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Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
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Understanding high frequency, low radius


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Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

with Deke McClelland

Video: Understanding high frequency, low radius

In this exercise, we are going to experiment with the ideal settings. We are going to try to find the ideal settings for this particular photograph, the telephoto shot of the ornaments that I shot with a focal length of 135 mm, so I assume pretty far in here. By the way, if you werent with me for the last couple of exercises, you can catch right up by opening the Ornaments defringed.dng file, that's found inside the 05_for_source folder. Note, by the way, that this Ornaments defringed.dng file is identical to the Festive ornaments.dng file that you may have open before you, the original version of this image.
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  1. 50m 30s
    1. Why every image needs sharpening
      2m 38s
    2. Understanding the effects of sharpening
      5m 26s
    3. Understanding the mechanics of sharpening
      4m 19s
    4. Understanding sharpening and gradual transitions
      3m 21s
    5. Understanding sharpening and noise reduction
      4m 0s
    6. Understanding amount and radius
      7m 50s
    7. Measuring your screen resolution
      6m 19s
    8. Using reliable zoom ratios
      5m 30s
    9. Calculating the actual print size
      4m 54s
    10. Gauging the ideal sharpening settings
      6m 13s
  2. 59m 31s
    1. Everyone knows you sharpen last (and everyone is wrong)
      1m 8s
    2. Understanding the conventional sharpening workflow
      5m 4s
    3. Flattening and saving to TIFF
      6m 39s
    4. Downsampling (and why you shouldn't upsample)
      6m 8s
    5. Understanding last-step sharpening
      6m 44s
    6. Recognizing problems with the conventional workflow
      9m 38s
    7. Erasing sharpening with the history brush
      4m 30s
    8. Using alternative sharpening workflows
      2m 37s
    9. Sharpening a scanned photograph shot on film
      2m 45s
    10. Sharpening a digital photograph
      3m 6s
    11. Sharpening specific details
      3m 43s
    12. Finding broad workflow conclusions
      2m 49s
    13. Learning that technique trumps timing
      4m 40s
  3. 1h 27m
    1. Comparing and contrasting neighboring pixels
      1m 6s
    2. Using the Gaussian Blur filter
      4m 25s
    3. Using Gaussian luminance distribution
      4m 47s
    4. Using the Unsharp Mask filter
      4m 54s
    5. Understanding the history of Unsharp Mask
      3m 51s
    6. Building your own USM with Gaussian Blur
      7m 35s
    7. Using the Smart Sharpen filter
      7m 35s
    8. Compensating for camera shake
      8m 50s
    9. Building your own Smart Sharpen with Lens Blur
      6m 59s
    10. Using directional sharpening with Emboss
      9m 13s
    11. Using Smart Sharpen extras
      8m 56s
    12. Using Convolution Kernels for more accuracy
      7m 8s
    13. Using the High Pass filter
      7m 32s
    14. Using Luminance Sharpening
      5m 5s
  4. 2h 14m
    1. Smoothing filters, smart objects, and masks
      1m 25s
    2. Using the Median filter and Dust and Scratches
      7m 7s
    3. Using Smart Blur and Surface Blur
      6m 12s
    4. Using the Despeckle filter
      8m 17s
    5. Softening flesh tones selectively
      10m 15s
    6. Using the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 27s
    7. Combining smoothing and sharpening
      8m 24s
    8. Making an image into a smart object
      9m 24s
    9. Applying editable smart filters
      6m 8s
    10. Combining two smart filters
      8m 5s
    11. Assigning a filter mask
      5m 59s
    12. Nesting one smart object inside another
      10m 32s
    13. Employing a static High Pass layer
      8m 59s
    14. Matching static pixel-level edits
      4m 37s
    15. Avoiding clipping with luminance blending
      9m 7s
    16. Sharpening and smoothing
      6m 36s
    17. Making an edge mask
      8m 14s
    18. Making a non-edge mask
      7m 17s
  5. 1h 33m
    1. Sharpening with Adobe Camera Raw
      1m 29s
    2. Introducing Camera Raw (4.1 or later)
      8m 13s
    3. Understanding why to sharpen for source
      5m 14s
    4. Using Camera Raw’s sharpening control
      5m 52s
    5. Previewing limitations and tricks
      6m 45s
    6. Why downsampling doesn’t work
      3m 12s
    7. Reducing chromatic aberration
      7m 30s
    8. Using the Defringe option
      3m 32s
    9. Understanding high frequency, low radius
      5m 21s
    10. Raising the Detail value
      3m 6s
    11. Using on-the-fly edge masking
      5m 41s
    12. Sharpening a low-frequency portrait
      6m 36s
    13. Eliminating color noise
      4m 47s
    14. Reducing luminance noise
      4m 42s
    15. Correcting “false sharpening”
      7m 15s
    16. Reducing shadow noise
      5m 22s
    17. Approximating ACR sharpening in Photoshop
      8m 35s
  6. 59m 8s
    1. Gauging and exploiting luminance frequency
      1m 27s
    2. Using low-frequency source sharpening
      5m 53s
    3. Using High Pass for portraits
      4m 19s
    4. Actioning a low-frequency edge mask
      7m 42s
    5. Modifying the source sharpening
      5m 21s
    6. Using high-frequency source sharpening
      5m 26s
    7. Using Smart Sharpen for cityscapes
      3m 2s
    8. Actioning a high-frequency edge mask
      5m 4s
    9. Downplaying color artifacts and clipping
      4m 4s
    10. Sharpening a medium-frequency image
      5m 24s
    11. Sharpening a layered composition
      7m 16s
    12. Sharpening for multiple frequencies
      4m 10s
  7. 1h 8m
    1. Who needs dull when you have sharp?
      56s
    2. Focusing in on a person’s eyes
      4m 22s
    3. Blurring the area outside the eyes
      4m 22s
    4. Sharpening eyes and other details
      5m 38s
    5. Darkening the lashes and eyebrows
      7m 13s
    6. Sharpening dark-haired people
      5m 2s
    7. Edge mask and emphasize
      3m 39s
    8. Nesting a Smart Sharpen effect
      4m 48s
    9. Density mask sharpening
      5m 35s
    10. Adding depth of field
      4m 39s
    11. Sharpening a background
      4m 23s
    12. Masking background from foreground
      8m 51s
    13. Eliminating halos around a person
      5m 38s
    14. Deepening and warming a background
      3m 28s
  8. 1h 18m
    1. Reverting back to convention
      1m 37s
    2. Understanding the use-neutral composition
      4m 15s
    3. Restoring much-needed antialiasing
      4m 2s
    4. Reducing noise in a high-frequency image
      7m 24s
    5. Making a third-level smart object
      3m 55s
    6. Preparing an image for print
      5m 18s
    7. Using ideal settings for commercial reproduction
      5m 37s
    8. Calculating very large-format settings
      5m 11s
    9. Using ideal settings for inkjet output
      4m 26s
    10. Sharpening for commercial reproduction
      5m 45s
    11. Sharpening for inkjet output
      4m 58s
    12. Revealing high-frequency multipass sharpening
      5m 21s
    13. Using Gaussian Blur to sharpen hair
      5m 41s
    14. Flatten, Save As, Resample, and Sharpen
      5m 9s
    15. Revealing low-frequency multipass sharpening
      3m 30s
    16. Sharpening an image for web or screen
      6m 22s
  9. 1m 50s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 50s

