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USM vs. Smart Sharpen

From: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics

Video: USM vs. Smart Sharpen

We now move from a topic of Unsharp Mask to the topic of Smart Sharpen, the more powerful, more capable, and more complicated as it turns out Smart Sharpen filter. It does almost everything that Unsharp Mask does plus a whole lot more. So I am going to demonstrate how it functions by comparison to the Unsharp Mask filter and I am also going to show you the three primary settings in how they compare to each other using this illustration right here, which is called bigbrushstrokes.bsd it's included inside of the 11 Sharpen folder of course and it features four versions, just four identical versions of this brushstroke what I am calling a big brushstroke here, it's really this big thick sort of dark area with some light circles inside of it.

USM vs. Smart Sharpen

We now move from a topic of Unsharp Mask to the topic of Smart Sharpen, the more powerful, more capable, and more complicated as it turns out Smart Sharpen filter. It does almost everything that Unsharp Mask does plus a whole lot more. So I am going to demonstrate how it functions by comparison to the Unsharp Mask filter and I am also going to show you the three primary settings in how they compare to each other using this illustration right here, which is called bigbrushstrokes.bsd it's included inside of the 11 Sharpen folder of course and it features four versions, just four identical versions of this brushstroke what I am calling a big brushstroke here, it's really this big thick sort of dark area with some light circles inside of it.

And this big dark area here helps to see very distinct edges inside of the image as well as little edges represented by the texture. So, that will help us to get a sense of what's going on with this new filter here that was introduced by the way inside Photoshop CS2. I am going to go ahead and reduce my pallets to icons over here. So this is the Layers pallet, I am going to go ahead and click on it to bring it up and I just want you to see that each one of these identical images is relegated to its own layer.

So we have got Unsharp Mask in the upper left corner, Gaussian Blur as we will see that's one of the Smart Sharpen settings over here in the upper right corner. Then we got Lens Blur another Smart Sharpen setting down in the lower left corner and Mo-Blur, yet, another Smart Sharpen setting down in the lower right corner, just so you have a sense of what's going on here. So make sure wherever your Layers pallet is, make sure that USM shot for Unsharp Mask of course is highlighted, so that we are working on the upper left image, then I want you to go the Filter menu and you will see that Unsharp Mask is right there at the top.

So what I recommended you do at this point is go ahead and click and hold on that mouse button, so the menu doesn't go away. Then press and hold on the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and then release the mouse button and up will spring the Unsharp Mask dialog box. Here's the settings I want you to apply, go ahead and change the amount value to 200% and then change the radius value to 20 pixels, a big heaping helping of Unsharp Mask here, it might as well drag the preview into the dialog box, so we can see what's going on. Finally, leave the threshold set to zero levels, because there is nothing analogous to the threshold option inside the Smart Sharpen dialog box.

So if we end up messing with it, it will ruin our comparison, so leave it set to zero. If it's set to something else, set it to zero by all means and then click on the OK button in order to apply that filter. Alright, now let's go over to the Layers pallet once again and click on Gaussian Blur this time around and then I am going to hide the Layers pallet by pressing the F7 key again. Now, the upper right hand image here is highlighted and just in case you are thinking like you only have two of these brushstrokes on screen, what's the deal, the other ones are down here; they are there, alright anyway.

So the upper right layer is now active, I am going to go up to the Filter menu, I am going to choose Sharpen and I am going to choose Smart Sharpen, you can also press Shift+F6 if you loaded D keys. I went ahead and gave you that keyboard shortcut because this is a sensational command that you are going to want to use on a regular basis and it's fairly hard to get to because of the submenu system here. And also the fact that there are still different submenus that start with an "S" that always throws me off, I don't know, maybe I am challenged, but anyway I am going to go ahead and choose the Smart Sharpen function.

Now, you will immediately notice among other things that it's more gargantuan or maybe you won't, you know on a regular screen, it doesn't look this massive, but I am recording a 1024x768 and therefore this dialog box takes up almost my entire screen. So we are just going to have the focus on the in-dialog box preview here, which works just like it does, it's just more massive, but it work just like it does inside the Unsharp Mask dialog box. Alright, let's replicate those same settings that we saw before. First of all make sure that basic is turned on, don't worry about the default settings, you should see the default settings by the way, but don't worry about what the settings option is set to.

