Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos
Illustration by Richard Downs

Understanding Smart Sharpen


From:

Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos

with Bryan O'Neil Hughes

Video: Understanding Smart Sharpen

There are lots of different ways to sharpen in Photoshop and there are some things to be mindful of as far as best practices are concerned. So I want to show you what to do, what not to do, and my favorite filter for sharpening. So here in Photoshop the first thing I should mention is anytime we're talking about sharpening we want to look at things at 100% at least and the easiest way to do that is to just double-click on our Zoom tool and we're going to crash right into 100%. Now the best way to find the area of the image that we want is this little shortcut where I hit the H key and I click my mouse and I'll be given what's called a bird's eye view here, and I can sort of choose the area that I want to look at.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 7m 53s
    1. Welcome
      2m 29s
    2. Using the exercise files
      42s
    3. What you need to know about Adobe Camera Raw
      4m 42s
  2. 9m 30s
    1. Reinventing the Crop tool
      5m 44s
    2. Using the new Crop tool the old way
      3m 46s
  3. 6m 4s
    1. Then versus now: Understanding how the Auto button works
      2m 55s
    2. Exploring strategies for using Auto
      3m 9s
  4. 6m 37s
    1. Using Curves
      3m 31s
    2. Exploring strategies for using Curves
      3m 6s
  5. 14m 57s
    1. Looking at sharpening
      2m 6s
    2. Understanding Smart Sharpen
      4m 41s
    3. Understanding the role of Smart Objects in a sharpening workflow
      2m 20s
    4. Applying brush-based selective sharpening
      5m 50s
  6. 9m 6s
    1. Understanding the challenges of building blur
      2m 54s
    2. Using Iris Blur to create shallow depth of field
      6m 12s
  7. 8m 20s
    1. The evolving Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools
      6m 24s
    2. Understanding the role of the graphics tablet
      1m 56s
  8. 12m 33s
    1. Understanding and using Content-Aware Fill
      3m 16s
    2. What to do when Content-Aware Fill doesn't work
      2m 38s
    3. Beyond fill: Content-Aware Patch
      1m 16s
    4. Content-Aware Scale: The feature nobody knows about
      3m 30s
    5. Content-Aware Move: Recomposing photos
      1m 53s
  9. 3m 17s
    1. Exploring what Liquify is really used for
      3m 17s
  10. 12m 1s
    1. Correcting automatically based on lens profiles
      4m 2s
    2. Getting the most out of Adaptive Wide Angle
      4m 47s
    3. Exploring lens distortion and video
      3m 12s
  11. 7m 22s
    1. Using presets new and old
      47s
    2. Surprising yourself with the Color Look Up Adjustment layer
      2m 15s
    3. Using gradient map presets for black-and-white conversions
      2m 31s
    4. Imagining a connected Photoshop
      1m 49s
  12. 15s
    1. Goodbye
      15s

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos
1h 37m Intermediate Sep 05, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, Photoshop senior product manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes takes you on an insider's tour of the key photo-enhancement features in Adobe Photoshop CS6, providing details on how they work, background into their evolution, and insights into how to use them more effectively.

The course begins with an exploration of Photoshop features that make changes to an entire image: the Crop tool, the Auto button that's present in many adjustment dialog boxes, and the Curves panel options. Next, Bryan explores sharpness and blur. Each has its place in a photograph, and Bryan details how the sharpening and blur features work and how to get the most out of them.

The course also looks at adjusting specific areas of an image with the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools, and at the growing array of content-aware features in Photoshop, showing how they work and what to do when they don't work. The course concludes with a tour of the powerful Liquify filter, features for correcting lens distortion, and the world of presets that allow you to apply settings with a single click.

