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Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay

From: Photoshop CS5 Essential Training

Video: Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay

One of more common adjustments you will want to make to an image, especially before you print it, either in Inkjet printer or to one of the photo printing services that you might send your photos to or even offset printing, is to sharpen your image. You want your details to really pop. Here is a great image where we want these raindrops to really pop off that leaf, and really look a lot crisper and sharper than they currently do. Almost every image, especially if you are shooting raw, will tend to be a little bit soft, and you'll want to bring out those details. Now there are lots of different ways to sharpen images. You can use any of the Sharpening Filters that are available to you in the Filter menu, and you can even use Camera Raw.

Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay

One of more common adjustments you will want to make to an image, especially before you print it, either in Inkjet printer or to one of the photo printing services that you might send your photos to or even offset printing, is to sharpen your image. You want your details to really pop. Here is a great image where we want these raindrops to really pop off that leaf, and really look a lot crisper and sharper than they currently do. Almost every image, especially if you are shooting raw, will tend to be a little bit soft, and you'll want to bring out those details. Now there are lots of different ways to sharpen images. You can use any of the Sharpening Filters that are available to you in the Filter menu, and you can even use Camera Raw.

But in this video, what I want to do is teach you one of my favorite ways to sharpen an image and reinforce one of the Blend modes, Overlay, and why it's so useful and cool. So, rather than learning you know all the bells and whistles in Smart Sharpen, you know if I go to Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen, you will see there is one, two, three, there is a More Accurate check box here, four. This is under Basic. If I go to Advanced, there is Shadow, so 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.

You know 13, 14 different knobs and whistles to actually play with to get a sharp image. I am going to teach you a different way - so I can just hit Cancel there - where you such just have one value to use when sharpening a particular image. We will begin by duplicating this Background layer. We will do Command+J, Ctrl+J to duplicate it. Go ahead and change the name to Sharpen. And what we are going to do is we are going to run one of the Filters. Now if you are a designer watching this particular course, what I love about designers is they'll often learn a product, something like Photoshop, by going to every single menu command and just choosing it to see what it does.

So, maybe on some Saturday you spent all afternoon trying every single filter. You started out in your Artistic menu and chose Colored Pencil undid. You went to Cutout undid, went to Dry Brush and so on. And you know, six hours later, you got to the bottom of the menu, and you got to the Other menu, you know, kind of known as this Miscellaneous Category, and you chose High Pass. So, Filter > Other > High Pass and you saw this, and the default value I think is 2, so let's change it back to 2. And you are thinking, "Great, my image got gray," We will hit Cancel, and then you never came back.

You were like, "Why would I ever use that Filter? I don't want my image to look gray." Let's go back there. Let's to Filter > Other > High Pass, and we will change the value back to 2. Here is what I mean by only being a single slider you have to deal with when sharpening an image. It's the Radius slider. Now I'll give you a clue. The radius you will use for most images will be somewhere between 2 and 3. I am going to split the difference and just make it 2.5. That's the value I typically start out with. And then I can always lower that or increase it, depending on the image that I am trying to sharpen. Now it turns out the High Pass Filter is so useful because it's an Edge Detection Filter.

Now you remember, when you sharpen an image you're finding light pixels next to dark pixels. That's what Photoshop thinks an edge is, where there is areas of contrast next of each other. So, when you sharpen an image, the dark pixels are getting darker, and the light pixels are getting lighter along those edges. So, you are increasing contrast of edge pixels. What High Pass is doing is saying, "Hey! "Everything that's not an edge, just become gray. "I am just going to ignore you. "Where there are edges, I am making the dark half darker and the light half lighter for you." That's what Photoshop is doing here.

I am going to go ahead and click OK, and you can see there is a nice edge enhancement here, where the dark part of the edge got darker and the light half of the edge got lighter. But I don't want this gray stuff. How do I make those gray pixels disappear or which blend mode ignores gray? That's right. You may remember, it's the Contrast group. So, if I choose Overlay, Overlay makes the gray go away, and there is your final result. Here is before, here is after. You can see that image looks a lot sharper, a lot crisper, just by simply duplicating the layer, running the High Pass Filter and then setting that Blend mode of that duplicate layer to Overlay to make the gray pixels disappear.

