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Selective sharpening with hand-drawn masks


Photoshop CS6 for Photographers

with Chris Orwig

Video: Selective sharpening with hand-drawn masks

Because selective sharpening is so important, here we're going to take a look at a few more examples of how we can use this technique. And in this case, I want to look at how we can paint in the sharpening into a particular area in our photograph. And if we zoom in a little bit on this picture, you'll notice that this sign is in focus and the rest of the picture is out of focus. So here we'll double-click the Zoom tool; that will take the image to 100%. And next what I want to do is paint in some sharpening into this area of the picture. To do so, press Command+J or Ctrl+J to copy that Background layer.
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  1. 1m 43s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 11m 49s
    1. Ideas for how to learn Photoshop more effectively
      4m 25s
    2. Isolating what you've learned and taking quality notes
      3m 53s
    3. Getting creative and being ready to be surprised
      3m 31s
  3. 38m 58s
    1. Customizing the Bridge workspace
      4m 46s
    2. Reviewing and evaluating your photos
      4m 22s
    3. Rating, ranking, and filtering photographs
      5m 42s
    4. Organizing photos with stacks
      3m 56s
    5. Grouping pictures together with collections
      3m 56s
    6. Adding metadata and keywords
      4m 47s
    7. Renaming images
      1m 45s
    8. Accessing the Photoshop tools from within Bridge
      2m 28s
    9. Working with Bridge and Photoshop
      2m 40s
    10. Working with Mini Bridge
      4m 36s
  4. 45m 29s
    1. Setting up your color settings
      3m 31s
    2. Choosing preferences for the HUD color picker
      3m 50s
    3. Setting image interpolation preferences
      3m 3s
    4. Modifying zoom preferences
      4m 20s
    5. Changing HUD brush options
      3m 41s
    6. Customizing interface preferences
      3m 30s
    7. Opening up documents in tabs
      4m 11s
    8. Reviewing file-handling preferences
      5m 4s
    9. Setting performance preferences
      4m 23s
    10. Choosing cursor preferences
      5m 14s
    11. Reviewing guides and type preview preferences
      4m 42s
  5. 21m 5s
    1. Exploring two simple steps for more accurate color
      2m 58s
    2. Introducing color profiles
      5m 17s
    3. Opening and saving files with embedded profiles
      7m 33s
    4. Setting up your studio
      1m 59s
    5. A demonstration of monitor calibration
      1m 46s
    6. Finding color management resources
      1m 32s
  6. 28m 35s
    1. Introducing the Tools panel
      4m 53s
    2. Changing the view mode and working with panels
      5m 33s
    3. Opening and arranging multiple documents
      6m 31s
    4. Combining, saving, and closing multiple documents
      5m 17s
    5. Creating custom keyboard shortcuts
      5m 12s
    6. Working with a Wacom tablet
      1m 9s
  7. 18m 24s
    1. The foundation of digital imaging: pixels and bit depth
      6m 12s
    2. Introducing image resizing
      3m 42s
    3. Resizing images effectively
      3m 48s
    4. Resizing and straightening with the Crop tool
      2m 28s
    5. Creative tip: sizing images correctly
      2m 14s
  8. 41m 56s
    1. What is Camera Raw?
      2m 47s
    2. Accessing the Camera Raw preferences
      3m 16s
    3. Improving your images with the basic controls
      7m 0s
    4. Correcting color and white balance
      4m 44s
    5. Processing multiple images at once
      5m 56s
    6. Utilizing the Crop tool to recompose your pictures
      5m 28s
    7. Creating dramatic black-and-white conversions
      5m 34s
    8. Reducing noise and making tack-sharp photos
      7m 11s
  9. 32m 56s
    1. Introducing layers
      2m 23s
    2. Understanding layers and layer transparency
      1m 29s
    3. Working with layer opacity
      3m 29s
    4. Aligning layers
      1m 32s
    5. Creating new layers
      4m 53s
    6. Organizing layers
      2m 31s
    7. Filtering and finding layers
      2m 8s
    8. Adding layer style effects
      5m 28s
    9. Creating a clipping mask
      6m 50s
    10. Targeting and moving layers
      2m 13s
  10. 33m 22s
    1. Making selections with the marquee tools
      4m 50s
    2. Using the three lasso tools
      4m 56s
    3. Selecting with the Magic Wand tool
      5m 43s
    4. Working with the Quick Select tool
      7m 21s
    5. Selecting based on color with the Color Range controls
      7m 13s
    6. Correcting skin tones with Color Range
      3m 19s
  11. 23m 2s
    1. Introducing masking
      1m 14s
    2. Painting away the contents of a layer with a mask
      3m 59s
    3. Using a selection to build a mask
      3m 3s
    4. Removing a subject from the background with a mask
      6m 37s
    5. Using a mask to selectively sharpen an image
      3m 58s
    6. Making selections with Quick Mask
      4m 11s
  12. 13m 42s
    1. Creating a custom border using selections and masks
      5m 4s
    2. Painting custom border effects
      3m 34s
    3. Using prebuilt borders
      4m 13s
    4. Exploring the PhotoFrame plug-in
  13. 11m 49s
    1. Adding brightness and contrast
      3m 3s
    2. Using hue and saturation and the Target Adjustment tool
      5m 34s
    3. Working with vibrancy and saturation
      3m 12s
  14. 14m 36s
    1. Working with auto levels
      3m 36s
    2. Enhancing color and tone with levels
      4m 12s
    3. Painting in adjustments with levels and masking
      4m 10s
    4. Creative tip: checking in
      2m 38s
  15. 29m 50s
