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Sharpening the details

From: Photoshop CS6 Essential Training

Video: Sharpening the details

Almost every image can benefit from some amount of sharpening in Camera Raw. You'll notice when I move over to the Detail panel that if you're working on a RAW file, there's actually a default amount of sharpening applied to your image. This Amount slider will be set to 25. Because we've got a JPEG file here, the Amount slider is set to zero because Camera Raw is not sure if the camera has actually already applied sharpening, so it doesn't want to apply sharpening on top of something that's already been sharpened.

Sharpening the details

Almost every image can benefit from some amount of sharpening in Camera Raw. You'll notice when I move over to the Detail panel that if you're working on a RAW file, there's actually a default amount of sharpening applied to your image. This Amount slider will be set to 25. Because we've got a JPEG file here, the Amount slider is set to zero because Camera Raw is not sure if the camera has actually already applied sharpening, so it doesn't want to apply sharpening on top of something that's already been sharpened.

On the other hand, if you're working with your RAW files, Camera Raw is going to assume that it needs a little bit of sharpening and will set the amount to 25. That amount, that 25, is actually different, under the hood, based on the camera that you've used to capture your image. Even though you might bring up 10 different images from 10 different cameras, the Amount setting in Camera Raw will always be set 25, but under the hood, some of those images are getting more or less sharpening, depending on the quality of the sensor and the camera that they were photographed with.

Let's talk about the different settings in the Sharpening area here. The amount is how much contrast or how much sharpening you are going to add. In order to accurately see this, we want to go ahead and zoom in to 100%. So I'll use Command Option Zero and then hold down the spacebar in order to move over to the face. In fact, for the tutorial I think I'll even zoom in one more time using just Command+Plus to make sure that we are seeing the effects as I move the different sliders.

So the Amount controls the amount of contrast that Camera Raw applies when it finds an edge. If I move this all the way over to the right, you can see that in this case Camera Raw is finding a lot of little edges because this is a JPEG file and it's been compressed, so it's actually sharpening all those little areas of that have already been compressed. If you were working with your own RAW file, even if you move the Amount to 150, you probably won't see as much of a drastic change.

So the Amount is the amount of contrast. The Radius determines how many pixels are affected when Camera Raw applies the Amount or the contrast to an edge. If I move this all the way over to 3, you can see now there are little halos that are starting to appear along edges. For example we've got a halo right here where one side of the edge is darker along the wood and then along the wall the edge is lighter. Same with around the pumpkin eye here. You can see that right around the eye it's getting lighter, whereas the inside of the eye is getting darker.

Obviously, I have applied far too much, or far too great a value for the Amount slider in the Radius, but I want to make sure that you can see what's happening, because the next step that we're going to do is we are going to use either the Detail or the Masking slider in order to suppress the noise in the less contrasty area. So both Detail and Masking are ways to suppress; they just have different- looking masks or different ways of suppressing information. Let's use the Detail slider first, and I'll move it all the way to the right.

You can see that when it's at 100 we're not actually masking any of the detail, say for example, in the wall. As I move the detail slider to the left, you can see that we're now suppressing the Amount and the Radius in those areas that have less contrast, but we're still applying them to the heavier edges or the more contrasty edges. And if I tap the P key, we can toggle on and off the preview, and you can see that in fact the image does look sharper, but the edges that we are applying the sharpening to are only the most predominant edges.

If I hold down the Option key and we start sliding the Detail slider, you can actually get a good visual of the areas that are being suppressed. So if we move the Detail slider all the way to the right, you can see that the Amount and Radius are being applied to all of the edges throughout the image. As I move the slider to the left, you can see that I'm reducing the amount of sharpening applied to the areas that have less contrast, like that back wall and the face of the pumpkin, but it's still being applied to the high-contrast areas, like around the eyes and some of the straw maybe that's in the scarecrow's neck.

Let's go ahead and remove that detail by moving it all the way to the right again. And now I'm going to use the Masking slider in order to remove or mask the detail in the less contrasty area. So you can see as I move this over to the right, I'm eliminating any sharpening from happening in the areas that are not as contrasty. If we hold down the Option key with the masking, you can see that where the mask is black is where I'm suppressing the sharpening; no sharpening is happening there. Where the mask is white, that's where the sharpening is occurring.

