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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
I have saved the results of the previous exercise as High frequency sharpening.psd and we are way the heck zoomed in on this window inside the image so that we can see the frightful amount of luminance noise that we have brought out as well as the fair amount of color noise going on and we need to defeat both the luminance noise and the color noise using the Reduce Noise Filter and here is how we are going to do that. First of all I want you to turn off Smart Sharpen, so that we are seeing the original color noise. So we will address the color noise first then we will swap the order of the Filters and then we will address the luminance noise after we can see it enhanced by Smart Sharpen and I think this will make sense to you as we work our way through.
So go up here to the Filter menu, choose Noise and then choose Reduce Noise, if you loaded D keys you have a keyboard shortcut of Shift+F9 and I have gone ahead and created some settings actually. If you go to Color noise slider and reason I am calling it Color noise slider is that way the color noise value can slide around. However, Color noise is then only thing that's turned on. So I have turned Strength down to 0, recall that the strength value effects luminance noise only. Then Preserve Details works along with strength and it's cranked down to 0, Preserve Details isn't even available to us anymore.
Go down to Reduce Color Noise and a value of about 35% does the trick. So I am going to go ahead and zoom in on this window. Like usual zooms me to a bad location here so I will just go ahead and click in the background image in order to center that window right there, because it's the best indicator of what's going on. All right, so if I click and hold inside of this preview we can see the before version of the image with all the color noise and then if I release, we will see the after version of the image subject to a Reduced Color Noise value of 35%, please do not enter anything for Sharpen Details.
That's just going to rack things at this point, because we do not need Smart Sharpen on top of this very primitive sharpening function that's available to us here. So that's all we want, 0 for Strength, Reduced Noise up to 35%, Sharpen Details 0%. We are not worried about Advance, we will stick with basic. If you want to save a custom setting go ahead and click on the little floppy disk there, call that Color noise slider and then make sure again choose Color noise slider before you click OK. All right, now them we need to see how much Smart Sharpen increases the amount of noise as it work here.
So I am going to turn Smart Sharpen back On, all of a sudden all kinds of luminance noise is going to erupt and when I say all of a sudden it's going to happen fairly slowly because Photoshop is got to figure it out there and fly smart filters are very demanding and so they do tend to slow down a little bit when you are working inside high-resolution images like this. All right, now though I want Smart Sharpen happen after Reduce Noise. Even in the world of nondestructive modifications like this one, you need your noise reduction first and then you are sharpening on top of that.
So I will drag Smart Sharpen above Reduce Noise, again it's going to take a few seconds for it to happen and so when you are reading a list of Smart Filters the guy at the bottom is applied first and the guy at the top is applied last. All right, so now we can see that we really still don't have much in a way of any color noise going on because Reduce Noise got rid of that and Smart Sharpen is set to Luminosity. So it's not exaggerating that noise. However, we are exaggerating the heck out of the Luminance Noise, now that we can see the degree of exaggeration it's time to take care of it.
So, I want you to double-click on Reduce Noise again. Now this is a little bit of a problem and this is where we are going to have to use our imaginations. As soon as I double-click on Reduce Noise, I am going to get an alert message that tells me that as I address this filter, Reduce Noise I am only going to see the effect of that filter and anything below it. Anything above it, I will not see. Now that's kind of a problem but let's just go ahead and click OK for now. The sharpness is going to drop away so, so much for that theory where we could take advantage to that be able to see what we were doing there.
Let's try out some settings, let's try raising the Strength value here to 8 let's say and zoom in on this window of course, we are going to loose the window so you have to click in the window out here in the image window in the background and then drag it over so that we can see what we were doing. That does a pretty good job of melting away any noise that I am seeing here, problem is it probably goes too far. So let's say we take Preserve Details up to 15% for example. I never like to raise Preserve Details too high. I am not a big believer that you take it above 50% because if you do that you really start wiping out your Strength value and also you end up getting some fairly weird abrupt transitions between the details that you are preserving and the ones that you are wiping out.
So low values are generally the way to go, I am going to stick 15% there. Now I don't want to save over color noise slider because I am reducing luminance noise as well. So I will click my floppy disk and I will call this guy Lum & Color sliders and I will click OK and then I will go ahead and choose that option right there that I just created. Otherwise, I will wipe put the other one when I click the OK button. So now let's try clicking OK and our view of things is going to change pretty dramatically here as soon as Photoshop gets around to showing us both the Noise Reduction and Smart Sharpen on top of each other.
The only way to see what we have done at this point is to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac. So, this is the before version of our very noisy image and this is the after version if I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z again and actually you know what it does look significantly better. Now we are seeing a fair amount of noise still going on and some you know sort of worms inside of the image right there. Some JPEG compression artifacts, some artifacts of the demosaicing as well, however it's looking a lot better than it did before.
Now if you think you might want to take it even farther than you can go ahead and double-click on Reduce Noise once again. Let me see something here though, if I drag Reduce Noise above Sharpen for a moment, just so that we can keep track of both filters at the same time and actually it gives us a quite different impression of things that looks very different than it did before. But why don't we try keeping it on top, I will double-click on Reduce Noise and that will bring up the Reduce Noise dialog box, go ahead and zoom in on this window, click to center so that we can see what we are doing and let's try taking Preserve Details down, let's try 5%.
So, a Strength of 8, Preserve Details 5%, Reduce Color Noise 35%, of course Sharpen Detail 0. Click OK to accept that modification. We are going to have to wait for the effect to be applied and then after we do that we want to switch the order of these filters, that's very important that Reduce Noise comes before Smart Sharpen, so go ahead and do that and you got to wade it out. I mean actually now that looks much better. Let's try turning reduce noise Off for a second. Oh my Gosh! What a big huge difference it has made. Now, I will press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac to turn it back on.
Notice that happens immediately, the undo operation whereas turning the filter back on manually would take a few minutes and that is the new and improved version of this cathedral image. Thanks to the application of two Smart Filters; Reduce Noise and Smart Sharpen in that order because that's the order they are now applied subject to a filter mask here inside Photoshop.
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