    1. Introducing the Curves dialog box
      3m 12s
    2. Using auto curves and adjustments to enhance an image
      4m 17s
    3. Changing brightness with curves and masks
      3m 59s
    4. Using curves and masks to improve tone and color
      4m 56s
    5. Making advanced selections and masks
      3m 53s
    6. Enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks
      5m 53s
    7. Using, modifying, and saving curves presets
      3m 40s
  16. 20m 13s
    1. Introducing the magic of blend modes
      6m 33s
    2. Blending multiple images together
      3m 51s
    3. Using blending modes to remove white or black
      2m 8s
    4. Improving exposure, contrast, and color with blending
      5m 37s
    5. Using blending shortcuts
      2m 4s
  17. 10m 26s
    1. Working with color correction in Camera Raw
      1m 21s
    2. Correcting color with the eyedroppers
      3m 11s
    3. Correcting color and tone with the eyedroppers
      5m 54s
  18. 36m 1s
    1. Using a Replace Color adjustment
      4m 14s
    2. Using Replace Color, Hue/Saturation, and masks
      5m 32s
    3. Replacing color with advanced masking
      7m 14s
    4. Selecting and modifying color with the Hue/Saturation eyedroppers
      2m 30s
    5. Using Color Balance to create vivid color
      4m 3s
    6. Modifying color with Selective Color
      5m 3s
    7. Changing color with Photo Filter
      4m 4s
    8. Making creative color changes with Color Lookup
      1m 44s
    9. Creative tip: shoot more
      1m 37s
  19. 35m 13s
    1. The modern equivalent of a traditional technique
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing two burn and dodge techniques
      7m 22s
    3. Burning and dodging with the Brush and Gradient tools
      4m 18s
    4. Dodging and reducing shadows in a portrait
      6m 0s
    5. Using selections, masks, and curves to change tonality
      7m 21s
    6. Improving a black-and-white landscape
      8m 32s
  20. 16m 9s
    1. The power of black and white
      4m 14s
    2. Converting a portrait to black and white
      4m 6s
    3. Converting a landscape to black and white
      4m 23s
    4. Adding grain and tone to a black-and-white image
      3m 26s
  21. 31m 58s
    1. Introducing Smart Filters
      3m 36s
    2. Applying Smart Filters
      6m 20s
    3. Creating a soft contrast effect
      6m 38s
    4. Changing focus with the Blur Gallery
      3m 40s
    5. Working with Tilt-Shift Blur
      3m 53s
    6. Creating a realistic lens flare
      2m 45s
    7. Adding light with the Lighting Effects filter
      5m 6s
  22. 12m 33s
    1. Using the Noise Reduction filter
      3m 46s
    2. Exploring advanced noise reduction using channels
      2m 49s
    3. Masking in noise reduction to a specific area
      2m 1s
    4. Reducing noise with Surface Blur
      3m 57s
  23. 48m 31s
    1. Cleaning before you enhance
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the healing and cloning tools
      7m 22s
    3. Cleaning up the background of an image
      6m 21s
    4. Basic portrait retouching
      3m 15s
    5. Brightening shadows under the eyes
      4m 54s
    6. Brightening the eyes
      2m 30s
    7. Retouching selected areas
      5m 27s
    8. Using Content-Aware Fill to remove distractions
      5m 34s
    9. Moving a subject with the Content-Aware Move tool
      7m 54s
    10. Changing shape and dimension with Liquify
      4m 12s
  24. 24m 2s
    1. Using the Lens Correction filter
      6m 52s
    2. Reducing exaggerated distortion
      5m 16s
    3. Applying Free Transform to correct perspective
      3m 49s
    4. Correcting distortion with the Perspective Crop tool
      3m 45s
    5. Using Puppet Warp to correct perspective
      4m 20s
  25. 26m 48s
    1. Combining two photos with movement
      4m 12s
    2. Using two frames for a group photo
      4m 57s
    3. Creating a panoramic photo from multiple frames
      3m 37s
    4. Correcting distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle correction
      7m 34s
    5. Cropping, filling in the gaps, and making final panographic adjustments
      6m 28s
  26. 27m 25s
    1. Working with Smart Sharpen
      6m 17s
    2. Using Unsharpen Mask
      4m 50s
    3. High Pass sharpening an image
      4m 47s
    4. Selectively sharpening the in-focus areas of an image
      3m 35s
    5. Selective sharpening with hand-drawn masks
      7m 56s
  27. 22m 44s
    1. Preparing images for the web and email
      4m 38s
    2. Sharpening for the web
      3m 5s
    3. Using Save for Web to create an optimized JPEG
      4m 26s
    4. Exporting images to Facebook or Flickr
      4m 46s
    5. Creating a web gallery
      5m 49s
  28. 26m 6s
    1. Desktop printing recommendations
      2m 46s
    2. Creating a PDF layout and contact sheets
      5m 56s
    3. Using a soft proof to visualize the print
      8m 0s
    4. Adjusting printer settings
      3m 43s
    5. Customizing the Print dialog box options
      5m 41s
  29. 32m 4s
    1. Opening up a video file in Photoshop
      7m 7s
    2. Editing a video clip and adding text
      5m 15s
    3. Using adjustment layers and adding an audio track
      4m 47s
    4. Creating a project with multiple clips
      4m 55s
    5. Adding a cross-dissolve fade and creating custom shortcuts
      4m 43s
    6. Customizing the workspace to review your project
      3m 2s
    7. Exporting a project
      2m 15s
  30. 3m 4s
    1. Exploring additional resources and ways to keep in touch
      2m 29s
    2. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS6 for Photographers
12h 20m Beginner Apr 26, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.