Topics include:
  • Reinventing the Crop tool
  • Rediscovering the Auto button
  • Getting the most out of curves
  • Understanding Smart Sharpen
  • Building blur and softness
  • Working with a graphics tablet
  • Using Content-Aware Fill, Scale, and Move effectively
  • Correcting distortion automatically based on lens profiles
  • Using presets
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Bryan O'Neil Hughes

Understanding Smart Sharpen

There are lots of different ways to sharpen in Photoshop and there are some things to be mindful of as far as best practices are concerned. So I want to show you what to do, what not to do, and my favorite filter for sharpening. So here in Photoshop the first thing I should mention is anytime we're talking about sharpening we want to look at things at 100% at least and the easiest way to do that is to just double-click on our Zoom tool and we're going to crash right into 100%. Now the best way to find the area of the image that we want is this little shortcut where I hit the H key and I click my mouse and I'll be given what's called a bird's eye view here, and I can sort of choose the area that I want to look at.

I zoom in here and sure enough that's the area that's in focus, that's the area that I want to sharpen. So the next thing is choosing which sharpening filter we want. And so we've got a few to choose from here. Sharpen, doesn't have any sort of interface, it's just a low-level sharpening routine. Sharpen Edges is focusing more on the edges of the image. Sharpen More is just applying sharpen more than once, it's pretty old technology, they are pretty low level, there's not a lot of control, there's no interface and they do create artifacts if you use them excessively.

Unsharp Mask is probably one of the most popular ways of sharpening. It's kind of an unusual name, it's been in Photoshop a long time, it does give you a lot of control and it can yield some great results, but it isn't the most powerful way to sharpen. The most powerful way to sharpen is Smart Sharpen and there's an interesting thing that happens when you call a feature Smart or Magic or Quick and it seems like people believe that they are smarter or more magical or faster, and they sort of stray away from those.

They don't use them because of their terminology and in some cases it absolutely makes sense. Magic Wand, a lot of people call that the Tragic Wand and don't want to use that. But when it comes to Smart Sharpen, it really is the most powerful way to do this, and I want to show you why. So the first thing that we see here is we've got this nice big dialog and we got a double Preview, so I've got my image in the background at 100%, and what that allows me to do is change my zoom here, and this might seem like sort of a laughable amount of sharpening, but if I were to back up to our original full screen view something like 13%, it actually looks pretty good.

This is the sort of thing that people see from a distance and they sharpen based upon that, and if this were output to the Web, that might be acceptable, but if I were to print it, you would see something like what we saw up close, which is really pretty offensive, lots of ghosts and lots of artifacts. So for the sake of using this I'm actually going to come in to least 200% and I get the best of both worlds here, and couple things I want to set here. If I first came into this filter for the very first time, it would look something like this.

I would have it applied about one pixel, be somewhere around 50% or 100%, it would be on Gaussian Blur and More Accurate would be unchecked, and this is for a reason, those settings mimic Unsharp Mask. People coming from Unsharp Mask would have the exact same experience with these settings, but the best way to use this is to change it to Lens Blur, Gaussian Blur was designed for a world where we were opening images from scans, and here in Photoshop today, most images are coming off of digital cameras, and so Lens Blur is tuned for those.

And then with More Accurate what happens there is we're actually doing multiple passes on your image to get you the best possible result. So this is the most tuned way to get a nice sharpened image, and for the sake of seeing this on the screen, I'm going to bump things really aggressively, so you can see what we're doing. And you can see they were picking up halos and if I click on the image with the Hand tool there, I'll see Before, if I let go, I'll see After and if I wanted to see the same thing behind on the full image, I just deselect Preview and click that again.

Now what I want to do is get rid some of this ghosting and that's something I can do uniquely in Smart Sharpen. I can come into the Shadow area and I can Fade the shadow sharpening, there it is completely out, there it is completely present and somewhere in between little more glaring is the Highlight, that ghosting that I see, and I can completely remove that ghosting by Fading the Highlight Sharpening. And I see the other thing that is really great here is when I get a look that I like, I can save that right here and I can use it the next time I open a similar image or give myself a starting point for the next image.

So, it's a fast filter, its easy-to-use, it's very intuitive, you just need to know a few things about it. And in the next video, we'll talk about repurposing your sharpening based upon where the image is going.

There are currently no FAQs about Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.