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Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
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Understanding sharpening and noise reduction


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Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

with Deke McClelland

Video: Understanding sharpening and noise reduction

In this exercise we are going to take a look at combining sharpening with noise removal. Inside the Photoshop I am looking at this Sharp Shapes.PSD file, that's found inside of the 01howitworks folder. The same file that we've been working with for the previous two exercises. I have the Layer Comps palette set to the Standard Layer Comp, which contains the texture, notice that. I'll go ahead and zoom-in on this image and you can see that texture pattern in the background. Imagine that this texture is something that we don't want to sharpen, we want to defeat the texture, and this texture could be something like noise captured by a digital camera, it could be noise captured by scanner, it could be dust and scratches, it could be film grain associated of course with film transparencies or color negatives, something along those lines, and we want to get rid of that noise before we begin sharpening, and that's the right order to work incidentally. You want to apply Noise Removal first and then apply your Sharpening, and so I've got ahead and done that inside of this diagram here.
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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 sharpening and noise reduction

In this exercise we are going to take a look at combining sharpening with noise removal. Inside the Photoshop I am looking at this Sharp Shapes.PSD file, that's found inside of the 01howitworks folder. The same file that we've been working with for the previous two exercises. I have the Layer Comps palette set to the Standard Layer Comp, which contains the texture, notice that. I'll go ahead and zoom-in on this image and you can see that texture pattern in the background. Imagine that this texture is something that we don't want to sharpen, we want to defeat the texture, and this texture could be something like noise captured by a digital camera, it could be noise captured by scanner, it could be dust and scratches, it could be film grain associated of course with film transparencies or color negatives, something along those lines, and we want to get rid of that noise before we begin sharpening, and that's the right order to work incidentally. You want to apply Noise Removal first and then apply your Sharpening, and so I've got ahead and done that inside of this diagram here.

If you go down the Layer Comps palette, you'll see that there is a Layer Comp called Noise Removal. Go ahead and click on it in order to remove some of the noise from the image. Now notice that I am saying SOME of the noise/texture in this case, because you are not going to get rid of all of it. If you're trying to get rid of all of the noise inside of an image or all of the film grain or all of the texture then you're going to get rid of your good detail as well. In our case, we are pretty fortunate here; I've managed to get rid of most of the texture while preserving the good details, the serpentine line and the circles and so on.

So this is the Standard view with the texture, this is the Noise Removal view right here. Now notice, if we apply Sharpening on top of Noise Removal that we get a much cleaner result. So we have these nice-sharpened edges without bringing out the texture. This is a big difference here, compare that to sharpening with the texture. So if we'd sharpened without applying any Noise Removal we bring out a ton of texture inside the image. If we apply Noise Removal first and then apply our Sharpening we get very clean results.

I've also got a Layer Comp that shows the same thing where the Gradient view of the image is concerned. I'll go ahead and zoom back out here for a moment. You may recall, here's our gradient view from the previous exercise. Here's the gradient version of the image subjected to noise removal upfront, and its made only a small difference, you may not even notice it at that zoom level, so I'll go ahead and zoom back in, so that we can see the difference. It's just a little bit. Here's the gradients version of the image with texture, here's the gradient version of the image without texture.

So there wasn't that much texture going on. Once again though, it makes a big difference when we apply Sharpening. So this is the sharpened version of the texture defeated image, of the noise removal image, and this is the sharpened version right here of the noise image, or the image with texture. So you can see that the sharpened version has brought out a ton of texture. If we hadn't taken the time to get rid of the texture in the first place, we're going to bring that texture out with Sharpening, whereas if we take the time to apply some noise removal, even just a little bit, we're going to get much cleaner results as we are seeing here. And again, you should bear in mind, this isn't perfect.

If I zoom in on this low-contrast area, you can see that we have some pretty wonky edges in this Sharp Grad NR Layer Comp right here, and that's because Photoshop is going in there and actually finding some weird edges where the gradient is concerned, where the combination of gradient and noise removal texture is concerned. So we still do have some weird transitions. It is an imperfect process, but if you're trying to get rid of the texture, it's heck of a lot better than this version right here.

So remember that apply your Noise Removal first and then apply your Sharpening when you are trying to fix your beautiful photographs. In the next exercise, we're going to see how you can control the degree of Sharpening that you apply to an image, using the amount and Radius values. Stay tuned.

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