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Since the beginning of the photographic art form, photographers have been searching for clearer and sharper images. Now, you don't have to settle for what was captured in camera; you can perfect your photos in post-production. In this course, Chris Orwig tackles sharpening in three programs: Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom, and Photoshop. They all have their strengths, so he shows you how to get the best results from specific sharpening challenges with each one. Chris shows you how to reduce noise and sharpen with sliders and make selective adjustments to certain areas of raw images. In Photoshop, he uses powerful filters like Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen to sharpen larger areas of pictures, and masking to paint in sharpening. Last, he shares two advanced techniques, one using high pass sharpening and another that limits sharpening to the edges of your images.
In the previous movie, I introduced the topic of how we can sharpen our images in more intelligent ways. By working with smart filters. And we went through the process of converting our layer to a smart object layer. Then we selected a filter, which was smart sharpen, which we've applied here. We talked about how we can double-click the filter name to reopen the filter dialog and then change the amount or radius or noise, any of those settings, and then click OK in order to apply them.
Well, at this point, we're halfway through the process of working on this image and here I want to finish this file off and in order to do that we'll talk about a few things. One is blending modes, opacity and then also masking. Now you can scale the effect back or lower the opacity or change the blending mode by clicking on the icon right here, to the right of the filter name. It's kind of tough to see but hopefully you can see it's that icon right there. Double click that icon and what it will do is it will open up a blending options dialogue.
Here in this blending options dialogue, we have an opacity slider. If we want to scale back the intensity of the effect or the filter, just lower the opacity. If you want to change the blending mode, click on your blending mode pull down menu. And you remember that blending mode that I like to use for sharpening? It's luminosity. We can select that here. So this gives us the flexibility of having layer blending even though we only have one layer. Because what we're blending in is the filter. The sharpening filter is now blended in on the luminosity blending mode.
Right, with this image, think I could bring that opacity slider up a little bit then click OK in order to apply those settings. If ever you change your mind, double-click the icon again. It will remember the blending mode you applied and also the layer or the blending opacity that we have here. Make any changes and then click OK again. All right, well what about the masking? What is this mask which we have here? Well currently, this mask is white. And a white mask reveals.
What is it revealing? The sharpening effect. If we zoom out for a moment, we'll see that this effect is sharpening the entire photograph, the subject here, and also the background. Well, what if we only want the sharpening effect to apply to the subject? We don't need to sharpen this area that's out of focus. Well, if that's the case, we can work on the mask. To do so, simply click into the mask and you'll see some brackets around it. Click into the image and the brackets will appear around the image icon here.
So again, click into and target that mask. Next, what we're going to do is double-click the mask, which will open up the Mask panel here. And here we have some masking controls. You can also just click on the tab for your Mask panel, as well. In order to work with this, I'm going to first click on the Invert button, which will fill the mask with black, concealing or hiding all of the sharpening effect. If you have a version of Photoshop which doesn't have the Invert button, another way you can do that is to go to Edit and choose Fill.
And then in this Fill dialog, click on this pull-down menu and select black there, and then click OK and it will fill that mask with black. Alright. Well, once we have the mask filled with black, we're going to grab our brush. Click on the brush tool icon. We want to paint with white, so make sure you're painting in with white to reveal the sharpening. Then we need to choose a brush. We want a pretty big brush. 0% hardness. Nice, soft edges here. For the opacity, let's leave this at a little bit of a lower range, but not too low.
I want to paint this in pretty quickly. I'm going to go up to about 70%. I'm just going to start to paint over the image, where I want to have the sharpening effect applied. And I'm just painting some brush strokes over these areas. Move down to the lower portion of the image. I think that's pretty good. In this way, we're able to apply some selective sharpening, just to specific areas of our photograph. The area which is white, is the area where the image will become sharper. The area which is black is the area which won't be affected at all.
And the techniques that I'm highlighting here, again, work with any type of filter. Works with smart sharpen and with camera, with unsharp mask. And the advantage of going this next step ensures that you're able to really accomplish what's called selective sharpening. You're choosing where the sharpening effect is applied. And by combining this with smart filters, well it just gives us a lot of creative flexibility and ultimately it can help you to accomplish great results.
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