In conclusion, one additional value of using this particular technique is you don't actually have to worry about over sharpening the image with this particular filter. Because it is on a separate layer, the Opacity is set to 100%. If you think it's too sharp, you can just lower the Opacity of that Sharpen layer. So, I have the Move tool selected. I have got V on my keyboard if it's not. And then I can just press a number on the keyboard. So, if I say 7 for 70%. Here is the difference between 70% Opaque and 100% Opaque, and that may be too subtle to show over the video here.

So, let me make it a little more extreme. Let's make it a 30%. And you can see it's a little bit softer now, and then we will press 0 again to take it back to 100%. And hopefully, via the video compression here, you can see the differences between 30% and 100%. The point being you have the flexibility of lowering the amount of sharpening with this technique, simply by changing the Opacity of that particular layer that you used to sharpen the image. So, there you have it, a combination of Duplicate layer, High Pass Filter, and the Overlay Blend mode with the added kicker of lowering the Opacity to get a really fun and engaging way to sharpen your images, without having to remember a lot of dials and whistles and knobs.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 Essential Training
Photoshop CS5 Essential Training

154 video lessons · 94176 viewers

Michael Ninness
Author

 
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  1. 6m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 47s
    2. What is Photoshop?
      2m 49s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 34s
  2. 28m 29s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      1m 54s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      3m 39s
    3. A tour of the different workspaces in Adobe Bridge
      4m 58s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      3m 35s
    5. Changing obscure camera file names with the Batch Rename command
      2m 36s
    6. Adding basic metadata to every image with metadata templates
      3m 36s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      4m 6s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      4m 5s
  3. 23m 4s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejects
      5m 27s
    2. Protecting the keepers by saving them in collections
      3m 18s
    3. Rating images
      3m 15s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      4m 43s
    5. Viewing final choices in a slideshow
      2m 12s
    6. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      4m 9s
  4. 30m 50s
    1. Raw vs. JPEG files
      5m 13s
    2. Why you should start in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      5m 9s
    3. A tour of the Camera Raw user interface
      6m 44s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      4m 2s
    5. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings
      2m 37s
    6. Choosing output settings
      2m 45s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      4m 20s
  5. 41m 34s
    1. Eliminating red-eye with the Red Eye Removal tool
      1m 13s
    2. Improving composition with the non-destructive Crop tool
      3m 33s
    3. Correcting a rotated horizon line with the Straighten tool
      3m 5s
    4. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      2m 13s
    5. Fixing blown-out highlights with Recovery
      2m 36s
    6. Revealing hidden shadow detail with Fill Light
      1m 47s
    7. Reducing distracting color noise with Noise Reduction
      5m 37s
    8. Removing color fringes with Chromatic Aberration
      2m 36s
    9. Sharpening the details
      8m 59s
    10. End to end: Taking a so-so photo and making it great
      9m 55s
  6. 39m 5s
    1. Fixing blown-out skies with the Graduated Filter tool
      4m 34s
    2. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      5m 41s
    3. Making local adjustments with the Adjustments Brush
      4m 28s
    4. Quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      4m 33s
    5. Converting to black and white
      3m 36s
    6. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustments tool
      4m 18s
    7. Easy sepia and split tone effects
      2m 35s
    8. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 46s
    9. Adding vignettes and border effects
      2m 13s
    10. Saving variations within a single file with Snapshots
      4m 21s
  7. 15m 48s
    1. Copying settings from one file and pasting across another in Adobe Bridge
      3m 7s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      2m 28s
    3. Saving and using a library of Camera Raw presets
      5m 33s
    4. Using Image Processor to batch process multiple files
      4m 40s
  8. 30m 39s
    1. Opening files from Adobe Bridge
      3m 1s
    2. Opening files from Mini Bridge
      3m 28s
    3. Customizing the Mini Bridge panel
      2m 57s
    4. Changing Mini Bridge so it auto-collapses
      1m 20s
    5. The Application frame
      2m 16s
    6. The Application bar
      1m 16s
    7. Switching and saving workspaces
      4m 23s
    8. Panel management
      5m 31s
    9. Switching tools using the keyboard
      3m 18s
    10. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      3m 9s
  9. 16m 12s
    1. Tabbed documents
      2m 1s
    2. The Arrange Documents widget
      1m 38s
    3. How to stop Photoshop from tabbing documents
      3m 34s
    4. Pan and zoom
      5m 21s
    5. Cycling through the different screen modes
      3m 38s
  10. 36m 59s
    1. File formats
      13m 6s
    2. What resolution does your image need to be?
