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Real focus happens inside the camera's lens element. The sharpening features in Photoshop CS3 exaggerate the contrast along edges in a photograph to transform a well-focused image into an outstanding image. In Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images, Deke McClelland teaches a host of sharpening and noise reduction techniques, including using filters such as Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen, High Pass, and Reduce Noise. The training teaches the essentials of sharpening, including what it does, why it's important, and how the filters function. Plus, the training covers Deke's recommended best practices, including the four distinct varieties of sharpening, which can be used independently or in combination with each other. Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images is about how to transform images from looking good to looking their absolute best. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now that we have blurred the general area around the eyes, we're going to focus in on the eyes. We're going to use the High Pass filter in order to improve the focus of the eyes and make them sizzle a little more inside the image. We are also going to sharpen the eyebrows and the lips, as it just so happens and recall this is the effect we are going for. By the way, this is the final version of the image, and you can see that the lips and the eyes and the eyebrows are lot stronger, but notice that we are just affecting the eyebrows, the eyes, and the lips, we're not affecting any of the other details.
We're not going into the hair or any of the other stuffs. We're not going to use that generalized mask that we used for blur; that's not going to be good enough. We're going to have to create a different mask for this effect. Alright! So lets go ahead and reinstate the blurry parameter image right here, which happens to go by that name, if you are just joining me and you want to catch up. I've got an image called blurry parameter.PSD that's found inside of the 07 for effect folder. Alright! I am going to bring back my Layera palette here and what I want to do is I want to apply the High Pass filter, but if I am applying HighPass, it's going to become another Smart Filter that uses the exact same Filter Mask and that's no good.
I cant use that Filter Mask for this next effect, so I need to create a nested Smart Object. So that this current Smart Object resides inside of another one, and I am going to do that by going over to the Layers palette, making sure that the Gypsy layer is active, which it is. Then, I'll go the Palette menu and I'll choose Convert to Smart Object. Now it already is a Smart Object, but when I choose Convert to Smart Object rather than getting mad at me, it'll just put this image inside of another Smart Object. And it might take a few moments to do it, but there we go, and its still going to be called "Gypsy". I am going to go ahead and call this one "gypsy 2" or something, just so that I know that there is another Smart Object inside of it.
Now lets go up to the Filter menu and I want you to choose the Other command and I want you to choose High Pass. I am going to apply a fairly high Radius value, not this high. I am going to apply Radius value of 6-pixels, which is pretty high for this particular image because this image is something like a 4-megapixel image, I believe, four to five, something in that neighborhood. So it's not super high res, but its big enough that I'll go ahead and apply a fairly high Radius value because I really want to strengthen the detail inside of those eyes and eyebrows and so on.
Then I'll click OK, and of course I am using High Pass because this is a portrait shot and High Pass is going to do the best work for me. Now obviously, I am going to go ahead and double-click on the little Blend icon in order to bring up the Blending Options dialog box and then I am going to change the Mode option from Normal to Overlay, as it is our want when we are using the High Pass filter, so that we're strengthening the details and blending the gray non-edges into the original flesh tones and so on. Then I'll click OK in order to accept that modification, so just you can see what we've done here.
This is the before version of the image, this is the after version. So a fairly slight effect at this point, but this is pretty good looking I think. Now we are sharpening the entire image not just the eyes, you can see that if I turn it off and then back on again. So everything is getting sharpened including her pores, and her nose, and the nose hairs, and all that other junk that I don't want to sharpen. The various slight wrinkles under her eyes and over her eyes, as well the creases, I guess I would call them. So I just want to brush in the eyes. I am actually going to use the Paint Brush to pull this off, but for starters, I am going to click inside of the Filter Mask to make it active and then I am going to fill that Filter Mask with black, so that everything is hidden.
So the entire effect is hidden for starters because most of the image should not be affected by the High Pass filter. Black is currently my background color, so I'll press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac in order to fill the Filter Mask with black, as you can see right here. Now lets go ahead and grab the Brush tool, which you can get by pressing the B key if you like, and I want a fairly large very soft brush. I'll go ahead and click to show you. I've got a master diameter currently of 150 pixels, that may not be a big enough actually, but the hardness, very important that the hardness is set to 0% right now.
We want very soft transitions. Your mode should be set to Normal, Opacity should be a 100%, Flow is a 100% as well, and your Foreground color should be set to White, as it is for me. Now I am just going to set about painting over the eyes, just like that. That is all there is to it really and then, I might reduce the size of the paintbrush a little bit by pressing the left bracket key a couple of times and then I'll brush over the eyebrow. You really need to only brush over it once because the Opacity is set to a 100%. Now if you wanted to gradually paint in the details, you would lower the Opacity value and paint multiple times, but in our case, we might as well get the work done quickly with a single pass here of the Paint Brush and that takes care of that.
Now if you go too far in any point in time, you can press the X key to swap the foreground and background colors and I might reduce the size of my brush a little bit, and then paint a way the effect like so by painting in black to paint over this crease here, so that I am not sharpening the crease, and then I'll also go down to lips. I will press the X key again in order to paint with white of course, to switch the foreground color to white, and then I'll just go ahead and paint over the lips and that's about it. If you want to emphasize this little sort of beauty mark right there, you could give it a click, whatever you want to do, and these are the sharpened versions of the eyes and the eyebrows and the mouth.
Now I want to take this effect just a little bit farther. I want to really punch up the details here, particularly where the eyelashes and the eyebrows and the pupils area concerned here, and I am going to do that by darkening those details using a special application of an adjustment layer and well see how that works in the next exercise.
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