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Vibrance, Saturation, and Clarity

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Vibrance, Saturation, and Clarity

In this exercise, we are going to explore these options down here at the bottom of the Basic panel, Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation. I have got a couple of images opened in Camera RAW. One is Arles Coliseum.dng and the other is Canal boat.dng, and I've selected these two images because they will allow us to compare and contrast the differences between modifying saturation values and color intensity in general when working inside of a landscape or architectural image like this one here and then when working with skin tones.

Vibrance, Saturation, and Clarity

In this exercise, we are going to explore these options down here at the bottom of the Basic panel, Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation. I have got a couple of images opened in Camera RAW. One is Arles Coliseum.dng and the other is Canal boat.dng, and I've selected these two images because they will allow us to compare and contrast the differences between modifying saturation values and color intensity in general when working inside of a landscape or architectural image like this one here and then when working with skin tones.

I am going to switch to Arles Coliseum. dng here, and I am going to zoom in on this image, and this is one of those pretty ratty images frankly. The kinds that you find inside the Bridge after a day shoot or what have you. And you look at them and you think, "I thought it was going to be better than that. Oh well, goodbye!" And then you move right along. You should get out of that habit when you are working with RAW images because even an image like this one that is dim and drab and low color and pretty uninspiring, and it has a lot of posterization over here in the brickwork, even something that bad essentially can be brought to healthy life using these controls.

So we'll just work through the controls we've seen so far so that I can get this image in relatively good shape. I am going to take the Temperature value to 5200. So I am cooling it down just slightly, leaving Tint alone. I will take the Exposure value up just a little bit, just a smidge, because notice here if I take it up too high, I am Alt+Dragging or Option+Dragging this control, I will start blowing up the sky, and I don't want that to happen. So I'd rather err on the side of things looking a little gloomy for now. So the Exposure value goes up to +0.10. That's it. Skipping Recovery and Fill Light for now, we'll come back to those in a future exercise, very useful options by the way.

I don't mean to neglect them. It's just that they're better understood after these other settings. I'll go ahead and increase the Blacks value to 10 just so that we are darkening up the shadow detail a little bit. I am going to take the Brightness value up to 70. So we are increasing the brightness quite a bit, raising those mid-tones, and then this is where this image really starts popping. I am going to take this Contrast value through the roof. I am going to take it up to +80, and that ends up giving us a pretty strong effect. So this is before, and then this is after.

We are losing some of the shadow detail inside the clouds, but we are gaining a lot here inside this brickwork. Now I'm going to try out some of these other options here: Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation. Now, Vibrance and Saturation, those are right out of the Vibrance adjustment layer that we saw way back in the Fundamentals portion of this series. You may recall that Vibrance offers a Vibrance slider and a Saturation slider. They work exactly like this which is to say if you increase the Saturation value, you are going to increase the intensity of the colors across the board and if you reduce that Saturation value all the way to -100, you are going to completely lose the colors, and you'll just have luminance information left.

So all the colors turned to shades of gray essentially. Whereas with Vibrance -- let's go ahead and reset Saturation to 0 -- with Vibrance you are emphasizing the colors that need emphasis the most. So the lower saturation colors are getting the most attention as you increase that Vibrance value. If you reduce the Vibrance value all the way, you're still going to have some color left inside the image. Now, it's not as obvious in this image as it will be in the next one. But what I am going to do is crank this Vibrance value. Because this image needs so much help, I am going to crank it up to +100, and I want you to notice something where this image is concerned.

This is less of an effect or an aesthetic choice as a necessary modification. Check out what the image looks like at a Vibrance of 0. See how much posterization we have in these details? And by posterization, I mean we have very sharp transitions from shadows to midtones to highlights inside of this brickwork, to the extent that the photograph looks a little bit fragile and if I go ahead and raise the Vibrance value, I want you to keep an eye on these colors here inside of the brickwork.

Notice as I raise the Vibrance values, I end up smoothing over some of those color transitions, and as a result, the image starts to look a lot more healthy. So not only does the intensity of the color expand, but the transitions smooth out as well. All right! I am also going to take up the Saturation value a little bit. I am going to take it to 25 where this image is concerned. So you typically work this way. That is to say you are going to take the Vibrance value higher than you are going to take the Saturation value. Not necessarily this high, but for example, it's very common to take the Vibrance value as high as 30 or 50 let's say and the Saturation some place between 5 and 15.