The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.

Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.

Topics include:
  • Getting started with Bridge and Mini Bridge
  • Setting up color and performance preferences
  • Calibrating your monitor
  • Improving images with the basic controls in Camera Raw
  • Creating, aligning, and organizing layers
  • Using masks for removing or blending images and for sharpening
  • Working with vibrancy, hue, and saturation controls
  • Enhancing color and tone with Levels
  • Using Curves and masks to enhance brightness, color, and tone
  • Mastering the art of blending modes
  • Correcting and replacing color
  • Burning and dodging
  • Converting to black and white
Chris Orwig

Selective sharpening with hand-drawn masks

Because selective sharpening is so important, here we're going to take a look at a few more examples of how we can use this technique. And in this case, I want to look at how we can paint in the sharpening into a particular area in our photograph. And if we zoom in a little bit on this picture, you'll notice that this sign is in focus and the rest of the picture is out of focus. So here we'll double-click the Zoom tool; that will take the image to 100%. And next what I want to do is paint in some sharpening into this area of the picture. To do so, press Command+J or Ctrl+J to copy that Background layer.

Let's name this new layer smart sharpen. Next, we'll navigate to our Smart Sharpen filter. We can do so by going to Filter and then by choosing Sharpen and then Smart Sharpen. We'll look at this dialog and increase our Sharpening Amount and Radius until we have nice crisp detail here. And a lot of times when you're hand-painting in the sharpening, you may want to increase this a little bit more than you need to. That way, you have that flexibility of going a bit higher or also a bit lower because with the mask, we can really dial that in.

So in this case, I'm cranking this up a little bit, clicking on here to look at my before and after, and then I'll click OK to apply that. The next up of course is to add a mask. The easiest way to add the mask is to create one which is filled with black. To do so, hold down the Modifier key; the Option key on the Mac or Alt key on Windows, which then allows us to click on this Mask layer Icon and create that mask so that it's filled with black. So again, Option+Click or Alt+Click the Mask layer Icon. Next, press the B key or select your Brush tool, and here rather than painting with an Opacity of 100%, what I want to do is paint with an Opacity which is lower than that.

I'm going to start say at about 60% or so and that way, I can start to paint across this and I can paint sharpening in at different levels. If I paint back and forth a lot, I'll build that up so that I have more sharpening there. And here I'll just go ahead and paint over these little elements and details here so that I can have some nice sharpening. And by doing this, I can bring in to focus that area which I really want the viewer to be drawn towards. If we were to turn off the Background layer, what we would see is that we now just have this layer faintly showing through.