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Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
10h 33m Intermediate Feb 15, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Real focus happens inside the camera's lens element. The sharpening features in Photoshop CS3 exaggerate the contrast along edges in a photograph to transform a well-focused image into an outstanding image. In Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images, Deke McClelland teaches a host of sharpening and noise reduction techniques, including using filters such as Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen, High Pass, and Reduce Noise. The training teaches the essentials of sharpening, including what it does, why it's important, and how the filters function. Plus, the training covers Deke's recommended best practices, including the four distinct varieties of sharpening, which can be used independently or in combination with each other. Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images is about how to transform images from looking good to looking their absolute best. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the effects of sharpening
  • In-depth examinations of Unsharp Mask, Smart Sharpen, Emboss, and High Pass
  • Smoothing an image with the Surface Blur, Despeckle, and Reduce Noise features
  • Working with smart objects and smart filters
  • Creating edge masks and non-edge masks
  • Sharpening for digital-image capture using Camera Raw
  • Gauging and exploiting luminance frequency
  • Exploring creative applications of sharpening
  • Sharpening a multilayer composition
  • Sharpening eyes, hair, and out-of-focus backgrounds
  • Reducing noise in a high-frequency image
  • Determining ideal settings for commercial and inkjet output
  • Sharpening very large-format images
  • Sharpening an image for the web or screen output
Subjects:
Photography Sharpening
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Understanding high frequency, low radius

In this exercise, we are going to experiment with the ideal settings. We are going to try to find the ideal settings for this particular photograph, the telephoto shot of the ornaments that I shot with a focal length of 135 mm, so I assume pretty far in here. By the way, if you werent with me for the last couple of exercises, you can catch right up by opening the Ornaments defringed.dng file, that's found inside the 05_for_source folder. Note, by the way, that this Ornaments defringed.dng file is identical to the Festive ornaments.dng file that you may have open before you, the original version of this image.

