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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
I am still working inside the bigbrushstrokes.psd image that you will find inside the 11 sharpen folder. And you may recall in the previous exercise, I went ahead and applied the Unsharp Mask filter with an amount value of 200% and a radius value of 20 pixels to this upper-left hand brush strokes image. We just can't see the bottom to brush stroke images right now. And then, I turned around and applied the Smart Sharpen filter using the same amount and radius values with a remove settings of Gaussian Blur to this upper-right hand version of the brush strokes image, and we discovered that the two, our pixel for pixel identical, the two effects exactly match each other.
So, what's the big deal with the Smart Sharpen function? Well, it offers a lot more options including two other remove settings. Right now, we have remove set to Gaussian Blur but we can also set it to Lens Blur and to Motion Blur as well, and we should check that out. But first, I want to show you what's going on with my image and you should have an open on-screen if you have got access to it. Notice that there are these other two brush strokes down here that have not been modified and I call these guys Brush Strokes even though they are not really brush strokes, but they are thick lines that provide us with some edges here.
Notice that I have exactly aligned a size of my window so I can pop back up and down between these brush strokes so that when I pop up and down, they will exactly align with each other. And I am going to do that popping using the Home and End of keys. The Home key takes you to the upper-left corner of an image and the End key, and I am talking about those keys on the right-hand side of your keyboard, the End key takes you to the lower right hand corner of your image as it turns out. And you may say hey, Deke, why didn't you mention those keyboard shortcuts way back in the navigation section? Because you weren't ready for them.
Actually, that's a lie, I forgot. But, nevertheless, you weren't ready for them, now you are. Anyway, I have got to press the Home key again so we can see those, just see how they exactly align with each other. That's going to come in handy in just a moment. Now, I am going to press End in order to see the bottom two images. And yours may not exactly align, this is totally a function of having meticulously size of this window so this little trick is going to work. Alright, anyway, I am going to press the F7 key to bring up my Layers palette here and I am going to click on the Lens Blur item which selects the bottom up left hand image, and I will go ahead and press the F7 key to make that go away again and then I am going to press, because the last filter I chose was the Smart Sharpen filter, I am going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Alt+F or Command+Option+F on the Mac in order to bring back up the Smart Sharpen dialog box, complete with the last settings I applied.
And now, I am going to change the remove setting from Gaussian Blur to Lens Blur, and I invite you to do the same thing. Now, the idea here is Lens Blur is going to give us a different style of halo, did you see that, it's pretty different than Gaussian Blur. The Gaussian Blur halo is soft and very drifty, pretty big as it turns out, fills out a big area of radius. But the Lens Blur halo meanwhile is tighter as it turns out, it's more selective and it's designed to account better for images that have a little softness that were sharp with digital cameras.
So Gaussian Blur is a better choice if you have down sampled an image or if there is some softness associated with the scanner, so in other words, you scanned an image and it's a little soft because of your scanner hardware as opposed to the original image itself. And Gaussian Blur is a pretty good setting, but Lens Blur is much better where digital photographs are concerned and where sharp film scans are concerned as well. Anyway, I am going to go ahead and click on OK in order to accept that modification. Now, let's take advantage of that Home/End trick I was showing you.
This is the remove Gaussian Blur version of the image. It's actually the Unsharp Mask version but they are exactly the same. So it severs its purpose of comparison here. And I got to it by pressing the Home key of course. And if I press the End key, we will see the Lens Blur version. So this is Gaussian Blur, this is Lens Blur, this is the loosey-goosey Gaussian Blur here, very distributed. This is the much tighter, more focused if you will Lens Blur. Alright, now, let's check out the final option. I am going to press the F7 key to bring out the Layers palette once again.
Let's switch over to MO Blur, short for Motion Blur. Press F7 to make that palette go away, and I am going to press Ctrl+Alt+F in order to bring up the Smart Sharpen dialog box. Move that guy into the preview area so I can see what I am doing. Now, I am going to choose Motion Blur, and you will see a big difference this time. Notice that this is a directional haloing effect that we have right now and you can specify the angle if you want to. So for example, I could go ahead and raise that angle value to set it to let's say 45 degrees, so that we just have a nice diagonal halo going on here.
And so you can see we have got instead of tracing all the way around the circles for example with the dark halo and all the way inside with a light halo, we have basically what look like drop shadows, so we have got a dark drop shadow in one direction and the other direction as well inside the dark area of the image and inside the light area, we have a directional glow going on right there and right there as well. So, we get yet a tighter effect you will notice than we got with the Lens Blur and it's a directional effect as well, and it's designed for situations where you encounter camera shake essentially.
If you have got either a movement in your image or you move the camera, then you can use Motion Blur to account for that movement, and I will go ahead and click OK in order to accept the modification. You can of course compare these two guys side by side and I will go ahead and compare with the Home and End key, so I will compare this Motion Blur setting to the Gaussian Blur. This is Gaussian Blur right there and this is Motion Blur right there. Alright, so you can investigate more to your heart's content using this image if you enjoy this sort of analytical approach to your filters.
If not, if you prefer to see how the darn filter actually functions and how you use it on a regular basis, then join me in the next exercise.
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