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Using Luminance Sharpening

From: Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

Video: Using Luminance Sharpening

In this last exercise I am going to impart a fairly straightforward technique. Actually, this is very useful. Now you know that as you sharpen an image, you not only sharpen the good detail, the things like the eyes and the nostrils and the mouth and those sort of facial detail, you also sharpen bad cosmetic details, such as pores and wrinkles and pimmples and all that stuff. You end up sharpening noise, artifacts or JPEG Compression Artifacts as well that are part and parcel of the conversion from the analog world to the digital world and then you can also end up and you do actually end up sharpening arbitrary color differentiation that maybe a function of noise or maybe be a function of misalignment of luminance information between the various color channels.

Using Luminance Sharpening

In this last exercise I am going to impart a fairly straightforward technique. Actually, this is very useful. Now you know that as you sharpen an image, you not only sharpen the good detail, the things like the eyes and the nostrils and the mouth and those sort of facial detail, you also sharpen bad cosmetic details, such as pores and wrinkles and pimmples and all that stuff. You end up sharpening noise, artifacts or JPEG Compression Artifacts as well that are part and parcel of the conversion from the analog world to the digital world and then you can also end up and you do actually end up sharpening arbitrary color differentiation that maybe a function of noise or maybe be a function of misalignment of luminance information between the various color channels.

Now this last item is super easy to correct. And you will hear people say that you should correct it by converting an image into LAB mode, so I am working right now on RGB. You can convert the image to LAB right here and then you could switch to the Lightness Channel sharpen, just Lightness Channel independently of all the color information and then convert the image back into RGB. that's one way to work and a lot of people swear by it. Like I have got an e-mail from people, they are just mad at me, that I am not telling people to do this. The fact of the matter is, its a silly way to work. There is no sense, I love the LAB mode, its an awesome mode for adjusting colors inside of an image, however its silly to convert to LAB, sharpen and then convert back to RGB.

It's mostly a waste of time, but you can also introduce some color problems into the image. It can potentially be a destructive conversion and to just do it for the sake of sharpening is nuts in my opinion. So I will show you a better way to work. We will just stick inside RGB. I am looking at this image. Its called Sammy Shake.jpeg that's found of course inside of the O3 Sharpen Filters folder. And I bring this image up because its so rife with noise. I am going to sharpen it, not the way I would really sharpen it. I am just going to sharpen it using Unsharp Mask just because it is the simplest approach.

So I'll go to the Filter menu, choose Sharpen and choose the Unsharp Mask Command and I am going to do something else I wouldnt normally do. I am going to take the Amount value up to the maximum 500%, so we can see all the horribleness that this is going to create here. And I will go ahead and click OK in order to accept these settings and notice that the Radius value is set to 3-Pixels, Threshold to Zero. So I'll go ahead and click OK to accept that. Now I am going to zoom in and in addition notice that in addition to sharpening things like Sammy's eye and all this good detail, once again like his eyelashes and so on, we are just bringing to life all these weird color problems that we didn't see before.

So this is the before version of the image. Looks like his skin is fairly homogeneous and his eye is fairly evenly white and then if I go ahead and redo the filter, you will see that all these colors are coming to life. We have got blues and pinks and yellows inside the eye. We have got all the kinds of colors like lavender and a sort of lilac I guess and these weird greens inside of the skin and that's because the noise is not evenly distributed inside of the various color channels. So the noise might pop up in one place inside the red channel and different place in the green channel, different place in the blue channel and because sharpening like all filtering effects and basically its just about every effect inside the Photoshop is applied on a channel by channel basis, so each channel is sharpened independently.

We are basically exaggerating the differences between neighboring pixels inside the color channels and thereby were bringing out all these weird colors. Well, the way you get rid of them, very simple is to go up to the Edit menu and choose the Fade Unsharp Mask command. Now if we are working with layers or we are working with say Smart Filters then we could do this from the Layers palette but since we were flat as we explore these filters in this chapter, I am going to choose the Fade command.

Then all I need to do is switch the mode from Normal to Luminosity, that's all there is to it and if I was working with layers I would still switch the Blend Mode to Luminosity and notice what happens is as soon as I choose Luminosity all those weird colors go away just like that. So this is before I have turned off the Preview check box, so we can see the before version. Lots of color weirdness, this is after all that stuff totally goes away and to replace by the colors we saw when we first open this image. So its another one of those perceptual items here.

Then because I have gone too far with this sharpening effect as we can well see here. I would go ahead and reduce the Opacity value to something like, lets say 50%, its more sane. Its still a little bit of over sharpening, but its more saying than a 100% and then I will go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification. So this is the overly sharp version of the image with a bunch of whacky colors inside of it and this is the after blending version and all I did was applied the Luminosity blend mode and of course rein in the Opacity value.

In the next chapter, we are going to look at what I am calling the sharpening support staff, which includes the smoothing filters the noise reduction filters and Smart Objects and Smart Filters as well.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

115 video lessons · 17098 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  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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