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Photoshop CS4 New Features: Sharpening Images explores the changes to CS4's image-sharpening tools. As a companion to Deke McClelland's Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images, this short course teaches the new features for sharpening in CS4, focusing on the OpenGL support. OpenGL allows the user to preview an image at the size it will print, rather than waiting on output. For more information on sharpening after this course, continue with Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images. Exercise files accompany this course.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to take that Print Size command under the View menu and use it to gauge the best sharpening settings inside of Photoshop. So first things first. I'm working inside this image called Star eyes 12 x 8.jpg, found inside of the 01_how_it_works folder. I'm zoomed in on a detail here at 100%. The reason I'm zoomed in to 100% is because 100% view size shows one image pixel for every screen pixel, and it just so happens to be the most accurate zoom level in all of Photoshop.
It's showing you the pixels as they really are, subject to color correction and so on. Now then, inside of Photoshop CS4, things have gotten much considerably improved, assuming that you have a graphics card that supports OpenGL and that Photoshop is aware of that. So before we go any further, here's what I want you to do. I want you to go the Edit menu or the Photoshop menu on the Mac. Choose Preferences and then choose this command right there, Performance. What I want you to look at is these GPU Settings right there.
It should tell you it's detected a video card. It should tell you what that video card is. And it should give you the option of turning on Enable OpenGL Drawing. So this option should be available to you, and it should be turned on. So go ahead and check it if it's not checked. Now if it's dimmed, you've got yourself a problem. What it means is that Photoshop is not aware that your card supports OpenGL, and your zoom levels are not going to work out right for purposes of sharpening your images. What you need to do is potentially a couple of things. You need to go to your graphic card vendor's website and you need to download the most recent video drivers and then install them on your machine.
That will probably require you to restart your machine and restart Photoshop. Then start Photoshop back up and see if that took care of the problem. If it didn't, you need to quit Photoshop, restart the application, and immediately, upon restarting, press and hold Ctrl+Shift+Alt on a PC or Command+Shift+Option on the Mac, and then throw away the Preferences. You'll be prompted. Just keep those keys down until you see a prompt come up. When prompted, say that you want to throw away the Preferences file, and Photoshop will open completely from scratch.
So you'll have to reenter that Screen Resolution value as well. The Screen Resolution value will get reset. Rulers will get reset. All of that stuff will get reset, but what should happen then is that you do see that you have OpenGL support. If you still don't see it, it's possibly because your graphics card doesn't support it. There are graphics cards out there that do not support OpenGL. All right, but we need it in order to get super accurate zoom levels inside of Photoshop CS4. I'm going to cancel out, because my stuff is just fine.
Then what you do is you make sure you've entered your Screen Resolution value. Then you go to the View menu, and you choose Print Size. And you're going to zoom out to the print size of your image, to the size at which the image will print, which will probably take up less room on your monitor. I'm working in a very small space on my monitor so that we can keep these videos small for you guys so that they are nice and portable. You can view them online. But you'll see it take up more room on your screen, but you will zoom out to some wacky screen ratio, and you don't know what it's going to be.
It's just basically a calculation of 117, in my case, for the screen resolution, and 267 pixels per inch for the image resolution. Photoshop ends up, when it divides those values out, it comes up with a zoom ratio of 43.8% for me. For you, it's going to be totally different. The nice thing though is inside Photoshop CS4, thanks to OpenGL support, this happens to be a pretty darn accurate zoom level. It's not as accurate as 100%, but it is very good, whereas inside of Photoshop CS3 and earlier, It was awful.
It was not something you could trust for purposes of sharpening. Having done that, I am now going to show you how to use this print Size view here to gauge the best sharpness settings. Then we're going to turn around and confirm that those sharpness settings are working for us, and we're going to do that in the next exercise.
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