The only difference is the metadata instructions, which amount to the Camera RAW settings, so the numerical Camera RAW settings; all parametric, meaning that they are just numerical parameters that are being applied on the fly to the image. The original pixels are still intact inside of both files are identical, meaning that of course Camera RAW, everything you do inside Camera RAW, is absolutely, totally nondestructive. Alright, so I have maxed out the Amount value here inside of the Detail panel, inside the Camera RAW dialog box, just so that we can gauge what we are doing.

This is way too much sharpening at this point, but I want to be able to experiment with the Radius setting. So I am going to go ahead and zoom in a click here, like So and drag this ball over a little bit so that we can take in the texture and reflective detail. Now this image incidentally- actually, let me zoom out for a moment so that we can take in more of the image while I tell you sort of a little bit of a story about this image. This is what's known as a Medium Frequency Shot, meaning that it combines areas of gradual luminance transition with areas of rapid luminance transition, like inside of the texture and inside of the pine needles in the background, but these reflective areas, these smooth reflective areas, are low frequency areas, gradual transitions.

So we have Low Frequency detail and High Frequency detail, combined together that gives you a Medium Frequency Shot. Also by the way, this is a still life, this is not a portrait, so we are not worried about surface imperfections the way we are with portrait shots. We are really interested in bringing out as much detail as we can inside of this image. That typically means while we are working with the Medium or High Frequency Shot, we are typically going to combine a high Amount value with a low Radius value, and a high Detail value and a low Masking value.

So did you get that? Basically it goes high, low, high, low, with a High Frequency to Medium Frequency Shot like this one here. If we were working with the Low Frequency or Portrait Shot, we would go low Amount, high Radius, low Detail, and high Masking, so exactly the opposite; low, high, low, high, and we will see that in an upcoming exercise. Alright, but in this exercise we are going to focus in, hone in, on the Radius value here. So I am going to go ahead and zoom in on this detail once again, just because its by far the most reflective area of the good and bad stuff that's going on inside of this photograph.

Now notice what happens when I increase the Radius value. First of all, we don't see the Preview update until after I release the slider triangle, that's important to note. If you want to see a live preview, you have to press and hold that Alt key or the Option key on the Mac as you drag that slider triangle around. That does give you real time preview, but at the same time it also gives you that High Pass preview, meaning that we are seeing gray in the non-edge areas, and we are seeing highlights and shadows in the edge areas, which isn't necessarily the most useful way to work in my opinion where Radius is concerned.

I am going to go ahead and release my mouse button so that we can see the full color preview, which really helps I think to illustrate whats going on with Radius. Notice when I am working with a high Radius value that I end up getting very gummy transitions, these overly smooth transitions. So as I am expanding those halos, which I am doing as I am raising the Radius value, I am also smoothing over the corners, and that just happens to be a function of the way this particular sharpening algorithm works. that's not something you see with Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen.

Now sometimes folks point at the Detail value as being the culprit. It's not really the Detail value that's at work here, it's the Radius value too; both Radius and Detail help us smooth out some of the corner detail inside of the textures. Anyway, that's great if I am working, once again, with a Low Frequency Shot or a Portrait Shot, but when I am working with rapidly transitioning luminance levels inside of this texture, for example, it's not something I want. So I would want to take this Radius value down. I am going to start by taking it all the way down to its minimum value, which is 0.5.

Now at this point we get some pretty choppy detail. You can see these kind of vertical lines that are showing up here, that's because this area of the image is not in tight focus; this is slightly out of focus, this region here. So we are bringing out some artifacts, some weird edges that werent really there, but that's OK, and actually it works out well for this image, and we are bringing out other very good details inside of the image. I am going to go ahead and take that Radius value and just raise it one click. So I press the Up Arrow key to take it up to 0.6, which is a very good Radius value, albeit we are combining with too high of an Amount value, but its a very good Radius value for this image.

Now we are going to compensate for Radius by adjusting Detail and Masking, and we are going to begin to do that in the next exercise.

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