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Smart Sharpen and masking


Photoshop CS5 for Photographers

with Chris Orwig

Video: Smart Sharpen and masking

There will always be situations like in the previous movie where you want to apply an equal amount of sharpening across the entirety of the photograph. Then there will be those other conditions like with this photograph here, where maybe you have a shallow depth of field or perhaps something kind of interesting in the image, where you only want to selectively sharpen one particular aspect of the photograph. Well that's definitely the case with this image, because we have the shallow depth of field, athlete in the foreground, bike in the background which is out of focus, we don't want to sharpen that. We just want to focus in on the athlete.
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  1. 4m 16s
    1. Welcome
      2m 14s
    2. Using the exercise files
    3. Photography and Photoshop
      1m 17s
  2. 27m 21s
    1. Becoming a successful student of Photoshop
      1m 1s
    2. Strategies for success
      2m 9s
    3. Taking visual snapshots
      3m 32s
    4. The importance of the 30-minute blink
      2m 38s
    5. Isolation
      5m 41s
    6. Creative memorization
      2m 59s
    7. Say it out loud
      4m 9s
    8. Be prepared for surprises
      1m 17s
    9. Why Photoshop CS5?
      3m 55s
  3. 20m 8s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      2m 51s
    2. Introducing the Bridge workspace
      2m 57s
    3. Using Bridge to review and evaluate photographs
      4m 12s
    4. Working with Bridge and Photoshop
      1m 56s
    5. Introducing Mini Bridge
      3m 49s
    6. Working with Mini Bridge
      4m 23s
  4. 25m 52s
    1. Choosing your color settings
      2m 35s
    2. HUD color picker preferences
      2m 44s
    3. Image interpolation preferences
      3m 52s
    4. Zoom preferences
      1m 47s
    5. Interface preferences
      3m 3s
    6. File-handling preferences
      2m 59s
    7. Performance preferences
      2m 28s
    8. Cursor preferences
      2m 59s
    9. Guides and type preview preferences
      3m 25s
  5. 23m 46s
    1. Introducing color management
      2m 53s
    2. Two simple steps for more accurate color
      5m 34s
    3. Opening and saving files with embedded profiles
      4m 28s
    4. Why color settings and monitor calibration matter
      5m 18s
    5. Creative tip: Setting up your studio
      1m 59s
    6. Monitor calibration
      1m 46s
    7. Color management resources
      1m 48s
  6. 35m 9s
    1. Introducing the Tools panel
      1m 27s
    2. Working with the Tools panel
      4m 36s
    3. Viewing and arranging documents
      4m 29s
    4. Combining multiple images
      4m 15s
    5. Closing multiple images
      2m 17s
    6. Working with panels
      3m 50s
    7. Customizing your workspace
      4m 14s
    8. Creating custom keyboard shortcuts
      4m 49s
    9. Working with the Application bar and Full Screen view
      4m 3s
    10. Working with a Wacom tablet
      1m 9s
  7. 22m 54s
    1. Bit depth 101
      5m 29s
    2. Introducing image size
      3m 26s
    3. Resizing images
      6m 50s
    4. Resizing by cropping
      2m 33s
    5. Straightening an image
      2m 22s
    6. Creative tip: Sizing images correctly
      2m 14s
  8. 33m 49s
    1. Introducing the Camera Raw preferences
      3m 33s
    2. Opening images in Camera Raw
      3m 48s
    3. Using the basic Camera Raw controls
      3m 20s
    4. Color correction and white balance
      3m 7s
    5. Processing multiple images
      2m 21s
    6. Crop and compose
      4m 31s
    7. Converting to black and white
      2m 26s
    8. Camera raw workflow
      7m 36s
    9. Saving images from Adobe Camera Raw
      3m 7s
  9. 38m 9s
    1. Introducing transparency
      1m 29s
    2. Introducing layers
      2m 58s
    3. Working with layers
      3m 49s
    4. Aligning layers
      2m 8s
    5. Creating new layers
      4m 18s
    6. Organizing layers
      3m 34s
    7. Layer style effects
      6m 18s
    8. Creating a clipping mask
      3m 0s
    9. Targeting and moving layers
      4m 10s
    10. Layers shortcuts
      6m 25s
