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Understanding sharpening and gradual transitions

From: Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

Video: Understanding sharpening and gradual transitions

In this exercise I am going to show you what happens to those dark and light halos when we are tracing an image that contains gradual transitions. I am still working inside the Sharp Shapes.PSD file that's found inside the 01howitworks folder. I've got my Layer Comps palette open and I am going to switch- right now we are looking at the Standard Layer Comp- I am going to switch down to the Gradients Layer Comp, this one right here. So this is an alternate view of the image. It still contains the texture pattern but instead of having a dark serpentine line set against a light background, we've got a gradient, a dark to light gradient serpentine line set against a light to dark gradient background.

Understanding sharpening and gradual transitions

In this exercise I am going to show you what happens to those dark and light halos when we are tracing an image that contains gradual transitions. I am still working inside the Sharp Shapes.PSD file that's found inside the 01howitworks folder. I've got my Layer Comps palette open and I am going to switch- right now we are looking at the Standard Layer Comp- I am going to switch down to the Gradients Layer Comp, this one right here. So this is an alternate view of the image. It still contains the texture pattern but instead of having a dark serpentine line set against a light background, we've got a gradient, a dark to light gradient serpentine line set against a light to dark gradient background.

So we've got some opposite gradients going on right here. That will allow us to see what happens to those halos as I was saying, when we have gradual transitions. And you can see that. Let's go ahead and zoom in on this image so we can really take it in close and personal once again, so it translates to the video, and I am going to switch over here to Sharp grads, this guy right here, this Layer Comp. And notice that we Now toward the top of the image, notice that I am looking at the top region of the image where the serpentine line is dark and the background is light, and we have a pretty familiar pattern of halos here. We have dark halos around the outside of the circles for example and light halos around the inside of those circles.

As I pan down, the farther that I pan down and the closer that we get to this region where the gradients are pretty similar to each other, where we just have a bunch of midtones going on. Notice that the edges, those halos, drop out. So the halos actually get thinner and thinner and decline here almost like calligraphic brush strokes, this one is happening here, its almost like lading up off the pressure of a stylus, for example. So that the dark edge is just disappearing, the dark halo is just disappearing. And then it switches places. Then we start seeing a light halo emerging as the gradient serpentine line becomes lighter than its background.

So what was formally a dark halo transitions to a light halo and what was formally, in this case up here, a light halo on the outside transitions very slowly to a dark halo down toward the bottom and so they gradually and automatically switch places. So Photoshop is intelligent enough not only to the detect the edges inside the image and increase the contrast of those edges, but also to trace the light halos, always on the light side of the edge and the dark halo along the dark side of the edge, and the lightness or darkness of those halos is commensurate with the degree of contrast.

So down here toward the bottom of the image where we have the highest degree of contrast between the white serpentine line and the dark background, we have very nearly a white halo on the inside and that black halo on the outside, and those halos become less and less defined as the natural contrast between the edges grows less defined as well, so that you can see that those halos just start becoming not only more tapering but they also start growing darker, the light halo grows darker and the dark halo grows lighter as well.

So there we have it to look at sharpened edges inside of a gradually transitioning image. In the next exercise, I am going to show you the effects of combining sharpening with noise reduction inside Photoshop.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

115 video lessons · 17004 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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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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