We do need to go ahead and enter an amount value of 200% and a radius value of 20 pixels, so that we are matching the last settings, we applied inside Unsharp Mask. Also make sure that Remove is set to Gaussian Blur meaning that Photoshop is going to try to remove Gaussian Blur from the image and it does that actually by applying Gaussian Blur. I know that it just doesn't make any sense sometimes, but it's masking just in the same way the Unsharp Mask Command works, it's masking a Gaussian Blur haloes, with dark halo on one side and light halo on the other side.

And More Accurate is turned off, make sure that one is off alright, so 200%, 20 Gaussian Blur that's it, then go ahead and click OK. And you might be struck by the amazing similarity between these two images. Now, I told you did I not, that Smart Sharpen it's very more complicated and it's very more powerful than the Unsharp Mask command and it's true I did not lie, I wouldn't do that to you. It's all true, the reason we are seeing very similar images and actually they are not very similar, they are pixel for pixel identical, it's because first of all we enter the same settings and secondly, we set the Remove function to Gaussian Blur that means that that is exactly what the Unsharp Mask command does.

So basically, what I am trying to show you is Smart Sharpen does everything that Unsharp Mask done, plus much more. Now, that one thing it doesn't do, it doesn't have anything that's analogous to that Threshold option and that's actually more or less a good thing as we will find out, because the Threshold setting is an on-off proposition, it's not really all that terribly useful. What Smart Sharpen is more useful and more intelligent once we start investigating the other settings, as we will do in the very next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics
Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics

