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Since the beginning of the photographic art form, photographers have been searching for clearer and sharper images. Now, you don't have to settle for what was captured in camera; you can perfect your photos in post-production. In this course, Chris Orwig tackles sharpening in three programs: Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom, and Photoshop. They all have their strengths, so he shows you how to get the best results from specific sharpening challenges with each one. Chris shows you how to reduce noise and sharpen with sliders and make selective adjustments to certain areas of raw images. In Photoshop, he uses powerful filters like Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen to sharpen larger areas of pictures, and masking to paint in sharpening. Last, he shares two advanced techniques, one using high pass sharpening and another that limits sharpening to the edges of your images.
In this movie I want to share with you a technique that I think you're going to enjoy, because this technique will give you extra flexibility. And this is all about working with our filters, as what's called smart filters. Smart filters basically give us built-in flexibility, and when it comes to sharpening sometimes this can really help out. Well here, we'll begin by taking a look at how we can start the process which will be converting the layer to a smart object layer. The next we'll run a filter, we'll sharpen the photograph and we'll look at how we can modify and change those settings.
Then in the next movie, we'll finish off this image by looking at some more advanced settings and also how we can work with masking as well. Alright well that's what's ahead, let's begin. The first thing you need to do to take advantage of smart filters is to convert your layer into a smart object layer. Now there are three ways to do this. Let me show you all three. Then you can choose the one that you like best. One technique is to right-click or Ctrl+click the layer. And to choose Convert to Smart Object.
Again right-click or Ctrl+click the layer and then choose Convert to Smart Object. The next option is to click on this icon in the Layers panel and this Contextual menu, choose the same menu item which is Convert to Smart Object. All right, last but not least, head up to the Filter pull down menu and then choose the option Convert for Smart Filters. Either of these techniques, or any of these three techniques will do the same thing. Let's choose one. Here, because I'm up top at the Filter pull down menu, I'll select this option, Convert for Smart Filters.
This give me a message that says, hey, in order to enable re-editable smart filters, in order to have the flexibility that you want, this layer it will be converted into a smart object. That's exactly what we want to have happen, so here we simply click OK. Notice how the layer icon changes and the layer name changes, let's double-click it and give this one a new name of Maddy. So step one if you're taking notes is to convert the layer to a smart object layer, step two is to apply or to run a filter.
And when it comes to sharpening we could work with Camera RAW, Unsharp Mask or Smart Sharpen. Let's select Smart Sharpen, because that's the one I use most frequently. I think that's the best out of all of those, at least in my humble opinion. Alright well here we'll go up to our Filter pull down menu, we'll select Sharpen and then choose Smart Sharpen. Filter> Sharpen> Smart Sharpen, or select whatever filter it is you want to run. This will open up the Filter dialog, and this is pretty typical, or normal.
In this dialog for sharpening, we want to view the image at 100%, and then we want to dial in our settings. With this photograph, I want to experiment with a higher amount, and maybe a higher noise reduction level. So I'm going to bring those values up and I think this gives us somewhat of an interesting look. We have a lot of edge detail, and I might even go further with that. And in doing that I have created a distinct look for the photograph. I am excited about that look. And so I'm going to click OK.
Here we'll click OK, and we'll see what will happen is that we'll render and apply those settings to this layer. Yet it also created a new icon below the layer. Here we have a mask which says smart filters. Then we have the filter itself, smart sharpen, right here. Let me zoom in on this picture so you can see it better. When I zoom in, if I click on the eye incon, I'll be able to see the before and then now the after. And in seeing the before and after in this view, I realize that you know what, I don't quite like these settings.
I want to change this. Well when you apply changes to a layer that isn't a smart filter, you can't change your mind. You can't go back, but smart filter layers give you flexibility, to change you mind or to change the settings all you need to do is to double-click the filter name. So here, double-click that bad boy, it will open up the dialog. Here it has the settings that we had selected previously. I'm going to drop down my amounts. Maybe the noise reduction just a little bit as well.
I want this image to have a nice, natural, soft and beautiful look, so I'm scaling back the sharpening. I had gone too far. Now that I see the results here, I think those are good. I could probably drop them back even a little bit more. When you're ready to apply those settings to the photograph, again, just click OK. And so as you can see here, it gives you all of the sudden this incredible amount of flexibility. This is so helpful. Sometimes I'll sharpen an image and then print it and realize, it isn't sharp enough, if you have a smart filter you just go back and change the settings to correct that.
Yet this flexibility it does come at a cost, well what's the cost? It's file size. What you'll find is that images where you've run or used smart filters are significantly larger, yet sometimes the extra bit of file size is worth it. You have to make the call and experiment a bit with your own photographs. Yet either way you've now been introduced to some of the essentials when working with smart filters, and so far we've covered how we need to convert the layer to a smart object layer, then how we can run the filter and select the filter we want to use, and then last but not least we've talked about how we can double-click the filter name in order to adjust or change the filter settings.
Well now that we've gotten to this point, we have a little bit more to cover with this image, so let's go ahead and leave this one open and finish it off in the next movie. See you then.
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