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In this movie, I'll demonstrate a more nuanced but less intuitive approach to sharpening, that relies on a filter called High Pass. And the great thing about High Pass is that it naturally avoids clipping the highlights in shadows around the halo which typically makes it better for sharpening portraits even if that portrait is a couple of squirrels in love. Now I've set things up so that we've got two layers both of which are expressed as smart objects. I'll start off with the traditional approach by going up to the filter menu, choosing sharpen, and then choosing smart sharpen And I'll switch remove back to its default setting of Lens Flare, and then I'll crank the amount value up to its maximum of 500%.
I'll leave the radius set to 3 pixels, but I want you to remember that value, because it's going to come in handy when we apply High Pass. And because I've got some noise going on in the background here I'm going to take the reduce noise value up to 25% which will produce this effect here. Now obviously that's too much sharpening so I'm going to have to back it off. But I'll do so after clicking the OK button. Now I'm going to go ahead and zoom these guys in to 100% so that we can take in every pixel.
And I'll double-click on the slider icon to bring up the blending options dialogue box. And keep an eye on this area of the squirrel right there, the right squirrels eyebrow. Notice how there are some aberrant colors at work there but as soon as I choose Luminosity those colors disappear. I'm also going to take the opacity value down to 50%, which will not only mitigate the effect but cut down on the halo clipping as well. Then I'll click OK to apply the effect. You know everything at this point is looking very good, but we can do slightly better.
I'll go ahead and turn on the high pass layer here and select it as well. And then you want to go up to the filter menu, choose other, and choose high pass. Now high pass on its own produces about the ugliest effect possible. What it does is it changes all the non-edges in an image to grey and then the edges don't quite go to grey. They almost go to grey, but they sort of hang in there. And so it's basically separating the edges from the non-edges inside the image. Now HighPass relies on galsium blur instead of lens blur to calculate it's halos.
So you want to set the radius value to about half of what you did inside Smart-sharper which would be 1.5 pixels and then click OK. The next step is to drop out the grays and keep the relative highlights and shadows. And you do that by double-clicking on a slider icon, to the right of the words high pass, and then you want to change the mode to one of the contrast modes. If you want a subtle effect, you go with overlay, like so. But I want to make this effect really pop on screen so I'm going to select the highest impact contrast mode which is linear light.
And we'll end up with this effect here. And then click OK in order to apply that modification. Now go ahead and zoom in on the details here because this is a pretty subtle difference I'm going to show you. If I turn of the high pass layer, we'll see the results of smart sharpening. And notice how even though smart sharpen is doing a diligent job of tracing around all these hairs on the squirrel's face. It's doing so in a relatively flat manner. So we have some flat shadows, and some flat highlights.
Especially in contrast with the High Pass effect, which gives us more volumetric details, so the hairs appear to be more rounded. Now as they say, it's a subtle distinction, but when you really care about the subject of your photograph and you want to make the results appear sharp but contoured, than high pass is the way to go. Now there are a couple of downsides associated with high pass. First of all you may end up getting the aberind g/ colors. Linear light is pretty good about getting rid of most of them but not all of them.
So check out the squirrel's eyebrow here. This is the colorful high pass version and this is the more uniformly colored smart sharpened version. And then the other distinction is that smart sharpen allows you to get rid of the noise in the background whereas the high pass filter does not. But you can always address the noise in a separate step by going to the Filter menu, choosing Noise and choosing the choosing the Reduce Noise command as I will explain in a future course. In any event, that's how you sharpen using the High Pass Filter Just remember that you want to go with the radius that's about half what you would use With the lens blur setting in the Sharp Sharpen dialogue box.
And to combine high pass along with one of the contrast modes starting with Overlay and ending with linear light.
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