Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Using the Reduce Noise filter

From: Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

Video: Using the Reduce Noise filter

In this exercise, we are going to take a look at the best and the newest of the noise reduction functions inside the Photoshop, known appropriately as the Reduce Noise Filter and we're going to be trying this filter out on a more moderately-noised photograph. This image exhibits the kind of noise that you are likely to run into on a regular basis. So it also happens to be a professional quality image shot by a professional photographer, the Quebec-based Pascal Genest, once again of iStockphoto.com. I am calling this image Unguarded moment.jpg because she seems to be regarding us in an unguarded moment here.

Using the Reduce Noise filter

In this exercise, we are going to take a look at the best and the newest of the noise reduction functions inside the Photoshop, known appropriately as the Reduce Noise Filter and we're going to be trying this filter out on a more moderately-noised photograph. This image exhibits the kind of noise that you are likely to run into on a regular basis. So it also happens to be a professional quality image shot by a professional photographer, the Quebec-based Pascal Genest, once again of iStockphoto.com. I am calling this image Unguarded moment.jpg because she seems to be regarding us in an unguarded moment here.

I am not sure exactly what she is saying, whether she loves us or she is breaking up with us. Something very deep is going on here. This image is found inside of the 04 Support Staff folder. Now as I say, it does exhibit noise. There is noise inside of this photograph. When we are zoomed up this far up to 25%, we are not going to really see it. If I start zooming-in we will begin to see more of the skin details inside of this image, which could use a little bit of retouching here and there, although this woman is obviously fairly beautiful. But where we have the noise is down here in the shadow detail.

We are not going to really see it very well here inside the video, but I am going to zoom-in on the right side of her neck next to her collarbone here, and this is where a lot of the noise is residing down here in this particular shadow. The reason that you typically see noise in shadows or at least you are more likely to see noise in shadows than anywhere else inside of a digital photograph in particular. It's because the shadow region is compressed inside of a digital photograph, and as soon as you start drawing out this shadow, as soon as you start lightning the image, you are increasing the natural discrepancies between the neighboring pixels and you are drawing forth that noise.

You are exaggerating it effectively. Now because we are not seeing the noise very well on screen here inside the video, I am going to exaggerate it even further by applying the Smart Sharpen filter. So I am going to go up to the Filter menu, choose Sharpen and choose Smart Sharpen right here, and I am going to go ahead and apply some crazy settings. Lets raise the Amount value to 500%, I am going to leave the Radius set to 4 pixels, Remove set to Lens Blur, this is all good. I am going to leave More Accurate turned off; I am not that crazy. We're not going to turn that on for a portrait shot.

Then I am going to click OK in order to accept this modification, and you should now be able to see lots of noise inside of this shadow region here, including a lot of color noise as well. You can see how that's percolating to the top. Alright, so lets go ahead and zoom-out just a little bit here so that we can take in more of the image. You can also see how this sharpening effect is fairly detrimental to the image in general. We are drawing out all kinds of weird surface details inside of the image, we are drawing out a lot of weird color artifacting as well.

We are going to take care of that in advance, by first applying the Reduce Noise filter and then coming in with Smart Sharpen afterward. Alright, so I am going to go up here to the History palette, and I just want you to see that were going to keep that Smart Sharpen state, so we can go back and compare it later to the better version of the image that's in store for us. So I am going to press F12 in order to invoke the Revert function and then Revert is added as a history state to the History palette so that we can come back to Smart Sharpen as I say. Alright, so I just want you to see that once again, so there is no confusion.

Now lets go ahead and apply Reduce Noise. Now you get to Reduce Noise by going up to Filter menu, choosing Noise and choosing the Reduce Noise command. I have once again given this command a keyboard shortcut via the Keyboard Shortcut command under the Edit menu. The keyboard shortcut that I use for what its worth is Shift+F9, and that brings up the fairly whopping Reduce Noise dialog box right here. Now were seeing the default settings inside of this dialog box. Notice that we have four numerical options and then we also have Remove JPEG Artifact and we have the Basic and Advanced options right here which aren't quite as bad as they are with Smart Sharpen.

They still do abide if you switch from Advanced back to Basic. The reason that I don't consider them to be quite as bad is because you are rarely going to go to Advanced. The only reason to go to Advanced is if you want independent control of your smoothing on a channel-by-channel basis. So you want to apply additional smoothing to one of the channels inside the image, one or more channels. You can choose the channels right here, Red, Green, Blue, and then apply a Strength setting and you'll also have the Preserve Details option available to you which is currently dimmed. You have to have some sort of Strength assigned before Preserve Details will become available.

Anywa, we are not going to apply that right now. We are just going to go back to Basic. We also have the ability to save off the settings, but as I told you with Smart Sharpen, the way that this is implemented right now is just crazy. Basically, even though you have saved up your settings, every time you'll apply new settings, those old settings get overwritten and it's just pure and total chaos. It doesn't do me any good whatsoever. So I suggest you just ignore the top portion of the dialog box with the exception of the OK and Cancel buttons, and you pay attention to these numerical values write down here. Now Strength determines the degree to which you are smoothing over the luminance values inside the image.

So that is the lightness values as opposed to the color values. You can crank this guy as high as ten, and that will give you the maximum amount of noise removal, or you can also take it down. If you want less noise removal, you can it down to a lower setting. I am going to suggest that most of the time you want to accept the default setting of six or you want to go higher with it. I frequently max out this filter in order to get rid of the noise and I am going to go ahead and scroll down to that shadow region here just so that we can keep an eye on it. Again, its going to be a little hard to keep track of inside the video.

But I'll just tell you what's going on. So far Photoshop has pretty much nailed it. By applying a Strength value of 10, I pretty much smoothed over all of the noise inside of the shadows. Now Preserve Details tries to bring back the edges, that is the areas of highest contrast, tries to protect them from the Strength value. So the higher you go with Preserved Details, the more edges you are going to protec. The lower you go, the fewer edges you are going to protect and the more you are going to reduce noise inside the image.

Reduce Color Noise allows you to specifically address color variations between neighboring pixels as opposed to luminance variations that are addressed by Strength. So that takes care of the color right there. Then Sharpen Details will apply sharpening inside of this dialog box after these values are finished. Now I am going to tell you that I want you to reduce this value right here to 0% on a regular basis. When in doubt, set it to 0 because you are better off following up the application of Reduce Noise with a sharpening filter that gives you a lot more control than a single sharpening slider right here.

If you were to follow this up and you already had some sharpening that you'd applied down here with this option, then you would basically apply two sharpens in a row which is definitely not something I am going to recommend in this case. Then finally you have this Remove JPEG Artifact checkbox. If your image was saved with a heavy amount of JPEG compression, that is a low-quality setting, then you might start seeing little squares forming, 8x8 pixel squares forming inside the image or you might see some vertical lines or some horizontal lines at work.

If so, you can get rid of those to a certain extent by turning on the Remove JPEG Artifact checkbox. Now we don't need that for this image, we just need to focus on Strength, Preserve Details and Reduce Color Noise and we're going to do exactly that in the next exercise.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

115 video lessons · 17014 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

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.