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Using ideal settings for commercial reproduction

From: Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

Video: Using ideal settings for commercial reproduction

Before we set about sharpening that landscape photograph, I want to provide you with a few recommended setting, and we're going to start by looking at settings that are applicable to commercial reproduction, when you're outputting your colors as halftone dots. In an upcoming exercise we'll talk about the best settings for inkjet reproduction. I should say that these are just guidelines, but specific guidelines. And if you follow the guidelines religiously they should work for you beautifully. They certainly have worked for me over the years, and I've been in the print industry for about 22 years now and I've been sharpening photographs for perhaps 16 to 17 of those years with varying degrees of success, obviously I've learned a lot over time.

Using ideal settings for commercial reproduction

Before we set about sharpening that landscape photograph, I want to provide you with a few recommended setting, and we're going to start by looking at settings that are applicable to commercial reproduction, when you're outputting your colors as halftone dots. In an upcoming exercise we'll talk about the best settings for inkjet reproduction. I should say that these are just guidelines, but specific guidelines. And if you follow the guidelines religiously they should work for you beautifully. They certainly have worked for me over the years, and I've been in the print industry for about 22 years now and I've been sharpening photographs for perhaps 16 to 17 of those years with varying degrees of success, obviously I've learned a lot over time.

So thanks do a lot of refinement, I have come up with this approach that you're about to learn. So it should work for you beautifully, but if you want to vary a little, obviously go for it. The name of this document incidentally is Recommended Settings. Its found inside the 08_for_output folder. If I bring my Layer Comps palette, were looking at the Halftone comp right there; we'll look at the Inkjet comp in the next exercise. When you're sharpening an image for output, all you care about is what kind of output you're going to.

In our case we're looking to commercial reproduction. So we're going to put the image inside of a book or a magazine or a newspaper, something along those lines, maybe a newsletter. The other thing you care about is the resolution of that image, whether you're printing it directly from Photoshop or you're printing it from a page layout application, such as InDesign. Now it's all based on this guy right here, 300 pixels per inch, which is your standard, everyday, ideal print resolution. Notice, by the way, I prefer to work with High Pass.

When going to commercial reproduction I use High Pass because High Pass is the least likely of the sharpening filters to clip highlights and shadows. We need to have dots, and by avoiding clipping of those highlight and shadows we have a little bit of dot information thanks to the halftone patterning. When we're going to inkjet I prefer to work with Smart Sharpen and allow the highlights and shadows to get a little bit clipped because it provides us better detail, but for halftoning, High Pass is your best bet. For 300 pixels per inch, I apply a Radius value of 2 pixels.

I actually set it to Overlay, I'll set it to the Overlay mode. You can see this little dagger right here that's referring to this item right here that says Overlay, 100%. Basically, when you're working with your other resolutions you need to reduce the Radius value or increase the Radius value, and as you reduce the Radius value you reduce the impact of the effect, which means you have to increase the amount somehow. And if you're working with an Overlay of 100% you don't have any headroom, you cant go any further up. So instead I'll set it to Linear Light at 40% which is essentially equivalent to Overlay at 100%.

They're not the exact same effects, but they're visually equivalent inside of the image. I use a Radius value that's equal to the resolution divided by 3 and then times 2. It's essentially what I am doing here. So it's about two thirds of 100 of the resolution, in case you're wondering where that math comes from. And it works that very nicely. You get a nice crisp edge, and bear in mind, we have to change the Radius because that controls the size of the halos and as we print the image smaller, we're at a higher resolution, we're reducing the size of the halo, so we need to increase the halo to compensate.

As we're reducing the resolution the halo gets bigger, so we need to take care to reduce the size of the halo to compensate. So that's why we are changing these Radius values here. If we go with the higher resolution such as 360 pixels per inch, which is kind of the top resolution you typically work with for print, then you want raise that Radius value to 2.4 pixels. We're sticking for Linear Light for our blend mode, and were going to reduce the Opacity value to 30% in order to reduce the amount of sharpening that we're applying to compensate for the raised Radius value.

Meanwhile, when we're reducing the resolution, we're going to go ahead and reduce the size of the halos as well. So we're going to reduce the Radius value and increase the amount. And you can see a variety of different options here that are available to you. Notice that there is this other asterisk right there that is associated with the 60% value for a 180 pixels per inch. Obviously that's a very low resolution, about as low as you want to go for print, and actually most folks don't go any lower than 220 PPI, but you can go to 180 with pretty good results sometime. These are all coated stock recommendations.

If you're working with uncoated stock then you want to go ahead and raise the amount a little bit. You want to raise the Opacity value, that's what these refer to, is Opacity values, and you want to go ahead and add 10% for uncoated stock, unless you are going to newsprint which is worse than uncoated stock. It's going to absorb more ink and that means that we need to increase the amount of sharpening that we're applying to compensate. Go ahead and add 15% to 20%, and that depends on the grade of your newsprint. If you're working with a high grade newspaper, for example, then 15% is good enough.

If it's low quality newsprint, if printing costs are a big issue and your publisher is trying to save cost by using cheaper paper, then you want to go ahead and increase the value by 20% to compensate. So those are my recommended settings. Now there is a little bit of a caveat here. This is all assuming that we intend our images to be viewed up close, so a distance of about a foot. So this is an image that you can hold in your hands or you can look at on a wall, but you get very close to it in order to see that image. If you're farther away from the image, if you're talking about very, very big art work, for example, that's viewed from a distance, then our logic changes, and I'll explain how it changes in the next exercise.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images
Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images

115 video lessons · 17037 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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