  10. 44m 53s
    1. Using the Magic Wand
      4m 43s
    2. Using the Quick Select tool to remove a background
      2m 16s
    3. Using the Quick Select tool for creative color effects
      2m 23s
    4. Using the Marquee Selection tool
      2m 55s
    5. Using the Magnetic Lasso tool
      3m 6s
    6. Using the Polygonal Lasso tool
      3m 28s
    7. Making color range selections
      3m 35s
    8. Using Refine Edge to improve selections
      3m 17s
    9. Using Refine Edge with a color range
      4m 21s
    10. Introducing paths
      3m 43s
    11. Creating a path selection
      4m 18s
    12. Using a path selection to improve color
      6m 48s
  11. 42m 32s
    1. Introducing masking
      1m 14s
    2. Deconstructing how masking works
      6m 56s
    3. Masking defined
      1m 51s
    4. Refining masked edges
      5m 58s
    5. Building a mask based on color
      6m 11s
    6. Changing a color using a mask
      3m 54s
    7. Masking and selective sharpening
      5m 53s
    8. Using the Mask panel controls
      4m 7s
    9. Quick Mask mode
      6m 28s
  12. 15m 8s
    1. Creating a custom border using masking
      6m 10s
    2. Using pre-built borders
      4m 21s
    3. Exploring sample image frames
      4m 37s
  13. 21m 40s
    1. Introducing the Adjustments panel
      4m 50s
    2. Using Hue/Saturation and the Target Adjustment tool
      4m 29s
    3. Adjusting brightness and contrast
      4m 46s
    4. Working with vibrance and saturation
      3m 31s
    5. Working with adjustment layer presets
      4m 4s
  14. 27m 10s
    1. Introducing levels
      3m 29s
    2. Enhancing color and tone with levels
      6m 32s
    3. Modifying color and contrast with levels
      6m 15s
    4. Using levels to make subjective color shifts
      5m 11s
    5. Using levels and masking
      3m 5s
    6. Creative tip: Checking in
      2m 38s
  15. 34m 14s
    1. Introducing the Curves dialog box
      2m 53s
    2. Demystifying curves
      5m 45s
    3. Using curves to modify color, contrast, and tone
      2m 58s
    4. Combining selections and masking with curves
      3m 6s
    5. Creating hand-painted masks
      4m 27s
    6. Enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks
      6m 23s
    7. Using curves to enhance color
      4m 24s
    8. Using multiple curves adjustments
      1m 41s
    9. Using, modifying, and saving curves presets
      2m 37s
  16. 22m 57s
    1. Creative tip: Blending two elements
    2. Introducing blending modes
      2m 26s
    3. Blending modes visualized
      4m 40s
    4. Blending multiple images together
      4m 29s
    5. Using blending modes to remove white or black
      1m 53s
    6. Improving overexposure using blending
      1m 36s
    7. Improving underexposure using blending
      4m 8s
    8. Blending shortcuts
      2m 47s
  17. 16m 40s
    1. Correcting color with the eyedroppers
      4m 58s
    2. Correcting color and tone with the eyedroppers
      4m 14s
    3. Correcting color with Camera Raw
      1m 58s
    4. Camera Raw color correction with a color chart
      1m 52s
    5. Color-correcting skin by the numbers
      3m 38s
  18. 27m 27s
    1. Replacing color
      2m 9s
    2. Replacing color with Hue/Saturation
      5m 12s
    3. Modifying color with Selective Color
      3m 40s
    4. Modifying multiple colors with Selective Color
      3m 5s
    5. Creating dramatic sunset colors
      2m 59s
    6. Using Color Balance to improve sunrise colors
      1m 13s
    7. Using Color Balance, selections, and masks together
      4m 57s
    8. Improving a family portrait with Color Balance
      2m 35s
    9. Creative tip: Shoot more
      1m 37s
  19. 31m 12s
    1. Creative tip: The digital darkroom
      1m 20s
    2. Introducing the Burn and Dodge tools
      3m 22s
    3. Using the Burn and Dodge tools
      3m 31s
    4. Enhancing dimension with the Burn and Dodge tools
      3m 58s
    5. Improving tone with the Burn and Dodge tools
      3m 12s
    6. Using Soft Light for burning and dodging
      5m 58s
    7. Darkening with the Soft Light blending mode
      5m 39s
    8. Adding contrast to the highlights
      4m 12s
  20. 15m 1s
    1. Introducing black-and-white conversion
