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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.
We are going to wrap things up by taking a look at how to sharpen an image for screen output, whether your image is ultimately bound for the web or a presentation or a kiosk or something along those lines. Generally, this just means making your image look good on your screen, you are just trying to compensate for the down sampling process but it is possible that you are going to a specific kind of screen. And I will tell you this. If you are working on an LCD monitor, flat panel LCD monitor, then you are seeing sharper images than you would if you were working on a deep CRT tube like the older style monitors.
They tend to be a little softer than LCD screens. So if you are working on an LCD and you know your image is going to be displayed on a CRT tube, then you want to give it a little extra oomph of sharpening. By the same token, if you are working on a CRT screen, and it is ultI'mately going to be displayed on an LCD screen, then you want to back off of the sharpening a little bit. Otherwise, you want to trust what you see on screen because that is all you got to work with. I will give you a little bit of advice here. Now I am working inside of this image called Destination unknown.PSD, that is the final version of our use neutral image that can go anywhere, as you well know.
Let us go ahead and flatten it and resample it. So go up to the Layer menu and choose the Flatten Image command and then we want to go ahead and resample the image. But first actually, we should save it, right, I should go up to the File menu. I should choose the Save As command, I should pick a format. I will probably just save this image as a TIFF image as opposed to worrying about layers and so on because when I am working with screen images, I tend to work a little more quickly and I tend to work with a flat image. But you can work anyway you want. At any rate, after saving the image in order to protect the original, I would go ahead and crop the image to its intended size.
So I am going to go ahead and grab the Crop tool and notice that I have already gone ahead and entered some measurements for my cropped image. That could be using the Image Size command, of course, if I wanted to keep all the pixels. But I want to crop some of the stuff out because I want to create a kind of banner. The designer gave me some measurements I have to stick to a width of 600 pixels and a height of 240. And I am going with the resolution of 72 pixels per inch, just in case, this is going out to some browser that's sensitI've to resolution, most are not. Notice, that I am working with a pretty large image size.
Most images that are bound for the web in any case have to be smaller than this but I just want to keep things generous so fits nicely inside the video. I am going to go ahead and Shift-Tab away my palette, so I have a little more room to work here. And then I am going to drag with the Crop tool and this is basically the portion of the image, I want to keep. I might sort of crop closer to her face a little bit here. But I want to be able to see part of her hand and her face at the same time. I sort of move things around depending on exactly what I want out of this image, what kind of effect I want.
But this looks good for now. Then I am going to press the Enter key or the Return key in order to go ahead and crop and resample the image. And by the way, Photoshop is automatically re-sampling. I will go up here to the Edit menu, choose Preferences and then choose General. You will find this command under the Photoshop menu on the Mac. And I am bringing this command up because I want to show you that image interpolation is set to Bi-cubic, best for smooth gradients, which is that setting that we want. You should make sure it is set to that as well before re-sampling the image with the Crop tool, because this function affects all re-sampling that occurs when you are using a Crop tool, when you are using Free Transform and other functions that fall outside of the Image Size command.
Any way, I am going to cancel out of there. Now let us go ahead and press Ctrl+Alt+0 or Command+Option+0 on the Mac in order to zoom the image to the 100% zoom ratio. Now I am not sure would it crop that close to those top dots right there but this is good enough for now. Alright, now what I need to do is sharpen the image and when I am sharpening for screen work, I typically sharpen using High Pass once again because High Pass does the best job of avoiding clipping the highlights and shadows. You can use Smart Sharpen too, if you want. Anyway, I am going to go to the Filter menu, I am going to choose other and I am going to choose High Pass and I am going to enter the smallest value that produces a visible effect which is radius of 0.3 pixels.
You can go lower but you really start losing the definition at 0.2 pixels. So I am going to stick with 0.3 pixels. You could go higher too, if you want but I would not go any higher than about 0.5; and then click OK. And then once you have done that, go up to the Edit menu and choose Fade High Pass or you can press Ctrl-Shift-F or Command shift F on the Mac. And we are doing this because we are working with a flat image. That is why we have to use the Fade command. And I am going to change the mode to the most versatile mode where High Pass is concerned which is Linear Light.
So we are going to make this image pop as much as we possibly can and that ends up producing an overly sharp image. We can see quite the halo down here along the bottom of her chin. You now can use the Opacity value to get the exact effect you want. What I typically do is, I do a comparison to the original image. If you dial opacity all the way down to 0%, you can see what the image looked like before you sharpened it and then you can dial it back up to 100% to see what kind of contribution the High Pass filter is making and then you can choose whatever setting you want to work with.
For this image, I am going to set it to about 70% and that produces a nice sharp tactile image that will work well on the screen. It also translates to other kinds of screens. So it will work well on an LCD, which is what I am using here. It should work nicely on a CRT tube as well. And then I will click OK in order to accept my modification and that is it. I am done. And now produce a sharp image for screen, just so we can do a little bit of a before and after comparison. Let us go ahead and hide the Layers palette and bring up the History palette, I am going to click on Crop.
So we see the post-cropped version of the image after we got that interpolating it. But this is the unsharpened version as well. So this is the pre-sharpening version. This is the post-sharpening version. Provides a nice effect! So there it is folks, everything you ever wanted to know about noise reduction and sharpening. In just over a hundred movies, we have discovered how the sharpening tools work. We have seen how to sharpen for source, how to sharpen for detail, how to sharpen for effect and how to sharpen for output, here inside Photoshop.
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