Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Desktop Printing Techniques
Illustration by Don Barnett
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Sharpening pt: 2: Using Smart Sharpen


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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Desktop Printing Techniques

with Chris Orwig

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Video: Sharpening pt: 2: Using Smart Sharpen

All right, well in the previous movie we converted this layer for a Smart Filter. Opened up the Smart Sharpen dialog, and we are using this as a Smart Filter, which basically means we have extra flexibility. We now need to dial-in the appropriate amount of sharpening. Well, how do we do that? Well, one of the things that I like to do is I like to think of the radius in regards to sandpaper. Now, let me explain. This is a bit of a stretch, but this is going to helps me understand how the Radius slider works. Pretend that you are working on a woodworking project. Now, if you have really coarse wood, I mean, it's really rough wood. Well, what you want to do is increase the radius, increase the grit of the sandpaper. On the other hand, if you have a real fine finished piece of wood, you are going to use a low, real fine grain sandpaper in order to finish it off.
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  1. 3m 32s
    1. Welcome
      2m 35s
    2. Using the exercise files
      57s
  2. 12m 2s
    1. Introducing color management
      2m 31s
    2. Creating a neutral work environment
      2m 49s
    3. Calibrating your monitor
      3m 54s
    4. Calibration demo
      2m 48s
  3. 31m 40s
    1. Correcting color pt. 1: Determining the white and black points
      2m 27s
    2. Correcting color pt. 2: Using curves
      4m 15s
    3. Correcting color pt. 3: Fine-tuning
      3m 15s
    4. Correcting color pt. 4: Adding finishing touches
      4m 35s
    5. Color-correcting an outdoor portrait with curves
      2m 41s
    6. Color-correcting skin tone by the numbers
      2m 36s
    7. Applying skin tone color correction by the numbers
      3m 52s
    8. Correcting reflected color
      2m 25s
    9. Color-correcting a studio fashion portrait
      3m 18s
    10. Color-correcting skin in a natural light portrait
      2m 16s
  4. 40m 52s
    1. Camera Raw input sharpening
      4m 14s
    2. Sharpening with Camera Raw
      2m 28s
    3. Introducing Smart Sharpen
      4m 57s
    4. Sharpening pt. 1: Using Smart Filters
      3m 15s
    5. Sharpening pt: 2: Using Smart Sharpen
      6m 5s
    6. Sharpening and blend modes
      2m 46s
    7. Using Unsharp Mask
      5m 41s
    8. Using High Pass to sharpen
      6m 0s
    9. Adding texture and effects with High Pass
      5m 26s
  5. 19m 25s
    1. Business card resources
      4m 11s
    2. Using a business card template
      1m 22s
    3. Designing the front of a business card
      5m 7s
    4. Designing the back of a business card
      5m 17s
    5. Repurposing a business card for others
      1m 26s
    6. Business card examples
      2m 2s
  6. 32m 11s
    1. Typography resources sites
      3m 32s
    2. Tips and shortcuts for working with type
      4m 7s
    3. Promo card inspiration and resources
      3m 26s
    4. Using a template to build a promo
      2m 19s
    5. Customizing the template
      5m 1s
    6. Building a grid-based promo card
      7m 29s
    7. Resources for creating a photo book
      3m 22s
    8. Photo book examples
      2m 55s
  7. 53m 54s
    1. Creating a PDF layout with the Output module
      6m 35s
    2. Creating a layout pt. 1: Using the Output module to create a rough layout
      3m 25s
    3. Creating a layout pt. 2: Customizing a PDF layout in Photoshop
      5m 1s
    4. Creating a three-image layout in Photoshop
      2m 50s
    5. Creating a grid photo montage
      5m 23s
    6. Building a creative layout pt. 1
      4m 24s
    7. Building a creative layout pt. 2
      8m 6s
    8. Multiple-image layout pt. 1: Using Bridge and Photoshop
      3m 59s
    9. Multiple-image layout pt. 2: Masking and resizing photos
      6m 19s
    10. Multiple-image layout pt. 3: Finalizing the layout
      2m 39s
    11. Multiple-image layout pt. 4: Color and sharpening
      5m 13s
  8. 13m 34s
    1. Printer recommendations
      2m 47s
    2. Paper recommendations
      1m 50s
    3. Paper resources
      3m 27s
    4. Printing recommendations overview
      5m 30s
  9. 15m 46s
    1. Color management refresher
      1m 53s
    2. Finding sample files online for test printing
      3m 0s
    3. Soft-proofing with paper profiles
      1m 49s
    4. Soft-proofing to correct an image
      2m 52s
    5. Setting white and black points based on the test print
      6m 12s
  10. 34m 1s
    1. Starting with Camera Raw
      3m 3s
    2. Resizing in Photoshop
      5m 9s
    3. Setting the white and black points
      2m 17s
    4. Checking skin tone
      3m 48s
    5. Sharpening with Smart Sharpen
      3m 55s
    6. Making soft proof corrections
      2m 55s
    7. Introducing the Photoshop Print dialog
      2m 44s
    8. Color management and the Photoshop Print dialog
      3m 32s
    9. Final Print dialog settings
      2m 33s
    10. The final print
      4m 5s
  11. 23m 6s
    1. Setting up a test strip print
      2m 32s
    2. Modifying the test strip print
      5m 30s
    3. Understanding rendering intents
      2m 19s
    4. Test-printing rendering intents
      2m 35s
    5. Batch-processing with actions
      5m 50s
    6. The image processor
      4m 20s
  12. 23m 55s
    1. Overview and intro
      4m 45s
    2. Using a promo card template
      2m 47s
    3. Converting to CMYK
      7m 36s
    4. Field trip to a printing press
      8m 47s
  13. 6m 36s
    1. Resource sites
      2m 0s
    2. What's next
      2m 51s
    3. Goodbye
      1m 45s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Desktop Printing Techniques
5h 11m Intermediate Feb 25, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