      4m 9s
    2. Converting a portrait to black-and-white
      4m 22s
    3. Converting a landscape to black-and-white
      2m 18s
    4. Adding grain and tone to a black-and-white image
      2m 39s
    5. Creative tip: Seeing beyond color
      1m 33s
  21. 11m 2s
    1. Adding lens flare
      3m 34s
    2. Adding film grain
      1m 47s
    3. Introducing Smart Filters
      1m 44s
    4. Applying Smart Filters
      3m 57s
  22. 10m 17s
    1. Reducing noise with Surface Blur
      4m 25s
    2. Using the Noise Reduction filter
      2m 56s
    3. Advanced noise reduction using channels
      2m 56s
  23. 45m 18s
    1. Using the Dust and Scratches filter
      3m 8s
    2. Removing dust and scratches with masking
      2m 44s
    3. Introducing the trio of healing tools
      5m 30s
    4. Using the Healing and Clone Stamp tools
      3m 26s
    5. Healing along edges and areas of contrast
      2m 8s
    6. Healing and patching
      5m 19s
    7. Using Content-Aware Fill
      4m 27s
    8. Using multiple content-aware tools for the best results
      4m 19s
    9. Making multiple selections with Content-Aware Fill
      2m 18s
    10. Deleting unwanted elements
      3m 59s
    11. Removing a garment strap with spot healing
      1m 46s
    12. Cleaning up an image with spot healing, cloning, and healing
      6m 14s
  24. 48m 59s
    1. Creative tip: Leaving crumbs
      1m 18s
    2. Whitening teeth
      2m 8s
    3. Improving eyes
      3m 24s
    4. Changing eye color
      2m 48s
    5. Enhancing makeup
      5m 33s
    6. Removing blemishes
      2m 20s
    7. Softening skin
      7m 0s
    8. Reducing shadows around eyes
      5m 32s
    9. Reducing and removing wrinkles around eyes
      6m 43s
    10. Improving highlights and shadows
      5m 6s
    11. Changing body size and shape with Liquify
      3m 50s
    12. Modifying the body with Puppet Warp
      3m 17s
  25. 23m 19s
    1. Using the Lens Correction filter
      5m 16s
    2. Removing distortion with Automatic Lens Correction
      2m 22s
    3. Improving a portrait with Lens Correction
      2m 16s
    4. Using Free Transform to correct perspective
      4m 47s
    5. Using Puppet Warp to correct perspective
      4m 47s
    6. Changing a portrait with Puppet Warp
      3m 51s
  26. 37m 11s
    1. Introducing Smart Sharpen
      4m 56s
    2. Smart Sharpen demystified
      5m 49s
    3. Smart Sharpen and masking
      8m 49s
    4. Using Smart Sharpen on small details
      5m 3s
    5. Using the Unsharp Mask filter
      6m 9s
    6. High Pass sharpening an image
      6m 25s
  27. 20m 5s
    1. Resizing for the web and email
      4m 23s
    2. Sharpening for the web and email
      2m 49s
    3. Correcting color for the web and email
      3m 50s
    4. Saving and exporting images for the web and email
      2m 43s
    5. Creating a web gallery
      4m 0s
    6. Sharing photos online
      2m 20s
  28. 17m 15s
    1. Desktop printing recommendations
      2m 46s
    2. Creating a PDF layout and contact sheets
      3m 5s
    3. Resizing and sharpening for a specific print size
      3m 12s
    4. Using Soft Proof to preview the print
      3m 48s
    5. Using the Print dialog box
      2m 25s
    6. Choosing printer settings
      1m 59s
  29. 56s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS5 for Photographers
12h 24m Beginner May 11, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop CS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically and shooting with Photoshop’s capabilities in mind. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Calibrating a monitor
  • Setting up color and file handling preferences
  • Resizing images
  • Processing images in Camera Raw
  • Creating, targeting, and moving layers
  • Making selections and taking advantage of the Refine Edge feature
  • Masking and selective sharpening
  • Improving a photo using Content-Aware Fill and the Puppet Warp tool
  • Enhancing color, tone, and contrast with Levels
  • Improving under- and overexposure using blending
  • Burning and dodging techniques
  • Converting an image to black and white
  • Retouching essentials
  • Publishing images to the web
Chris Orwig

