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Understanding the use-neutral composition

From: Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

Video: Understanding the use-neutral composition

Over the course of this chapter we're going to be sharpening two images, one is a high frequency landscape image, this one specifically in fact, which comes to us from photographer Nick Roberts of iStockphoto.com. And later we will sharpen a lower frequency portrait image. But here's the thing. When we're sharpening for output, we don't care whether the image is high frequency or low frequency or what. The content of the image be darned. All we care about is the resolution of the final output and the kind of output, whether we're going to an inkjet printer or we're going to be commercially reproducing the document or we are displaying the image on a computer screen, for example, either in presentation or on a webpage or on a kiosk, what have you. And as a result we treat landscape images and portrait images exactly the same, and you'll how well that works.

Understanding the use-neutral composition

Over the course of this chapter we're going to be sharpening two images, one is a high frequency landscape image, this one specifically in fact, which comes to us from photographer Nick Roberts of iStockphoto.com. And later we will sharpen a lower frequency portrait image. But here's the thing. When we're sharpening for output, we don't care whether the image is high frequency or low frequency or what. The content of the image be darned. All we care about is the resolution of the final output and the kind of output, whether we're going to an inkjet printer or we're going to be commercially reproducing the document or we are displaying the image on a computer screen, for example, either in presentation or on a webpage or on a kiosk, what have you. And as a result we treat landscape images and portrait images exactly the same, and you'll how well that works.

But before we begin sharpening this image for print, lets take a look at a couple of special issues where this image is concerned. You can see that I've got a layered composition going on here inside Layers palette, and I have gone ahead and sharpened this image according to its detail. So I am going go ahead and zoom in a little bit on this image here and I'll scroll down to what appears to be cabbages. Now because this is a high frequency image, I went ahead and sharpened it using the Smart Sharpen filter and I've applied high frequency settings.

If you were to double click on Smart Sharpen, you'd see I've applied an Amount value 250% and Radius value of 1 pixel, and I am removing Lens Blur. I've got More Accurate turned on. So all of those settings I've have got recommended a couple of chapters ago when we looked at sharpening for detail inside of an image. Well I am just going to go ahead and cancel out of there. I am mitigating this filter using a filter mask, an edge mask in fact, and then toward the top I'll go ahead and zoom out. You can see by the way that this is a Camera RAW Smart Object incidentally.

Then at top of the image I've made the sky blue using this Photo Filter adjustment layer. I'll go ahead and double-click on it, so that you can see it is a Photo Filter layer. I have got a Cooling Filter applied with a density 25 and so on, and I've gone ahead and assigned the adjustment layer a gradient mask, so that the blue gradually fades toward the top of the image. So I'll go ahead and cancel out of there. You can see it makes a big difference actually. This is what the image looks like originally with this brownish sky, and this is what the image looks like now thanks to this Photo Filter layer.

Now what we have is a use neutral image, that's what people call this, meaning that the destination of this image at this point is unknown and it doesn't matter, because this image is good to go to any output at this point in time. So we're just keeping all of our modifications editable and nondestructive and so on, but there are a couple of problems where this specific image is concerned. First of all, notice that while the cabbage toward the bottom of the image looks to be in very good shape, actually looks very nicely sharpened, as we move toward the top of the image and the cabbages descend into the horizon, the details get very, very tiny, and we end up resorting down to the sort of choppy pixels, as you can see here, that look like any thing but cabbages.

And what we've done at this point is we've ruined the effects of the natural anti-aliasing that prevents this kind of choppiness from happening. So we need to take care of that problem, that's one problem were going to have to address. The other problem occurs inside of the sky. I am going to Shift-click on this filter mask in order to turn it off, so that we're sharpening the sky as well as everything else, and you can see that I am bringing all kinds of noise out of that sky. There's just the ton of noise in the sky. I'll go ahead and Shift-click on this filter mask in order to turn it back on.

Thanks to the edge mask we aren't exaggerating the noise using the Smart Sharpen filter, but it's still there in force. Now I have gotten rid of some of the noise inside of Camera RAW, but we still have some more noise to get rid of. So that's what we're going to be doing in the next exercise. In fact, we're going to take care of the choppiness with the cabbage up toward the top of the image, and then in the exercise after that we'll take care of the noise, and you may feel like while we have already seen how do we address noise inside of Photoshop, well, this turns out to be a very special case, as you'll see shortly.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

115 video lessons · 17046 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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