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Using the High Pass filter


Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

with Deke McClelland

Video: Using the High Pass filter

Now if you have'nt guessed this already I am fairly obsessed with how the sharpening filters works inside the Photoshop and this goes way back for me. This obsession goes way back to when I first start working on the Photoshop Bible back in 1993 and I came up with the edge masking back then which has fairly caught fire over the years. Actually, I will show you how to create an edge mask in the next chapter. But fast forward several years, I had it in my head that Gaussian Blur was the grand parent of Unsharp Mask and I am guessing that came from some casual comment, an engineer at Adobe made one day.
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  1. 50m 30s
    1. Why every image needs sharpening
      2m 37s
    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 55s
    10. Gauging the ideal sharpening settings
      6m 13s
  2. 59m 28s
    1. Everyone knows you sharpen last (and everyone is wrong)
      1m 7s
    2. Understanding the conventional sharpening workflow
      5m 3s
    3. Flattening and saving to TIFF
      6m 40s
    4. Downsampling (and why you shouldn't upsample)
      6m 8s
    5. Understanding last-step sharpening
      6m 43s
    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 48s
    13. Learning that technique trumps timing
      4m 40s
  3. 1h 30m
    1. Comparing and contrasting neighboring pixels
      1m 6s
    2. Using the Gaussian Blur filter
      4m 25s
    3. Using Gaussian luminance distribution
      7m 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 24s
    2. Using the Median filter and Dust and Scratches
      7m 6s
    3. Using Smart Blur and Surface Blur
      6m 14s
    4. Using the Despeckle filter
      8m 18s
    5. Softening flesh tones selectively
      10m 16s
    6. Using the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 27s
    7. Combining smoothing and sharpening
      8m 23s
    8. Making an image into a smart object
      9m 23s
    9. Applying editable smart filters
      6m 10s
    10. Combining two smart filters
      8m 6s
    11. Assigning a filter mask
      5m 59s
    12. Nesting one smart object inside another
      10m 31s
    13. Employing a static High Pass layer
      9m 0s
    14. Matching static pixel-level edits
      4m 37s
    15. Avoiding clipping with luminance blending
      9m 7s
    16. Sharpening and smoothing
      6m 37s
    17. Making an edge mask
      8m 15s
    18. Making a non-edge mask
      7m 17s
  5. 1h 33m
    1. Sharpening with Adobe Camera Raw
      1m 28s
    2. Introducing Camera Raw (4.1 or later)
      8m 12s
    3. Understanding why to sharpen for source
      5m 14s
    4. Using Camera Raw’s sharpening control
      5m 51s
    5. Previewing limitations and tricks
      6m 45s
    6. Why downsampling doesn’t work
      3m 12s
    7. Reducing chromatic aberration
      7m 29s
    8. Using the Defringe option
      3m 31s
    9. Understanding high frequency, low radius
      5m 21s
    10. Raising the Detail value
      3m 6s
    11. Using on-the-fly edge masking
      5m 40s
    12. Sharpening a low-frequency portrait
      6m 35s
    13. Eliminating color noise
      4m 47s
    14. Reducing luminance noise
      4m 41s
    15. Correcting “false sharpening”
      7m 14s
    16. Reducing shadow noise
      5m 22s
    17. Approximating ACR sharpening in Photoshop
      8m 35s
  6. 59m 12s
    1. Gauging and exploiting luminance frequency
      1m 26s
    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 1s
    8. Actioning a high-frequency edge mask
      5m 5s
    9. Downplaying color artifacts and clipping
      4m 5s
    10. Sharpening a medium-frequency image
      5m 25s
    11. Sharpening a layered composition
      7m 17s
    12. Sharpening for multiple frequencies
      4m 12s
  7. 1h 8m
    1. Who needs dull when you have sharp?
    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 38s
    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 27s
  8. 1h 18m
    1. Reverting back to convention
      1m 36s
    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 19s
    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 44s
    11. Sharpening for inkjet output
      4m 57s
    12. Revealing high-frequency multipass sharpening
      5m 21s
    13. Using Gaussian Blur to sharpen hair
      5m 42s
    14. Flatten, Save As, Resample, and Sharpen
      5m 10s
    15. Revealing low-frequency multipass sharpening
      3m 31s
    16. Sharpening an image for web or screen
      6m 22s
  9. 1m 51s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 51s

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Watch the Online Video Course 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
Deke McClelland

Using the High Pass filter

Now if you have'nt guessed this already I am fairly obsessed with how the sharpening filters works inside the Photoshop and this goes way back for me. This obsession goes way back to when I first start working on the Photoshop Bible back in 1993 and I came up with the edge masking back then which has fairly caught fire over the years. Actually, I will show you how to create an edge mask in the next chapter. But fast forward several years, I had it in my head that Gaussian Blur was the grand parent of Unsharp Mask and I am guessing that came from some casual comment, an engineer at Adobe made one day.

But it lodged itself in my brain and I am sitting there, thinking, well whats the parent? What is the missing link in between? I came up with using the High Pass command in order to sharpen an image. Wrote it up inside my Photoshop CS 101 book and it's another one of those things that has become very popular. I am not sure if everybody is getting that from me because it's very possible people will come up with identical techniques and develop them independently. I am just telling you the story to make myself sound more important really, that's basically it. So let me show you how the technique works.