As we paint more across this, you can see that I can build up the sharpening even more here as I paint back and forth across these areas. And by doing this, you can start to see how I'm really selectively sharpening these little elements. Typically, you don't sharpen with this view. I think it's helpful for demo purposes to be able to see that what we're doing is just sharpening those elements. And then finally, if needed, you can always lower the Opacity of the layer in order to get this exactly where you wanted. Well, now that we've sharpened that image, let's go ahead and look at one more photograph.

In this one we're going to focus in on eye sharpening. Press F to go to the full screen mode and then I'm going to double-click the Zoom tool in order to zoom into 100%. Well, here I want to sharpen her eyes and just her eyes. I want to make those eyes sparkle. So what I'm going to do in this case is rather than copy the entire layer and to have all of those pixels; in other words, to have that extra file size, because it's such a limited area, I'm going to make a selection. Here we'll use the Elliptical Marquee tool.

Go ahead and click-and-drag over one of the eyes, and you can do this in a way that you're being very generous. Press the Spacebar key, hold down Shift and click-and-drag over the other eye. And then next after having made these selections, go ahead and press Command+J on a Mac or Ctrl+J on Windows, and so that what you'll see is that we just have these areas on a new layer. Now we're going to sharpen these areas and then also mask in or hand-paint in the sharpening into just the eye itself, yet we selected these areas so that we wouldn't increase our file size in ways that we didn't need to.

The next step is that what I want to do is I want to reopen Smart Sharpen, and there's a real great shortcut that you can use which allows you to reopen the last filter which you used. And that shortcut on the Mac is Command+Option+F; on Windows that's Ctrl+Alt+F. And by pressing that shortcut, it then reopens Smart Sharpen. If you don't want to use the shortcut, you can always just go back to your Filter and then choose Sharpen and Smart Sharpen of course. Well, here I'm going to go ahead and focus in on the eyes and I'm just going to try to reposition this so I can see at least one eye and then the other over there.

Next, let's bring our Amount and Radius down. In Amount, we tend to hover right around 100 or so, a little bit higher with this file, and then I'm going to bring up my Radius and I'm looking to try to add a lot of sparkle. And for the eyes, because I want to add a lot of little detail, I'm going to keep the Radius lower and bring my Amount up higher. That's going to try to add just a little bit of that sparkle or shine into that area of the image. Well, now that we have this Amount and we can kind of see how we're bringing that in, I'm going to bring this up even a little bit more.

Next step is to click OK. Well, now we have this strange sharpening effect where it's this shape what we created. So once again, hold down Option or Alt, then click on that Add layer Mask Icon. Next, grab the Brush tool and with the Brush tool, we're going to go ahead and start to paint in the sharpening just into this area of the picture. And by doing this, what we can start to do is just sharpen the eyes here so that we can add a little bit of snap to this area of our picture. And the great thing about this is that once we have this nice mask, we can actually take advantage of this in another way as well which I'll show you in just a second.

Let me zoom out a little bit so that I can see this a bit more. If we click on our before and after, it's going to be subtle but what you should start to see is that the eyes, they kind of snap or come to life. I mean as I mentioned, once we have this selection made, what you can do is you can take advantage of that. We can duplicate this layer by clicking and dragging this to a New layer Icon. And when it comes to eyes or bringing out detail, one of the things that you can do is apply two different blending modes. One blending mode that works well is Screen.

This will be over the top at first, you can see it's brightening the eyes, but just hang on for a second because we're going to duplicate this layer and then change the topmost layer to a blending mode of Soft Light. I realize this is way overdone, but just stick with me. Here what we can then do is go to that screen layer and we can decrease that brightening effect until we have a nice amount of brightening there. We can also go up and decrease that contrast layer which was our Soft Light blending. And here by having these two extra layers, you can see how we're bringing out detail there.

We're also brightening the eyes. Let me zoom back in so you can see what we've done. Again, here it is. One layer where we sharpened the eyes, brought out all these nice details. Next, we copy that. In this layer, we applied a blending mode of Screen. That allows us to brighten the eyes and we can control how much brightening we want to bring into that area. Then finally, we duplicated that layer, changed its Blending mode to Soft Light by bringing in some nice contrast and detail so that our overall before and after really shows that difference.

And here I combine these extra steps just to highlight that when you're sharpening an area of your image or making some sort of a selective adjustment, sometimes you can take advantage of that and make further adjustments in order to enhance your photograph even more. If we zoom out a little bit, we can evaluate how we have done. Here it looks like the brightness is just a little bit too high there for me. We'll look at that overall before and then after. Subtle yet significant, and I'm just going to modify this a little bit more, changing those amounts here, just looking to make this look its best. There it is! Our before, and then after, and that wraps up our conversation about how we can apply selective sharpening.

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