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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.
In this exercise I am going to show how to sharpen a high frequency image using the Smart Sharpen filter. So whereas High Pass is best for low frequency portraits, Smart Sharpen is best for your high frequency cityscapes and your high frequency landscapes and so on. Now if you want to catch up with me, I am working inside of a document called High freq cityscape.PSD, that's found inside of the 06_For_Detail folder and I have zoomed the image in to the 100% zoom ratio, so that we are not seeing any weird jagged edges, which we would see at 66.7 and 33.3 and so on and you can see that I have got a Smart Object here inside of the Layers palette.
Lets go ahead and start things up. Before we apply the Smart Sharpen filter as a Smart Filter, lets go ahead and load a selection outline that will serve as the base filter mask. I am going to go over to Channels palette here and I am just going to load the green channels, without looking at these channels I am just going to go ahead and load the green channel because that is going to be our detail channel. So Ctrl+click or Command+click on that green thumbnail there inside the Channels palette. Now switch back to the Layers palette and I want you to go up to the Filter menu, choose Sharpen and then choose Smart Sharpen and you will bring up the Smart Sharpen dialog box. And these are the settings that I want you to apply, believe it or not, they seem like they are completely over the top settings, but I want you to apply an Amount value of 250%. That is a good setting.
All these settings are in fact are good settings for high frequency images across the board. So you may want to vary them to taste, but these are some good day settings for you. An Amount value of 250%, a radius of 1.0 pixel, Remove set to Lens Blur and More Accurate turned On. So that we are basically double sharpening the image right here inside of Smart Sharpen. Alright. Then go ahead and click OK. Don't worry about switching over to Advanced and don't save your settings, no sense in doing any of that stuff, just go ahead and click OK, in order to accept those modifications and bear in mind that we are going to be subjecting these Smart Sharpen settings to a filter mask right there.
So this is what the image looks like without that Smart Sharpen filter. This is what the image looks like with the application of the Smart Sharpen filter, so a lot of stuff going on here. I am going to go ahead and zoom in, now notice that we are sharpening the heck out the noise inside the image. We are bringing out a ton of noise inside, what ought to be the super smooth areas, for example, along the sides of the cabs. We should not see detail, popping out of those areas and that is the function of this aggressive application of the Smart Sharpen filter.
It is bringing out this noise. What we need to do now is convert our mask, our green luminance mask, we need to convert it into an edge mask, so we are protecting these regions and I am going to show you, how to create such a mask and how to action the creation of the mask, so that you can apply it very easily in the future, in the next exercise.
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