Smart Sharpen and masking

There will always be situations like in the previous movie where you want to apply an equal amount of sharpening across the entirety of the photograph. Then there will be those other conditions like with this photograph here, where maybe you have a shallow depth of field or perhaps something kind of interesting in the image, where you only want to selectively sharpen one particular aspect of the photograph. Well that's definitely the case with this image, because we have the shallow depth of field, athlete in the foreground, bike in the background which is out of focus, we don't want to sharpen that. We just want to focus in on the athlete.

Let's go ahead and zoom in to 100%, so we actually create some accurate sharpening. We can do so by double- clicking on the zoom tool. Next let's press the Spacebar key and click and drag and reposition this so we can really focus in on what's most significant. From here, what we want to do is copy our Background layer. We can do so by pressing Command+J on a Mac or Ctrl+J on a PC, then let's go ahead and double-click the layer name, and call this one Sharpen. Next step is going to be to go to our Filter pulldown menu her. We're going to select Sharpen and then Smart Sharpen.

When Smart Sharpen opens up I am going to go ahead and reposition this window here just a little bit, so I can align this up and have a nice view of this in the Preview window as well as in the image. Well that's close enough. Next thing that I want to do is click on Advanced so I have the Advanced tabs if needed. The sharpening that I want to apply is going to be Lens Blur. What we want to do here is typically start with a relatively high amount then slowly bring in our Radius. One of the things that's interesting in regards to sharpening is that what we're really doing is output sharpening.

In other words we're thinking of the final output, how is this going to be printed, or how is it going to be displayed and what type of paper, how big is this going to be? We're keeping that in mind as we're dialing in these settings. The other thing that's kind of interesting is a lot of times it's nice to over-sharpen just a little bit. Now, I hate to say that, because images that are over-sharpened just look horrible. Yet sometimes it's nice to have a little bit more sharpening than needed, so that later you can lower that layer opacity and find just the right spot for the sharpening.

Well with this image at least on my monitor I think this is looking pretty good here, except there are a couple of little areas that are problematic. We'll fix those up later. We can of course go into our Shadow Edge or our Highlight Edge and we can dial in this in order to scale that halo back just a bit, and you want to do that just to your own preference, basically to what you're seeing on your monitor. Well, now that we've brought in some sharpening here, I am going to crank this up even more just because it's a demo file, so that you guys can see that a little bit better, and then let's click OK.

Well, now that we have the sharpening, we can click on the eye icon. Here's our before and then after. If I zoom in even closer, you'll be able to see what we've done here. Here again is our before and then our after. Well let's go back to that 100% view. Next step is going to be to take this layer to the blending mode of Luminosity. So here's how we can do that. Press the V key. That will then select the Move tool. Next step is going to be to press the shortcut to select the Luminosity blend mode, and you can do that on a Mac by pressing Shift+Option+Y. On a PC that's Shift+Alt+Y or of course you can simply select Luminosity right here down at the bottom.

Well now that we've done that, we need to create a mask so that we're just sharpening the athlete and not the background. Well we can do that a couple of different ways. Let's zoom out. One easy way would be to press the W key to select the Quick Select tool and then to go ahead and just simply paint across the image. We're going to go ahead and paint cross the jacket, on the face, and make sure we have all of the athlete here so that we can sharpen him, his ears, top of his head a little bit. Now I went too far right there. Hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC and then paint, and you can fix up that edge just a little bit.