As Ansel Adams once said, "The negative is the equivalent of the composer's score, and the print the performance." Now, with Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: Desktop Printing Techniques, creating breathtaking prints is within reach. In this course, photographer and instructor Chris Orwig teaches techniques and workflows for crafting powerful and enduring images that bring the photographer's vision to life. From producing a business card to visiting a working press, Chris covers everything photographers need to know to achieve unique, compelling results from the printing process. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Implementing a color-managed workflow
  • Creating color-correct prints
  • Advanced image sharpening techniques
  • Using typography with promo materials
  • Working with print layouts and montages
  • Considering paper and printer choices
  • Soft-proofing to ensure stunning results
  • Optimizing the print workflow
  • Converting to CMYK and going to press
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Chris Orwig

Sharpening pt: 2: Using Smart Sharpen

All right, well in the previous movie we converted this layer for a Smart Filter. Opened up the Smart Sharpen dialog, and we are using this as a Smart Filter, which basically means we have extra flexibility. We now need to dial-in the appropriate amount of sharpening. Well, how do we do that? Well, one of the things that I like to do is I like to think of the radius in regards to sandpaper. Now, let me explain. This is a bit of a stretch, but this is going to helps me understand how the Radius slider works. Pretend that you are working on a woodworking project. Now, if you have really coarse wood, I mean, it's really rough wood. Well, what you want to do is increase the radius, increase the grit of the sandpaper. On the other hand, if you have a real fine finished piece of wood, you are going to use a low, real fine grain sandpaper in order to finish it off.

So, we can think about that in regards to our Radius amount. The higher the res of the file, the larger the Radius. For that matter, if it's a web file or a small file that we have here, we are going to use a real low radius. Now our Amount will vary as well, but it won't vary as significantly as the Radius. So in this case, we are going to go ahead and bring our Radius up a little bit. Click on the image to look at our before and after. We really want to focus in on the different areas of the image. I want to try to get this eye in focus as well, or to bring some sharpness to that eye. I'm noticing that as I'm increasing the Amount here, that I'm bringing a little bit of a haloing effect, although the image is looking good in certain areas.

So now this particular amount of sharpening is too high. There is too much sharpening here. Yet I'm okay with that. Even though I absolutely despise over sharpened image, and I'm okay with that, because we are going to then paint in the sharpening to specific areas. Okay, well now that we have our Amount and Radius in, and again my Radius is a little bit high, my Amounts is a little bit too high than I'm comfortable with, I'll click OK to apply that. Next I'll move over, so I can focus in on the image, and look at my before and after. Here is before and here is after. Now, if I zoom way in on one of the eyes, and look at my before and after, the problem that I'm having is with these highlights. With the halos, the edges, that doesn't look good.

