Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
Illustration by Don Barnett

Sharpening eyes and other details


Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Sharpening eyes and other details

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.
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  1. 50m 30s
    1. Why every image needs sharpening
      2m 37s
    2. Understanding the effects of sharpening
      5m 26s
    3. Understanding the mechanics of sharpening
      4m 19s
    4. Understanding sharpening and gradual transitions
      3m 21s
    5. Understanding sharpening and noise reduction
      4m 0s
    6. Understanding amount and radius
      7m 50s
    7. Measuring your screen resolution
      6m 19s
    8. Using reliable zoom ratios
      5m 30s
    9. Calculating the actual print size
      4m 55s
    10. Gauging the ideal sharpening settings
      6m 13s
  2. 59m 28s
    1. Everyone knows you sharpen last (and everyone is wrong)
      1m 7s
    2. Understanding the conventional sharpening workflow
      5m 3s
    3. Flattening and saving to TIFF
      6m 40s
    4. Downsampling (and why you shouldn't upsample)
      6m 8s
    5. Understanding last-step sharpening
      6m 43s
    6. Recognizing problems with the conventional workflow
      9m 38s
    7. Erasing sharpening with the history brush
      4m 30s
    8. Using alternative sharpening workflows
      2m 37s
    9. Sharpening a scanned photograph shot on film
      2m 45s
    10. Sharpening a digital photograph
      3m 6s
    11. Sharpening specific details
      3m 43s
    12. Finding broad workflow conclusions
      2m 48s
    13. Learning that technique trumps timing
      4m 40s
  3. 1h 30m
    1. Comparing and contrasting neighboring pixels
      1m 6s
    2. Using the Gaussian Blur filter
      4m 25s
    3. Using Gaussian luminance distribution
      7m 47s
    4. Using the Unsharp Mask filter
      4m 54s
    5. Understanding the history of Unsharp Mask
      3m 51s
    6. Building your own USM with Gaussian Blur
      7m 35s
    7. Using the Smart Sharpen filter
      7m 35s
    8. Compensating for camera shake
      8m 50s
    9. Building your own Smart Sharpen with Lens Blur
      6m 59s
    10. Using directional sharpening with Emboss
      9m 13s
    11. Using Smart Sharpen extras
      8m 56s
    12. Using Convolution Kernels for more accuracy
      7m 8s
    13. Using the High Pass filter
      7m 32s
    14. Using Luminance Sharpening
      5m 5s
  4. 2h 14m
    1. Smoothing filters, smart objects, and masks
      1m 24s
    2. Using the Median filter and Dust and Scratches
      7m 6s
    3. Using Smart Blur and Surface Blur
      6m 14s
    4. Using the Despeckle filter
      8m 18s
    5. Softening flesh tones selectively
      10m 16s
    6. Using the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 27s
    7. Combining smoothing and sharpening
      8m 23s
    8. Making an image into a smart object
      9m 23s
    9. Applying editable smart filters
      6m 10s
    10. Combining two smart filters
      8m 6s
    11. Assigning a filter mask
      5m 59s
    12. Nesting one smart object inside another
      10m 31s
    13. Employing a static High Pass layer
      9m 0s
    14. Matching static pixel-level edits
      4m 37s
    15. Avoiding clipping with luminance blending
      9m 7s
    16. Sharpening and smoothing
      6m 37s
    17. Making an edge mask
      8m 15s
    18. Making a non-edge mask
      7m 17s
  5. 1h 33m
    1. Sharpening with Adobe Camera Raw
      1m 28s
    2. Introducing Camera Raw (4.1 or later)
      8m 12s
    3. Understanding why to sharpen for source
      5m 14s
    4. Using Camera Raw’s sharpening control
      5m 51s
    5. Previewing limitations and tricks
      6m 45s
    6. Why downsampling doesn’t work
      3m 12s
    7. Reducing chromatic aberration
      7m 29s
    8. Using the Defringe option
      3m 31s
    9. Understanding high frequency, low radius
      5m 21s
    10. Raising the Detail value
      3m 6s
    11. Using on-the-fly edge masking
      5m 40s
    12. Sharpening a low-frequency portrait
      6m 35s
    13. Eliminating color noise
      4m 47s
    14. Reducing luminance noise
      4m 41s
    15. Correcting “false sharpening”
      7m 14s
    16. Reducing shadow noise
      5m 22s
    17. Approximating ACR sharpening in Photoshop
      8m 35s
  6. 59m 12s
    1. Gauging and exploiting luminance frequency
      1m 26s
    2. Using low-frequency source sharpening
      5m 53s
    3. Using High Pass for portraits
      4m 19s
    4. Actioning a low-frequency edge mask
      7m 42s
    5. Modifying the source sharpening
      5m 21s
    6. Using high-frequency source sharpening
      5m 26s
    7. Using Smart Sharpen for cityscapes
      3m 1s
    8. Actioning a high-frequency edge mask
      5m 5s
    9. Downplaying color artifacts and clipping
      4m 5s
    10. Sharpening a medium-frequency image
      5m 25s
    11. Sharpening a layered composition
      7m 17s
    12. Sharpening for multiple frequencies
      4m 12s
  7. 1h 8m
    1. Who needs dull when you have sharp?
    2. Focusing in on a person’s eyes
      4m 22s
    3. Blurring the area outside the eyes
      4m 22s
    4. Sharpening eyes and other details
      5m 38s
    5. Darkening the lashes and eyebrows
      7m 13s
    6. Sharpening dark-haired people
      5m 2s
    7. Edge mask and emphasize
      3m 38s
    8. Nesting a Smart Sharpen effect
      4m 48s
    9. Density mask sharpening
      5m 35s
    10. Adding depth of field
      4m 39s
    11. Sharpening a background
      4m 23s
    12. Masking background from foreground
      8m 51s
    13. Eliminating halos around a person
      5m 38s
    14. Deepening and warming a background
      3m 27s
  8. 1h 18m
    1. Reverting back to convention
      1m 36s
    2. Understanding the use-neutral composition
      4m 15s
    3. Restoring much-needed antialiasing
      4m 2s
    4. Reducing noise in a high-frequency image
      7m 24s
    5. Making a third-level smart object
      3m 55s
    6. Preparing an image for print
      5m 19s
    7. Using ideal settings for commercial reproduction
      5m 37s
    8. Calculating very large-format settings
      5m 11s
    9. Using ideal settings for inkjet output
      4m 26s
    10. Sharpening for commercial reproduction
      5m 44s
    11. Sharpening for inkjet output
      4m 57s
    12. Revealing high-frequency multipass sharpening
      5m 21s
    13. Using Gaussian Blur to sharpen hair
      5m 42s
    14. Flatten, Save As, Resample, and Sharpen
      5m 10s
    15. Revealing low-frequency multipass sharpening
      3m 31s
    16. Sharpening an image for web or screen
      6m 22s
  9. 1m 51s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 51s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
10h 33m Intermediate Feb 15, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the effects of sharpening
  • In-depth examinations of Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen, Emboss, and High Pass
  • Smoothing an image with the Surface Blur, Despeckle, and Reduce Noise features
  • Working with smart objects and smart filters
  • Creating edge masks and non-edge masks
  • Sharpening for digital-image capture using Camera Raw
  • Gauging and exploiting luminance frequency
  • Exploring creative applications of sharpening
  • Sharpening a multilayer composition
  • Sharpening eyes, hair, and out-of-focus backgrounds
  • Reducing noise in a high-frequency image
  • Determining ideal settings for commercial and inkjet output
  • Sharpening very large-format images
  • Sharpening an image for the web or screen output
Deke McClelland

Sharpening eyes and other details

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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