I also don't want this area in focus or sharp. So I will hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, and I will click and paint there to subtract that from my selection. Well so far so good. All we have to do now is to simply click on the Add Layer Mask icon. Now, what that did for us is it created a layer where we just have the athlete. Now, one of the problems with this particular adjustment is that it isn't perfect and the edges aren't quite perfect. So in order to fix those up, we can go to our Masks panel and in our Masks panel we can go to Mask Edge.

With Mask Edge, we have the ability to smooth things out a little bit which might be nice here just to create a nicer transition from something that's sharp to not sharp. We can also add a little bit of Feather if we need to. Again, that's fine to have that trail- off with this image, this case, because this edge out here doesn't need to be sharp. It's really the more foreground up here the face needs to be really sharp, part of the jacket as well. So we can dial in these settings in order to find the sweet spot for these edges on this mask. Let's click OK.

Then I notice that there is an area that I didn't select on the sleeve. That was a mistake. So I will grab my Brush tool and I'll go ahead and choose white here and then I'm just simply going to paint with white in order to bring that into this area. Now, if we zoom in a little bit on this image, one of the things that we may notice is that there are a couple of problem areas. Let's turn on the Background layer, so we can see this. Clicking on the top layer, my Sharpening layer, here I have my before and then my after. It's pretty subtle sharpening, but nonetheless it looks pretty good at least on my monitor.

Well, one of the problem areas that I notice is around the nose right here, that highlight, also along the jaw line, and then down here on the t-shirt it's a little bit too much of a halo. Let me exaggerate the sharpening for moment so you can see what I mean. I am going to go back to my Sharpening layer, navigate to Filter, Sharpen, and then choose Smart Sharpen. So here what's going to happen is when I apply more sharpening to a higher radius, you can see that halo is starting to really come out there along those edges. So I am always looking for that halo spot because I don't want those halos to be there.

They are kind of a dead giveaway of over-sharpening. So I am going to mask those areas out. Here is how I am going to do it. I will click on my mask and then I'll go ahead and press the B key, select my Brush tool, I'll paint with black, really small little brush here, and I am just going to paint along that halo edge, just so that particular halo edge isn't quite so prominent or dominant, because I don't want the eye going to that area. Because we know in photography that the eye goes to areas of brightness and also areas of contrast.

It likes those areas. It gets hung up on that. So here I am simply just masking away the sharpness in a few areas of the image, so that that halo isn't quite so strong. Work on the nose there a little bit. I should also say that a lot of this type of sharpening or masking of the sharpening we should do at 100%. So let's double-click the Zoom tool to zoom out so we can evaluate if we're going in a good direction. Clicking on our layer icon. Here is before end after. Now, I imagine that it's going to be pretty tricky to see the sharpening in this particular movie.

So you're going to have to take my word for it and then of course, you're going to have to experiment with your own images. But most importantly, it's this concept of how we can selectively sharpen a particular area of our image with a mask, and then even more than that, how we can start to clean up the mask, as you can see I've done here, masking out little areas where those highlights were distracting. Now if this masking isn't good enough for you, let's say these brush strokes aren't very good, you can always soften them up with a little bit of feather, right? And that then will defuse those into that area, and there are times you may not need to do so much.

But either way, what we're starting to see is that we can selectively sharpen different areas of the photograph. Now this area of the jacket is kind of out of focus because it's a little bit further back than the face. So in that case, I am going to now grab my brush, make my brush nice and big, press 3 on the keyboard to go to 30% opacity, and I am just going to start to paint this away. We can see here as a paint with black, I'm just minimizing this area of the jacket. I don't need that to be very sharp there, and that looks good. Now, what we need to do is to turn on our underlying layer, evaluate our overall before and after, here we have it before, and then after.

Again, I imagine, the visual before and after is going to be tricky to see, but more important than the visual is the concept of how you can selectively sharpen areas of your image and also keep in mind that how the sharpening looks on your monitor at 100% is critical because that view will really give you insight and ideas into how the image will actually look in its final destination.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS5 for Photographers .

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Q: The instructor recommends using the ColorMunki by X-Rite for monitor calibration, but X-Rite makes multiple ColorMunki products. Which ColorMunki is used in the video?
A: The product referred to in the video is the ColorMunki Photo.
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