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Selective sharpening: Advanced shortcut tips

From: Photoshop CC for Photographers: Sharpening

Video: Selective sharpening: Advanced shortcut tips

In this movie we will continue our

Selective sharpening: Advanced shortcut tips

In this movie we will continue our conversation about selectively sharpening our photographs by creating a duplicate layer, and then by adding a layer mask and hand painting onto that mask. Yet, in this movie what I want to do is show you what we've already seen but build upon that by adding in just a few advanced shortcut techniques, which you might want to consider using in your workflow to help you speed up the way that you selectively sharpen your photographs. The reason why I want to include these is because these are techniques that I use on almost every image that I work on in Photoshop.

Well, here it goes. Often, like with a photograph like this, I'll decide on an area that I want to sharpen. In this image, it's all about sharpening the eye and maybe a little bit of the lips as well, and some of the hair. You know, there's a shallow depth of field here. I'm not interested in sharpening the background. So I want to quickly and easily sharpen these areas. Also, as a side note, we'll talk about working on another type of image in the next movie. But for now we'll work with this shallow depth of field, one that we have here. Right, well where to begin.

Well, what I do is copy the background layer by way of a shortcut. The best shortcut to use, I think, is Command J on a Mac, or Control J on Windows. Think J for jump. It duplicates, or jumps the contents from one layer to another. Then double-click that layer name and go ahead and rename it, this case I'll rename it sharpen. Well now, I know that I'm going to need to apply a filter. So what we can do is we can go to that Filter pull-down menu again. And here we can go to Sharpen and then select Smart Sharpen.

Yet out of all of the filters that I use, this is one that I use really commonly. It's almost the one that I think I use most frequently compared to all of these. And as a result, often this filter, or whatever filter you used last, is listed here up top. Notice how there's a shortcut associated with the filter. It's Cmd+F on a Mac or Ctrl+F on Windows. If you were to press that shortcut, what it would do is it would run or apply the filter with the same settings which you previously used.

Now that won't be that helpful because you're on a different photograph and you'll need a different settings. Yet, if you press the shortcut key combination, which here I'll do. Let me just click off of that menu. Which is Option+Cmd+F on a Mac or Alt+Ctrl+F on Windows. What that will do is it will open up the last filter which you applied, but it will open it up with those settings, and it will include the dialogue so you can then change the settings. So I recommend you write this one down, it is more advanced, but it's worth it to know these, and here it is.

It's Option+Cmd+F on Mac, Alt+Ctrl+F on Windows. Alright, so now we have the dialogue open. This is showing me that my radius needs to drop down and also the overall amount, it's just too intense for this file. This file is probably going to favor a little bit lighter or lower amount there. I think that's actually decent. The skin tine doesn't look good but I think the eye's looking okay, the hair's looking good. So let's apply these settings. Here we'll click OK. Now we've sharpened this layer.

Next we need to create a mask. There are lots of ways to create masks, again, to have a more advanced technique, here's what I do. Rather than just clicking on the mask icon, if you hold down the Option key or the Alt key, think, I want a different option, I want an alternate way to create this mask. If you hold down that key and click on the add layer mask icon it creates a mask filled with black, and the beauty of that is that you're already one step ahead, because selective sharpening requires that you mask out a lot of the image, and then paint it in where you want.

So again, press Option or Alt, Option on Mac, Alt on Windows. Click on that add layer mask icon and there you have it. Then next, of course, we need to zoom in on our photograph and grab the brush tool. The shortcut key for the brush tool is the B key. Now, once you have the brush tool you may want to change your brush characteristics. There are lots of ways to do this. One technique which I would suggest is to right-click or Ctrl-click on the image. This will open up the menu which is right here. It will just open up where you are, rather than having to go up top.

You just have this dialog here, you can change your brush size, maybe we'll decrease our brush size a little bit, and also remove some of the hardness of the brush. To hide this menu, just click off, and that will disappear. So again, whenever you have the brush tool, you can right-click to get access to that contextual menu. Alright, well next, what about our opacity setting? Well you can change that by tapping a number on your keyboard. Tap zero, it goes to 100. Tap three it drops down to 30%. You can also press two numbers, five five goes to 55%.

So in this way, you can quickly change your opacity, which will be helpful initially when you start to work, and then perhaps as you progress. So let's start with 20%. With 20% opacity, I'm just going to paint over the eye. I'm going to try to bring in some sharpness there and also along the hair and maybe on the lips. 20% is too low. So I'll tap the four key to go to 40%. Now I'll bring in a little bit more into that area. I'm also going to sharpen up the shoulder a touch here as well. As I paint over these areas, can just go ahead and quickly mask this in.

And you know what, I think at this point, I'm done. That's all we need to do. We were able to selectively sharpen the eye, a bit of the hair, the lips, and also a little bit here on the shoulder. And we were able to do so really quickly using these advanced shortcut techniques. I'm aware that whenever there are shortcuts, they can be tricky to learn them all at once. What I recommend you do is go back and watch this movie again, and then pick out one or two shortcuts that you might integrate into your workflow.

Or maybe write them all out and have them on a sticky note, and stick them next to your computer so that you can slowly bring them into your workflow. Yet what I find is that certain shortcuts are really worth learning, and when it comes to masking and to making selective adjustments like we've done here, I think these shortcuts can help you out when it comes to saving you time and then also when it comes to creating better results.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

67 video lessons · 4227 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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