      10m 15s
    3. Resize vs. Resample
      9m 40s
    4. How big a print can you make with your image?
      3m 58s
  11. 42m 17s
    1. Crop options
      4m 12s
    2. Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      3m 30s
    3. Bringing back hidden pixels with Reveal All
      1m 34s
    4. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      6m 1s
    5. Making the canvas bigger by a specific amount with Relative Canvas Size
      1m 39s
    6. Correcting perspective with the Crop tool
      3m 5s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      50s
    8. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      4m 12s
    9. Nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      4m 2s
    10. Warping images
      3m 40s
    11. Preserving the important elements with Content-Aware Scaling
      9m 32s
  12. 54m 42s
    1. The Background layer
      5m 14s
    2. Using a layer mask instead of deleting pixels
      4m 12s
    3. Loading multiple images into a single Photoshop document as layers
      1m 30s
    4. Naming, hiding, creating, and deleting layers
      4m 18s
    5. Changing the stacking order of layers
      2m 51s
    6. Selecting layers without using the Layers panel
      6m 28s
    7. Transforming layers
      7m 16s
    8. Aligning and distributing layers
      3m 51s
    9. Changing the opacity of layers
      2m 57s
    10. Organizing layers into groups
      2m 55s
    11. Saving variations with layer comps
      5m 3s
    12. When to merge and rasterize layers
      5m 0s
    13. Flatten vs. Save As (a Copy)
      3m 7s
  13. 1h 4m
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      7m 23s
    2. Transform selections
      2m 40s
    3. Quick Mask is your friend
      4m 31s
    4. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      6m 33s
    5. Using the Quick Selection tool
      3m 1s
    6. Re-selecting a previous selection
      1m 35s
    7. Improving a selection with Refine Edge
      4m 21s
    8. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      12m 7s
    9. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      2m 59s
    10. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      4m 53s
    11. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      3m 53s
    12. Combining multiple exposures with the Blend If sliders
      6m 26s
    13. Replacing the sky in an image
      4m 19s
  14. 1h 1m
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      7m 57s
    2. Starting with a preset
      4m 25s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      10m 28s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      5m 4s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      5m 56s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      2m 55s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      9m 0s
    8. Making washed out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 46s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      5m 49s
    10. Controlling which layers are affected by an Adjustment Layer
      7m 28s
  15. 11m 32s
    1. Shadow/Highlight
      9m 3s
    2. Matching color across multiple images
      2m 29s
  16. 34m 12s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Spot Healing brush
      6m 21s
    2. Quick technique for smoothing skin and pores
      8m 23s
    3. Taming flyaway hair
      4m 47s
    4. Making teeth bright and white
      1m 43s
    5. De-emphasizing wrinkles
      4m 41s
    6. Removing unwanted details with Content Aware Fill
      4m 26s
    7. Body sculpting with Liquify
      3m 51s
  17. 21m 6s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      7m 20s
    2. Combining multiple frames of an action sequence
      8m 30s
    3. Combining group shots with Auto-Align
      5m 16s
  18. 25m 36s
    1. Overview of filters
      4m 6s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively with Smart Filters
      4m 45s
    3. Giving an image a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      4m 41s
    4. Adding noise to an image with the Add Noise filter
      3m 34s
    5. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask
      4m 12s
    6. Giving an image more texture with the Texturizer
      1m 17s
    7. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      3m 1s
  19. 30m 44s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      4m 43s
    2. Three blending modes you must know
      6m 41s
    3. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      3m 33s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      4m 33s
    5. Creating a diffused contrast glow effect with Overlay
      6m 2s
    6. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      5m 12s
  20. 21m 39s
    1. Character (point) type
      8m 19s
    2. Paragraph (area) type
      4m 42s
    3. Type on a path
      2m 54s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      2m 24s
    5. Warping type
      3m 20s
  21. 20m 35s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      4m 43s
    2. Adding an outer glow effect
      3m 13s
    3. Adding a border around an image
      2m 53s
    4. Copying layer effects and applying them to other layers
      2m 3s
    5. Saving layer styles and applying them in other documents
      2m 42s
    6. How (and when) to scale layer effects
      5m 1s
  22. 16m 6s
    1. Creating PDF contact sheets
      6m 41s
    2. Exporting web photo galleries
      6m 8s
    3. Saving for the web
      3m 17s
  23. 1m 19s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 19s

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