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Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
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Reducing shadow noise


From:

Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

with Deke McClelland

Video: Reducing shadow noise

Now at this point you maybe wondering, OK, this is great. All these different ways to reduce noise, address fall sharpening, and so on, but what about that original guy, that Dangerous gentleman.dng image that we saw a few exercises back? How do we get rid of the noise that was showing up in the dark shadow details inside the image? Well, it actually turns out to require yet a different approach. In order to catch up with this image, lets go ahead and scroll over here, inside the 05_for_source folder.
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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 shadow noise

Now at this point you maybe wondering, OK, this is great. All these different ways to reduce noise, address fall sharpening, and so on, but what about that original guy, that Dangerous gentleman.dng image that we saw a few exercises back? How do we get rid of the noise that was showing up in the dark shadow details inside the image? Well, it actually turns out to require yet a different approach. In order to catch up with this image, lets go ahead and scroll over here, inside the 05_for_source folder.

You will see that there is this image called Sharp on sharp.dng, meaning that we have sharp focus combined with a sharp fellow. I am going to go ahead and press Ctrl+R, Command+R in the Mac, in order to open this image. This is the sharpened version of the image, so this is the after version. If you go over here to the Sharpening controls, you can see that I have applied an Amount value of 80, that was on the high side, that was for demonstrational purpose. I really recommend something more in the 50 range. Then my other recommended values, Radius of 1.5, the Detail value of 20, and a Masking value of 70%.

So again, because this a low frequency portrait shot, we are going low, high, low, high with these values. I am going to go ahead and zoom in to the 100% zoom ratio so that we can see the results of our modifications. You can see that we do indeed have these very sharp details going on inside the fellows face, and we are bringing out that thread that's hanging from his chin and so on. The problem is that we would have to presumably either clone that away inside of Photoshop or we could perhaps spot retouch the image using the Retouch tool here inside of Camera RAW.

But the larger problem is this noise that's showing up inside the shadow detail. Now the shadows are where you are most likely to bring out noise inside of a digital photograph, the reason being that when you are working with a linear image, there is less luminance data inside the shadows than there is inside the highlights. There is just tons of luminance information dedicated to highlights, and very little dedicated to the shadows, just a fraction as it turns out. When you start brightening the shadow region, then you bring out a ton of noise as a result.

Well, what I would suggest we do in the case of this particular photograph- and notice by the way, if we go the background, you can see that what should be a nice black background is showing up as noisy as well. We will go ahead and zoom out here. If you look closely you can see the fabric, the black fabric, in the background, which really ought to be entirely black. We can get rid of the noise by making it entirely black. So once again, I am going to have to zoom into 100%, because I cant see the results of my modifications if I am not looking at the 100% view size, and so we wouldnt see the noise accurately.

Now lets switch over to the Basic panel, by clicking on the Basic tab here, or you can press Ctrl+Alt+1 or Command+Option+1 since it's the first panel. I am going to go ahead and increase the Blacks value. Now you don't have to increase it very high. If I just press the up arrow key I will take it up to 1, at which point I am saying anything that has a luminance level of 1 or darker, becomes black. I will keep raising that value until my noise goes away, which happens at about 5, that noise goes entirely away and my background becomes completely black.

So those folds in the fabric go away, and it looks like we just have a void of black space in the background, which is exactly what we want in the case of this image of course. Now I am going to scroll over to the tie, it still has a bunch of color noise going on inside of it. So naturally we are going to switch over to the Detail options here, and then we are going to raise that color value to something in the neighborhood of 30, lets say. By doing that, I go ahead and elominate the color noise inside of the tie, and also inside of the jacket, as you can see here.

So this is the before view of the jacket, if I turn the Preview checkbox off, lots of color noise going on. This is the after view, which is nice and homogenous, so we have a uniform color going on to this fellows jacket, which is in the way it should be of course. Finally, I am going to go ahead and zoom out to take in the entire image. By virtue of the fact that I raised the black value, I have darkened the image all over the place. I have darkened all portions of the image, not only the shadows, but the mid tones as well. So lets go back to the Basic panel here, and I am going to have to change a few other values to accommodate.

First of all, I am going to have to brighten the image. I am going to do that by selecting the Brightness value and pressing Shift+Up arrow in order to raise it from 35 to 45, and that goes ahead and restores some of the brightness. Now I don't need as much color saturation, because I have raised the black value, because I have darkened the shadows, I have also intensified the colors inside the image, so these high vibrance and saturation values are no longer warranted. I am going to go ahead and select the Vibrance value by clicking on the word Vibrance there, and I am going to press Shift+ Down arrow three times to reduce that Vibrance value to 20.

Then I am going to tab to saturation, and I am going to press Shift+Down arrow once to reduce that value to 5. So now we have a very nice image, much better than it was before, I think. This is the before version of the colors, and this is the after version of the colors, I think we have a much more striking dynamic image, not to mention we have a lot less noise inside this image as well.

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