpening
      8m 24s
    8. Making an image into a smart object
      9m 24s
    9. Applying editable smart filters
      6m 8s
    10. Combining two smart filters
      8m 5s
    11. Assigning a filter mask
      5m 59s
    12. Nesting one smart object inside another
      10m 32s
    13. Employing a static High Pass layer
      8m 59s
    14. Matching static pixel-level edits
      4m 37s
    15. Avoiding clipping with luminance blending
      9m 7s
    16. Sharpening and smoothing
      6m 36s
    17. Making an edge mask
      8m 14s
    18. Making a non-edge mask
      7m 17s
  5. 1h 33m
    1. Sharpening with Adobe Camera Raw
      1m 29s
    2. Introducing Camera Raw (4.1 or later)
      8m 13s
    3. Understanding why to sharpen for source
      5m 14s
    4. Using Camera Raw’s sharpening control
      5m 52s
    5. Previewing limitations and tricks
      6m 45s
    6. Why downsampling doesn’t work
      3m 12s
    7. Reducing chromatic aberration
      7m 30s
    8. Using the Defringe option
      3m 32s
    9. Understanding high frequency, low radius
      5m 21s
    10. Raising the Detail value
      3m 6s
    11. Using on-the-fly edge masking
      5m 41s
    12. Sharpening a low-frequency portrait
      6m 36s
    13. Eliminating color noise
      4m 47s
    14. Reducing luminance noise
      4m 42s
    15. Correcting “false sharpening”
      7m 15s
    16. Reducing shadow noise
      5m 22s
    17. Approximating ACR sharpening in Photoshop
      8m 35s
  6. 59m 8s
    1. Gauging and exploiting luminance frequency
      1m 27s
    2. Using low-frequency source sharpening
      5m 53s
    3. Using High Pass for portraits
      4m 19s
    4. Actioning a low-frequency edge mask
      7m 42s
    5. Modifying the source sharpening
      5m 21s
    6. Using high-frequency source sharpening
      5m 26s
    7. Using Smart Sharpen for cityscapes
      3m 2s
    8. Actioning a high-frequency edge mask
      5m 4s
    9. Downplaying color artifacts and clipping
      4m 4s
    10. Sharpening a medium-frequency image
      5m 24s
    11. Sharpening a layered composition
      7m 16s
    12. Sharpening for multiple frequencies
      4m 10s
  7. 1h 8m
    1. Who needs dull when you have sharp?
      56s
    2. Focusing in on a person’s eyes
      4m 22s
    3. Blurring the area outside the eyes
      4m 22s
    4. Sharpening eyes and other details
      5m 38s
    5. Darkening the lashes and eyebrows
      7m 13s
    6. Sharpening dark-haired people
      5m 2s
    7. Edge mask and emphasize
      3m 39s
    8. Nesting a Smart Sharpen effect
      4m 48s
    9. Density mask sharpening
      5m 35s
    10. Adding depth of field
      4m 39s
    11. Sharpening a background
      4m 23s
    12. Masking background from foreground
      8m 51s
    13. Eliminating halos around a person
      5m 38s
    14. Deepening and warming a background
      3m 28s
  8. 1h 18m
    1. Reverting back to convention
      1m 37s
    2. Understanding the use-neutral composition
      4m 15s
    3. Restoring much-needed antialiasing
      4m 2s
    4. Reducing noise in a high-frequency image
      7m 24s
    5. Making a third-level smart object
      3m 55s
    6. Preparing an image for print
      5m 18s
    7. Using ideal settings for commercial reproduction
      5m 37s
    8. Calculating very large-format settings
      5m 11s
    9. Using ideal settings for inkjet output
      4m 26s
    10. Sharpening for commercial reproduction
      5m 45s
    11. Sharpening for inkjet output
      4m 58s
    12. Revealing high-frequency multipass sharpening
      5m 21s
    13. Using Gaussian Blur to sharpen hair
      5m 41s
    14. Flatten, Save As, Resample, and Sharpen
      5m 9s
    15. Revealing low-frequency multipass sharpening
      3m 30s
    16. Sharpening an image for web or screen
      6m 22s
  9. 1m 50s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 50s