So we need to click in the mask. And on a Mac, what I want to do is fill this mask with black. So black is in my background color. So on a Mac that's Command+Delete; on a PC that would be Ctrl+Delete. Now if black was in my foreground, that would be Option+ Delete on a Mac, Alt+Delete on a PC. Okay, well now that that's black, i.e. no sharpening at all. I'm going to then grab my brush. I'm going to move over to the eye; it's a little bit more out of focus. Make my brush a little bit smaller by pressing the Left Bracket Key. I'll press the Zero Key to take my Opacity 100% and with a nice small brush, by painting with white, not with black, I'm going to bring in full amount of sharpening on this eye. Because this is the area of the image that needs the most amount of sharpening. Let's look at our before and after. Before and then after. That eye is looking much better.

Now do I always zoom in this file, when I'm sharpening? No, I'm just doing that in order to illustrate how to sharpen these eyes. Typically, you want to view your image at 100%. Okay, well I'll click back in the mask. I have my Brush tool. Now here, let me go down to about 80%, because I don't need to sharpen this eye as much as the other one. This one has a little bit more of it already in focus. I'll zoom out a touch just so I can start to zero in on the eyes. So here is my before and after. Okay, the eyes are looking much better. Now, as I did that I realize that this eye needs a little bit more. So I'll click in the mask, I'm going to increase this up, and then bring in some more sharpening over here. Again, just looking to try to get both eyes pretty similar place. Okay, great.

Now, I'm going to make my brush nice and big. I'm going to go down to about 50% Opacity, and I want to bring in some of the details on the nose there, the lips. I'm going to bring in the eyebrows, little bit of the hair up here. My brush nice and big. And again, I'm just looking to bring in some of the sharpness to some of the other areas around the eyes there. Next, I'll press the X Key, and make my brush a little bit smaller. And I'm going to bring my Opacity up, this will mask out some of the sharpening I just did. I want to do that especially on these highlight areas. I don't want those highlight areas to look too crispy, where the light is really reflecting on her nose, and on her cheeks there.

I also want to remove a little bit down here on the skin. I don't want to over-sharpen the skin. So again, I'm just dialing in the exact amount of sharpening that I want. I'll zoom in a little bit, so you can see what's happening here. Now, here is our before and then after. Now one problem is I sharpened this nose a bit too much. So I'll click at my mask. Make my brush nice and small. Paint with 100%. Press the Zero Key. That takes the Opacity at 100. Now I'm going to mask off the sharpening of that edge there, I don't want that halo to be showing up too much, and then we'll zoom out a bit.

Double-click the Zoom tool to go to 100%. That's the zoom rate we want. And then click on the Eye icon to look at our before and then after. Now, we just applied a pretty good amount of sharpening, and this amount of sharpening will work really well if you are printing this image on glossy paper. Now, why do I say that? Well, I say that because the sharpening isn't over the top, and glossy paper will really show you a lot of the details. I mean it's able to show you so much color and sharpness. Now, let's say that I all of a sudden decide, I want to print this on water color paper, or on velvet paper, or on matte paper. Well, there is a higher Dot Gain with those types of papers. And what that means is that ink bleeds in the paper a little bit. The image will look a little bit more soft. So in that case, I need to double-click to Smart Sharpen icon there. And I'm going to increase my Amount and Radius a little bit more. I'll click OK to apply that.

Now, the sharpening may feel like its a little bit over-sharpened on screen. Although with that paper, it's going to naturally soften the image, and dial back the sharpening amount. Now, I imagine that in these movies it's kind of hard to tell how much I'm actually sharpening the image, because these movies get kind of small. Yet, my hope is that through walking through this process, you have now learned how you can evaluate this on your own monitors, a nd get the appropriate amount of sharpening. All right, well we have now successfully sharpened this file and as a quick side-note I just got to tell you, I just love these colors and the patterns and the background there. I think that's so beautiful, such an amazing, little background effect there. I hadn't noticed that before, but just zooming on the image, that's a really nice little touch.

And in conclusion, we have successfully sharpened this image, and learned how to apply, what we know about Smart Sharpen to a practical test.

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