So as I move this to the left, you can see that we are now sharpening the entire image equally in all areas. And if I move the mouse to the right, we are suppressing the sharpening in the areas that have less contrast. And they're just too different masks but they're actually really important, because if you look at the mask that's created with this Masking slider, you can see that it's much more organic; it's not as sharp. So the way that you want to suppress the noise when you're working on portraits is by using this Masking slider. It doesn't look as good, however, on an image like this where you've got a landscape or you've got a lot of high- frequency detailed areas.

In a case like this, I would want to use the Detail slider and just use it to suppress the sharpening from being applied in the lower frequency areas. Obviously, this is still too much so for the final sharpening that I would actually apply to this image, I am going to bring the Radius way down to maybe near 1 or 1.2, and I'll bring the Amount slider down as well. And now we can tap the P key to toggle the Preview on and off, because I don't want to oversharpen at this point; I want to enough sharpening here to make my image look good.

This is considered capture sharpening. This is not the sharpening that I want to do for my output device. That is going to be applied either when I export the file, or if I use the option here to save out my images. Or I could even apply the output shortening after opening the image in Photoshop, adding layers, making adjustments, and when I am finally finished with the image, that's when I want to sharpen it in Photoshop for my output device. So as a reminder, the Detail panel in Camera Raw is for adding your capture sharpening. The Amount slider is going to add the contrast to trick your eye into thinking that the edges are sharper. The Radius determines how many pixels are actually affected.

And then you'll use the Detail or the Masking slider to suppress the sharpening in the areas that have lower frequency. And typically, you'll use the Detail slider to suppress when you're using sharpening on your landscape images, and you'll use the Masking slider to suppress the sharpening in the detailed areas when you're working with portraits. As you can see, adding sharpening to exactly the areas you want is easy once you know what each of these sliders controls.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 Essential Training
Photoshop CS6 Essential Training