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Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
10h 33m Intermediate Feb 15, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the effects of sharpening
  • In-depth examinations of Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen, Emboss, and High Pass
  • Smoothing an image with the Surface Blur, Despeckle, and Reduce Noise features
  • Working with smart objects and smart filters
  • Creating edge masks and non-edge masks
  • Sharpening for digital-image capture using Camera Raw
  • Gauging and exploiting luminance frequency
  • Exploring creative applications of sharpening
  • Sharpening a multilayer composition
  • Sharpening eyes, hair, and out-of-focus backgrounds
  • Reducing noise in a high-frequency image
  • Determining ideal settings for commercial and inkjet output
  • Sharpening very large-format images
  • Sharpening an image for the web or screen output
Subjects:
Photography Sharpening
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Reducing luminance noise

In the previous exercise we saw that it's pretty easy to eliminate color noise inside of an image. For example, in the case of the Subterranean ventilation.dng file, found inside the 05_for_source folder, all we had to do in order to fix a considerable amount of color noise, this was the before version of the image, all we had to do was raise this color value, here inside the Detail panel to 20, and that took care of everything, it took care of that problem. Luminance noise is trickier. Its not just the matter of adjusting the luminance slider, you also have to fiddle around with a few other options, but it does center on the luminance slider.

Now notice what I am talking about where luminance noise is concerned, we have all this variation going on between these neighboring pixels, where the luminance levels are concerned, and this isn't because this is actual detail, this is magnified noise essentially that we are looking at, detail that was invented out of whole cloth by the camera and Camera RAW conspiring together here. To get rid of it, what we need to do is, for starters, we will raise the Luminance slider. Now I could take this, I could crank it through the roof here, I could raise that value to a 100 and that would definitely smooth over the details, but that's going to be at the expense of, of course the sharpening of those details, I would have to raise the Amount value to compensate, and even then I am still going to be left with some weird edge stuff going on.

Notice right here the edges of the silo with the cone. I will go ahead and zoom out here so we can see what I am talking about; this cone at the top meets this cylindrical structure right here. We have a band of halo essentially, a sharpened halo, but that's not entirely because of the sharpening, its just the function of the image itself. If I take that Amount value down to zero, you can see that its still there, and its a certain amount of color wandering, and a certain amount of luminance wandering as well. Alright, so I will take that value back up to 70%.

So there is a couple of ways to address this. First of all, we don't want to go this high with luminance, so lets temper this value a little bit, lets take it down to lets say about 65, which is pretty darn high, but happens to work well for this image. You can see that we are smoothing over the luminance transitions pretty nicely. Another thing you want to do is you want to check out the lens corrections options. So lets go ahead and switch over to lens corrections. Now of course the first option affect chromatic aberration, we do have chromatic aberration inside this image. If you scroll to the top of the silo, to this cone at the top right here, you can see that its got a ton of chromatic aberration.

We have all the cyan edges and this magenta edges, and that falls totally in the cyan red territory right here. I will go ahead and drag to value negative, and you see this time it actually ends up working quite nicely, we end up getting rid of that fringing quite well. So I am going to this value down to lets say negative 45, and I am just keeping the values fairly around, you can of course enter any value you like. We don't need to adjust the blue-yellow fringe for this particular image. So if we don't need to adjust if, don't adjust it, leave it the way it is.

Lets go ahead and see if that has any effect whatsoever. Notice that we are smoothing out a lot of stuff inside of this rust colored and maybe rust covered for that matter, cylinder, that's leading up to the top of the ventilation shaft there. I am going to go ahead and wander my way down to this edge. This edge still is very much in effect. We are seeing this weird sort of transitional pixels going on here. I might try defringe, and in this case I would just try all edges to see if it does any good. This is just the test to see if its going to help us or not, in some cases you may see the edge sort of trim up, it may look better.

In our case it doesn't seem to make any difference where this edge is concerned, so don't apply it. If you try defringe and it doesn't work, turn it off, there is no sense de-fringing the image if its not going to serve any purpose. Its just going to gum up the details. It might be very, very slight, it might be the kind of thing that comes back to haunt you later. Alright, I am going to switch back to the Detail panel. What I would do in the case of this image is, I would back of the amount of sharpening that I have applied. So I am going to take that Amount value down to 50%, and then I am going to take the luminance value down to 40%, because as I back off amount, I can also afford to back off the luminance value.

This is probably the effect that I would stick with. Just so that you can see the difference here, this is the before version of the image; lots of noise going on. I will even zoom in so that we can see the difference here, lets go ahead and switch down to this region right there, we have a lot of luminance and color noise going on, and this is the after version. Thanks to the noise reduction functions combined with chromatic aberration correction here inside of Camera RAW.

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