129 video lessons · 39089 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 1h 15m
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics
      2m 5s
    2. Selecting glass and water
      5m 23s
    3. Establishing a base layer
      4m 0s
    4. The Color Range command
      6m 45s
    5. Selecting sparkles
      3m 19s
    6. Setting sparkles to Screen
      4m 19s
    7. Selecting and compositing hair
      2m 59s
    8. When Color Range falls short
      7m 25s
    9. Selecting a base channel
      4m 25s
    10. Enhancing the channel's contrast
      4m 4s
    11. Dodging the highlights
      5m 55s
    12. Putting the mask in play
      3m 20s
    13. Reducing the edge fringes
      4m 21s
    14. Adding a layer mask
      4m 53s
    15. Creating a gradient quick mask
      5m 26s
    16. Blurring the layer mask
      5m 51s
    17. And that's just the beginning...
      1m 15s
  2. 1h 13m
    1. Edge-enhancement parlor tricks
      1m 30s
    2. The subterfuge of sharpness
      3m 14s
    3. The single-shot sharpness
      3m 47s
    4. Unsharp Mask
      5m 17s
    5. Understanding the Radius value
      4m 31s
    6. Gauging the best settings
      7m 14s
    7. Sharpening the luminance data
      8m 25s
    8. USM vs. Smart Sharpen
      6m 0s
    9. Smart Sharpen's Remove settings
      6m 23s
    10. High-resolution sharpening
      6m 4s
    11. Leave More Accurate off!
      2m 29s
    12. Turn More Accurate on
      2m 58s
    13. The Advanced options
      5m 17s
    14. Saving Smart Sharpen settings
      4m 18s
    15. Accounting for camera shake
      6m 0s
  3. 1h 24m
    1. Why the heck would you blur?
      1m 20s
    2. The "bell-shaped" Gaussian Blur
      7m 16s
    3. The Linear Box Blur
      2m 58s
    4. Median and its badly named progeny
      6m 3s
    5. Surface Blur and the rest
      5m 36s
    6. The Motion Blur filter
      3m 2s
    7. The Radial Blur variations: Spin and Zoom
      5m 55s
    8. The Captain Kirk-in-love effect
      6m 50s
    9. Averaging skin tones
      6m 2s
    10. Addressing the stubborn patches
      6m 0s
    11. Combining Gaussian Blur and Average
      4m 8s
    12. Blurring surface details
      7m 2s
    13. Smoothing blemishes while matching noise
      7m 52s
    14. Reducing digital noise
      8m 22s
    15. Smoothing out JPEG artifacts
      6m 1s
  4. 45m 28s
    1. Behold, the layered composition
      1m 13s
    2. The Layers palette
      5m 8s
    3. Enlarging the hand
      4m 40s
    4. Erasing with a layer mask
      6m 28s
    5. Moving a layer
      4m 3s
    6. Combining layers into a clipping mask
      4m 42s
    7. Hair and stacking order
      6m 12s
    8. Adding a frame and expanding the canvas
      6m 2s
    9. Adding a vignette
      7m 0s
  5. 42m 27s
    1. Organization: It sounds dull, but it rocks
      1m 8s
    2. The terrible battle
      3m 3s
    3. Assembling the base composition
      5m 46s
    4. Adding adjustment layers
      4m 55s
    5. Creating a layer group
      2m 24s
    6. Grouping selected layers
      3m 13s
    7. Making the TV lines
      4m 17s
    8. Introducing layer comps
      5m 52s
    9. Saving your own layer comps
      6m 40s
    10. Final footnotes
      5m 9s
  6. 1h 23m
    1. Parametric operations
      1m 4s
    2. The power of blend modes
      6m 44s
    3. Changing the Opacity value
      5m 35s
    4. Opacity vs. Fill Opacity
      4m 37s
    5. Meet the blend modes
      5m 38s
    6. Blend mode shortcuts
      5m 52s
    7. The darkening modes
      6m 12s
    8. Tempering a Burn effect with the Fill value
      3m 53s
    9. Saving a blended state
      2m 54s
    10. The lightening modes
      4m 55s
    11. The contrast modes
      7m 13s
    12. The comparative modes
      7m 25s
    13. The composite (HSL) modes
      6m 2s
    14. The brush-only modes
      8m 11s
    15. Blending groups
      7m 10s
  7. 1h 27m
    1. At this point, there is a great shift...
      59s
    2. Messing with the masters
      2m 28s
    3. Scaling a layer to fit a composition
      6m 39s
    4. Merging clock face and cardinal
      2m 2s
    5. Rotating the minute hand
      7m 42s
    6. Replaying the last transformation
      3m 50s
    7. Second hand and shadows
      5m 0s
    8. Series duplication
      3m 23s
    9. Skews and perspective-style distortions
      6m 43s
    10. The envelope-style Warp function
      7m 32s
    11. Introducing the Liquify command
      5m 9s
    12. Adjusting the brush settings
      4m 2s
    13. Viewing layers and the mesh
      4m 18s
    14. Incrementally undoing undesirable effects
      4m 5s
    15. Twirl, pucker, and bloat
      2m 2s
    16. Push, mirror, and turbulence
      4m 37s
    17. Protecting regions with a mask
      3m 41s
    18. Applying a digital facelift
      10m 53s
    19. Saving and loading mesh settings
      2m 31s
  8. 1h 18m
    1. Planes and perspective
      1m 7s
    2. The Blue Gallery
      2m 47s
    3. Introducing Vanishing Point 2.0
      5m 30s
    4. Drawing out perpendicular planes
      6m 54s
    5. Exporting the gridlines to a layer
      4m 45s
    6. Cloning an image from one plane to another
      7m 58s
    7. Blending the image into its new home
      6m 31s
    8. Healing away the sockets
      7m 48s
    9. Importing a new image
      6m 20s
    10. Masking and shading the image
      7m 27s
    11. Flat in, perspective out
      5m 57s
    12. Adding perspective type
      4m 50s
    13. Swinging planes to custom angles
      6m 2s
    14. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      4m 35s
  9. 1h 15m
    1. Type: The great imaging exception
      54s
    2. Creating an independent text layer
      6m 39s
    3. Editing vector-based text
      6m 38s
    4. Working with area text
      6m 15s
    5. Resizing the text frame
      6m 4s
    6. Obscure but important formatting options
      7m 25s
    7. Text editing tricks and shortcuts
      9m 38s
    8. Adding a ghostly cast shadow
      6m 19s
    9. Backlighting the text
      2m 48s
    10. Creating type on a path
      7m 37s
    11. Pasting text along the bottom of a circle
      3m 50s
    12. Flip and baseline shift
      3m 15s
    13. Warping text
      3m 58s
    14. Scaling the warped text to taste
      4m 18s
  10. 1m 11s
    1. See ya for now
      1m 11s

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