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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to save out your Smart Sharpen settings, and then in the next exercise, I'll show you how to apply Advanced settings. It's very important we work in this order, so that we don't mess up the default settings that are associated with that dialog box. I'm including a new sample file for you. It's called Rodents in love.jpg. It's found inside the 15_sharpen folder. This is an image that I shot on the coast of California, close to San Simeon actually. I'm going to take this flat image and I'm going to create a copy of it, by pressing Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on a Mac, which jumps the image to a new layer, also forces the display of the New layer dialog box.
I'll name this layer Advanced settings, and we'll come back to it later. So, I'll click OK and then turn the layer off. Next, I'll click in the Background layer to make it active, and assuming that Smart Sharpen was the last filter we applied, you can press Ctrl+Alt+F or Command+Option+F in order to bring up the Smart Sharpen dialog box. Now, something that I think you'll find very interesting here; notice that our kissing squirrels are a bit too big to fit inside of the in dialog box preview at 100%. However, if I zoom out by clicking on the Minus button here to 67%, we get overly jagged transitions.
I want you to compare that to the appearance of the squirrels in the background. So, if I go ahead and zoom in on my squirrels, so that they're of the same size, and I'll drag them over as well. Notice that the squirrels in the background image window are smoother than they are inside the dialog box. That's because Photoshop goes ahead and employs OpenGL inside the image window in order to create a more accurate effect. It doesn't do any such thing inside the dialog box. So, here inside Smart Sharpen, we're seeing the bad, old Photoshop CS3 and earlier preview; out here in the image window, we see the good Photoshop CS4 and later preview, which makes this in dialog box preview accurate only at even increments, i.e., 50%, it looks pretty good; 33%, it doesn't look good at all; 25%, it looks okay and so on.
The best view, however, is 100%. So, I'm going to go ahead and zoom it back into 100%, even though the squirrel is too big to fit inside the dialog box. All right, the next thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to reinstate my original default settings, because Default is active here. I'm going to do that by changing the Amount value to 100%, and then I'm going to tab to the Radius value, change it to 1. I'm going to set Remove to Gaussian Blur, and I'm going to turn More Accurate off. So, those are the values that we're at work when we first open this dialog box.
Now, I'll click OK in order to apply them. All right, those aren't the values I want. I just wanted to reinstate those default settings. So, I'm now going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification and I'll press Ctrl+Alt+F again or Command+Option+F to redisplay the Smart Sharpen dialog box. Now, we have default settings of 100, 0, Gaussian Blur, More Accurate off. Now, it may seem like I'm not getting anywhere so far, but just bear with me for a moment. Actually, I would recommend you do what I'm doing, even if you don't have access to these sample files, just to make sure that you keep track of those original default settings, and don't completely make a mess of them.
The next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to raise the Amount value to 250%. This is a little bit of oversharpening, again, in order to make a point here for demonstrational purposes where these squirrels are concerned. I'm going to tab down to the Radius value, raise it to 4 pixels. I'm going to switch Remove to Lens Blur here, so that we end up getting a more accurate sharpening effect. So, I should say, by the way, Remove is set to Lens Blur, that's what's more accurate about the settings inside of this dialog box as opposed to the More Accurate check box that is. Now, what I want you to do is, save out a new group of settings.
By clicking on this little Floppy Disk icon, which, of course, is the way we all save things these days. So, that makes sense. But anyway, go ahead and click on the little Floppy Disk, and let's go ahead and name these print defaults, because it's a good sort of starting point for print settings. Then I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept those settings. Now, the problem is that setting doesn't automatically switch to my new settings, the ones that I just saved off. Even though, those new settings do contain these options, if I click OK, I will overwrite Default.
So, that work I did just a moment ago will be for not. What I need to do is now switch settings, this is very important that you work in this order, switch settings to Print defaults. I know it doesn't make a lick of sense, but this is how it works. Now, when you apply these settings, you will go ahead and save 250%, and 4 pixels and Lens Blur with Print defaults, and your original default settings will remain intact. Now, I'll click OK in order to apply those settings, and just to show you that everything worked here, I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+F. Don't worry about the fact that the squirrels look terrible now.
All I want you to note is that when I switch between Print defaults, which includes our last applied settings, and Default, which are Photoshop's defaults, I go ahead and restore my original settings of 100%, 1.0, and Gaussian Blur. So, I can now switch between those. The only thing that you have to bear in mind as you work now from this point on is that every time you make a major change to your settings, you should go ahead and save out new settings, the new Settings option here, and you should select it before clicking OK.
I'll show you how that works as well in the next exercise, I'm canceling out there, when we take a look at how to apply Advanced settings from the Smart Sharpen dialog box.
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