Now I have open Happy family.jpeg which is found inside the 03 Sharpen Filters folder. I am going to go up to the Filter menu and choose other this time around and choose High Pass. I have assigned this Filter a keyboard shortcut because I find it so very, very useful for this purpose and of course you can do the same using the Keyboard Shortcuts command under the Edit menu and that brings up this weird looking filter right here. And it's lot like Emboss in that it takes all of the non-edges in the image and turns them grey and it only keeps any resemblance of luminance differentiation in the edge areas.

But unlike Emboss, which is a directional effect and kind of a bad directional effect frankly because of the sharp edges, this one is a very good on the directional effect, so a very subtle effect. Now what's strange about it, as I said, it has one and only one option and its the Radius value just like the Radius value that's included along with Unsharp Mask and Gaussian Blur, its another Gaussian distribution radius and notice though that if I take this value higher that it seems to produce less of an effect. So we are sending few of the non-edges to grey.

Actually we are making the filter work harder, so it's going to slow down as we increase the Radius value. It just appears to produce a more subtle effect if you reduce the Radius value, it's going to operate much more quickly, but it's also going to fairly decimate the image. It's going to send just tons and tons of these non-edges to grey and just going to keep the edges in a radius of 0.8 pixel in this case. I am going to go ahead and take this Radius value up to 3 pixels for demonstrational purposes here because after all, we know that radius of 3 pixels is a very good radius for output, tends to be anyway because we know that a Radius value of 3 pixels tends to be very good for high resolution output.

So I am going to go ahead and click OK in order to accept that value. Now we need to fade away the grey non-edges and of course we can do that using the Overlay Blend mode and we will access that blend mode by going up to the Edit menu and choosing Fade High Pass or pressing Ctrl+Shift+F or Command +Shift+F on the Mac. I am going to change the mode now from Normal to Overlay and that's all I am going to do. I am not going to change the Opacity value at all at this point and you can see that we have a nice higher contrast effect. It's not super sharp, but it's slightly sharper than it was before.

Now you can choose one of the other contrast effects if you want to anything between Overlay and Hard Mix will give you an edge contrast effect. So what I am going to do because I am working here on the PC and the Mode option is sticky, I just going to arrow through them so you can see each one of them. This is Overlay. If you want something more subtle, you would advance to Soft Light and you can how it drops off ever so slightly. I will go ahead and zoom in so that we can see this more up close in personal here in the video. So this is the Overlay effect and this is the Soft Light effect, so it is a subtle difference, but you can see some of the highlights and shadows diminished there.

If you want an elevated effect that's slightly bigger than Overlay than you would go to Hard Light, which is going to give you more sizzling highlights and shadows essentially, but also you are going to have a higher chance of those highlights and shadows getting clipped. Then if you really want to elevate things you would go to Vivid Light. For example, this is a Vivid Light effect and you are going to get some crunchy edges going on in here. You can see how this texture in his beard is really showing up and we are having some other weird little details show up inside of the image, some harsh transitions.

If you want to go even farther you go to Linear Light. Now notice with Linear Light you get an elevated effect over Vivid Light. However, we don't get so much crunchiness, so we don't get those harsh transitions. They are more smooth, but of course like I say an elevated effect. This is Pin Light which is going to be one of the lesser effects, we are just keeping the darkest of the darks and lightest of the lights, everything else is completely dropping out with pin light. Then finally, we have got, and this is going to look terrible, we have got Hard Mix, which just leaves you with a total of eight colors and that's it inside the document.

So a total horrible posterization, however, if you want to work with it all you need to do is just take the Opacity value down. So notice if I take the value down to about 20, we get a nice heightened contrast effect that also happens to be very colorful. So it's increasing the saturation of the colors as well. However, what I am going to do for the sake of demonstrational purpose, so we can see how this command works, I am going to change it to Overlay, which is a when in doubt contrast blend mode inside of Photoshop. So an opacity of 100%, blend mode Overlay, click OK.

Now just to compare this, I want to show you how it compares to Unsharp Mask, which is its nearest relative because after all, Unsharp is its child. So I going to go ahead and bring up the History palate, so that we see what is going on. I want to keep this Fade High Pass fade right there. So I am going to once again go to the File menu and choose the Revert command and again this is just for demonstrational purposes. We will see better ways to work with layers and so on in future chapters. So this is the original unsharpened version of the image. Now I am going to go to the Filter menu choose Sharpen and choose Unsharp Mask.

I am going to apply an Amount value of 100%, Radius value of 3 pixels, Threshold 0, click OK. So in other words we are matching the Radius value to the Radius value that we assigned to High Pass. High Pass is analogous just by itself without doing anything. It is analogous to an amount of a 100%. I will go ahead and click OK. Just as we saw in the Gaussian Blur mimics an Amount value of a 100%. So I'll go ahead and click OK. Now lets go and compare this Unsharp Mask effect with the High Pass effect right there. I want you to keep a now eye on the details inside of this gentleman eye here.

This is the High Pass effect. Notice how the highlights inside of his eye diminished slightly and the highlights along his teeth diminished slightly as well and we have more detail inside the dark areas of his mouth. Compare that to the elevated highlights and shadows associated with Unsharp Mask. Another words what we are getting from High Pass is a more subtle application of Unsharp Mask. The High Pass is very good when combined with Overlay. Its very good about avoiding any clipping to the highlights and shadows. So its actually a better effect, its a more sturdy effect anyway than Unsharp Mask is and we will see how we can really exploit that in future chapters, but for now I just want you to know that High Pass is there and available to you, if you would like to take advantage of it.

In the next and final exercise we are going to take a look at how can we avoid sharpening color information inside of an image, using the Luminosity blend mode.

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