148 video lessons · 91092 viewers

Julieanne Kost
Author

 
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  1. 1m 42s
    1. What is Photoshop?
      1m 42s
  2. 1m 11s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
  3. 32m 15s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      2m 49s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      4m 27s
    3. A tour of workspaces in Bridge
      5m 32s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      3m 44s
    5. Changing file names and batch renaming
      2m 58s
    6. Adding basic metadata with metadata templates
      5m 10s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      4m 58s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      2m 37s
  4. 27m 1s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejected images
      4m 18s
    2. Saving images in collections
      4m 23s
    3. Rating and labeling images
      3m 46s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      4m 16s
    5. Using smart collections
      4m 18s
    6. Viewing final selects in a slideshow
      2m 21s
    7. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      3m 39s
  5. 32m 8s
    1. Comparing RAW and JPEG files
      6m 10s
    2. Starting in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      3m 12s
    3. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      9m 13s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      3m 58s
    5. Toggling onscreen shadow and highlight clipping warnings
      3m 11s
    6. Choosing output settings
      3m 36s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      2m 48s
  6. 38m 37s
    1. Using the nondestructive Crop tool
      4m 42s
    2. Correcting a horizon line with the Straighten tool
      2m 41s
    3. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      3m 50s
    4. Fixing blown-out highlights
      2m 56s
    5. Revealing hidden shadow details
      3m 7s
    6. Correcting lens distortion
      3m 25s
    7. Making perspective corrections to images
      2m 40s
    8. Removing color fringing and chromatic aberrations
      2m 28s
    9. Sharpening the details
      7m 45s
    10. Making an average photo great
      5m 3s
  7. 51m 2s
    1. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      6m 57s
    2. Making local adjustments with the Adjustments Brush
      10m 19s
    3. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      3m 41s
    4. Exploring a quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      4m 31s
    5. Converting to black and white
      2m 36s
    6. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustment tool
      3m 21s
    7. Creating selective color effects with the Adjustment Brush
      6m 5s
    8. Using sepia and split-tone effects
      3m 33s
    9. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 20s
    10. Adding vignettes and border effects
      3m 59s
    11. Saving variations within a single file with the Snapshot command
      3m 40s
  8. 15m 13s
    1. Copying and pasting settings across files
      2m 4s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      3m 22s
    3. Saving and using the library of Camera Raw presets
      6m 48s
    4. Using Image Processor to batch process files
      2m 59s
  9. 30m 24s
    1. Opening files from Bridge
      2m 7s
    2. Opening files from Mini Bridge
      2m 51s
    3. Customizing the Mini Bridge panel
      3m 59s
    4. Using the Application frame
      3m 34s
    5. Managing panels
      5m 14s
    6. Switching and saving workspaces
      4m 39s
    7. Switching tools using the keyboard
      2m 47s
    8. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      5m 13s
  10. 10m 25s
    1. Working with tabbed documents
      1m 34s
    2. Arranging documents
      1m 52s
    3. Stopping Photoshop from tabbing documents
      1m 32s
    4. Panning and zooming
      3m 14s
    5. Cycling through different screen modes
      2m 13s
  11. 15m 44s
    1. Understanding file formats
      4m 36s
    2. Choosing the resolution you need
      4m 39s
    3. Understanding Resize vs. Resample
      4m 11s
    4. Working with print sizes and resolution
      2m 18s
  12. 32m 53s
    1. Using Undo and the History panel
      3m 7s
    2. Using crop options
      3m 54s
    3. Understanding Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      1m 46s
    4. Bringing back hidden pixels with Reveal All
      40s
    5. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      3m 31s
    6. Making the canvas bigger using the Relative option in the Canvas Size command
      2m 18s
    7. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      1m 27s
    8. Straightening a crooked image
      2m 29s
    9. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      5m 46s
    10. Making nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      2m 34s
    11. Warping images
      2m 48s
    12. Preserving important elements with Content-Aware Scale
      2m 33s
  13. 30m 41s
    1. Exploring layer basics
      11m 16s
    2. Loading, selecting, and transforming layers
      8m 4s
    3. Organizing layers using layer groups
      5m 3s
    4. Merging, rasterizing, and flattening layers
      6m 18s
  14. 43m 11s
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      5m 43s
    2. Combining selections
      4m 4s
    3. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      5m 29s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      4m 35s
    5. Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge
      9m 42s
    6. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      7m 22s
    7. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      3m 17s
    8. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      2m 59s
  15. 34m 36s
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      3m 47s
    2. Starting with a preset
      2m 18s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      5m 31s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      6m 44s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      2m 30s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      2m 29s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      4m 41s
    8. Making washed-out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 48s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      1m 47s
    10. Controlling which layers are affected by an adjustment layer
      2m 1s
  16. 19m 33s
    1. Adjusting shadows and highlights
      5m 44s
    2. Replacing color using Selective Color
      3m 49s
    3. Using fill layers to create a hand-painted look
      6m 5s
    4. Using a gradient fill layer to add a color wash
      3m 55s
  17. 52m 9s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush and the Patch tool
      12m 42s
    2. De-emphasizing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      4m 52s
    3. Smoothing skin and pores with the High Pass filter
      6m 19s
    4. Making teeth bright and white with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      3m 21s
    5. Brightening eyes with Curves
      7m 0s
    6. Taming flyaway hair with the Patch tool
      3m 44s
    7. Removing unwanted details with Content-Aware Fill
      5m 49s
    8. Body sculpting with Liquify
      8m 22s
  18. 24m 12s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      4m 48s
    2. Combining multiple frames in an action sequence
      8m 44s
    3. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      10m 40s
  19. 38m 26s
    1. Overview of filters
      2m 52s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively using Smart Filters
      5m 18s
    3. Creating a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      3m 35s
    4. Creating an infrared look with Diffuse Glow
      2m 14s
    5. Adding noise with the Add Noise filter
      6m 27s
    6. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask
      5m 11s
    7. Giving an image texture with the Texturizer filter
      1m 49s
    8. Using the Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift Blurs
      6m 1s
    9. Creating a painting with the Oil Paint filter
      1m 34s
    10. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      3m 25s
  20. 22m 16s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      6m 42s
    2. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      2m 40s
    3. Scanning or photographing paper to add a deckled edge
      3m 1s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      5m 21s
    5. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      2m 26s
    6. Adding a realistic off-center vignette
      2m 6s
  21. 20m 9s
    1. Exploring character (point) type
      7m 6s
    2. Adding paragraph (area) type
      3m 38s
    3. Adding type on a path
      4m 44s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      3m 3s
    5. Warping type
      1m 38s
  22. 15m 57s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      6m 15s
    2. Adding edges, textures, and color overlays using layer styles
      4m 27s
    3. Creating a transparent logo or watermark
      2m 42s
    4. Knowing how and when to scale layer effects
      2m 33s
  23. 15m 45s
    1. Creating contact sheets
      2m 49s
    2. Using the Output workspace in Bridge
      5m 32s
    3. Exporting web photo galleries
      4m 20s
    4. Saving for the web
      3m 4s
  24. 23m 38s
    1. Working with video clips
      9m 29s
    2. Adding special effects to video
      5m 45s
    3. Adding pans and zooms to still images
      8m 24s
  25. 1m 10s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 10s

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