Anyway, this image needs more work, which is why we are giving it higher values, and then finally, I am going to go and zoom-out here. We might want a little bit of edge contrast where this image is concerned and that's what clarity does. So Clarity is entirely unrelated to Color Saturation. It really doesn't have anything to do with Vibrance and Saturation. But it does allow you to enhance the edges. And the idea remember when we were working with Unsharp Mask and I was telling you if you want a truly sharp looking effect, sharp detail, then you want to work with a low radius value and a high amount value.

However, if you combine a high radius value with a low amount value, you'll get clarity. That is you create big flares around the edges and that's what's happening here as well. So if you increase that Clarity value, notice you are strengthening the edge detail inside the image without applying any sharpening. It's not strictly speaking sharpening the detail inside the image. If you reduce the Clarity, check out what happens. You are losing your edges and keeping your color, and this might be useful if you're working with a portrait photograph of a person who has a lot of skin detail that you are trying to smooth over.

Then you can create a kind of smoothing effect by reducing the Clarity value. Anyway, in our case, we want exactly the opposite. We want crags all over the place inside of this architecture. So I am going to increase that Clarity value as high as it goes to +100. Now, let's see what we been able to pull off here. This is the before version of the image. Seemingly hopeless. It's just so grim and boring frankly, and then when I turn on Preview, a ton of life inside of this image that just needed to be drawn out using these basic controls.

All right! Let's compare this to working with a portrait photograph like this one here. I call this more of a snapshot, but it does have a human being inside of it, and I will start things off once again by applying some basic modifications. I am actually really happy with the temperature of this image. I am going to take the Tint value just down ever so slightly, just to get rid of a little tiny bit of pink. So I took it down to -5. Then I will take the Exposure value up to +1, like so, which seems too high. So far. And in fact, if I Alt+Drag or Option+ Drag that Exposure triangle, I will see a little bit of clipping going on.

But we are going to compensate with the other controls. So Tab down to Blacks, take that down to 2. These are just the settings I came up with through trial and error. I am going to reduce the Brightness value to 10, and then I will take the Contrast value up to 40. All right! And that's starting to bring out some noise in her coat. That's something we'll explore. We will explore how to remove noise inside of Camera RAW in a future exercise, but for now we are just going to ignore that. We are going to drop down here to Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation. We don't need any clarity where this image is concerned. I'd hate to add all kinds of edge thickening and gooeyness to this image because it wouldn't really suited to portrait photograph.

Nor does my friend require a lack of clarity, in my opinion. I think that just makes it look bizarre. So I am going to leave that setting at 0. Then I'm going to tab my way down to Vibrance, and let me show you the difference between Vibrance and Saturation where this image is concerned. I will go ahead and zoom in another click actually, and if I increase the Saturation all the way to 100, we are increasing the saturation of the colors across the board. If I reduce the Saturation to -100, there go my colors. All right! What I want for Saturation is 20. It actually works pretty well for this image.

Now, let's see Vibrance. If I crank the Vibrance value up to 100, notice which colors get the attention. The blue coat gets a ton of attention, because it started off as a very low color intensity coat in the first place, whereas the skin tones don't change much at all. We are seeing some purple show up around the eyelashes, possibly some mascara there around the hair detail as well. So we are popping out some aberrant colors as you can see. But the oranges and the reds of the face are not popping like they would have if we had cranked the Saturation value upward.

If we reduce that Vibrance value down to -100, we still have some colors intact. So the reds and the yellows are protected, some of the greens are protected as well, and that's typically the way Vibrance operates. So Vibrance actually protects some of the primary colors. It also has a habit of protecting flesh tone colors, your warm colors. All right! Where this image is concerned, I ultimately arrive to a Vibrance value of 50 and to just give you a sense of what we have accomplished with this image, this is the before version of the image. Just a little more muted, not that terribly different, and this is the after version.

Thanks to our ability to enhance the color intensity using Vibrance and Saturation and then of course where the previous image is concerned, we were able to do quite a number on that edge detail. Thanks to our enhancement of Clarity.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

247 video lessons · 32829 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 40m 2s
    1. Welcome
      2m 1s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 6s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. What you can do with Photoshop
      1m 46s
    2. The mission-critical eyes
      2m 44s
    3. Copy Merged and Paste in Place
      6m 52s
    4. Sharpening details to match
      4m 34s
    5. Masking eyes
      9m 22s
    6. Working with clipping-mask layers
      9m 5s
    7. Shading with layer effects
      8m 10s
    8. Color and highlight effects
      4m 2s
    9. Refining layer masks
      5m 43s
    10. Fabricating the highlights in the pupils
      7m 33s
    11. Using a merged copy to sharpen
      5m 34s
  3. 2h 14m
    1. Highlights, shadows, and midtones
      1m 16s
    2. Introducing the Auto commands
      7m 23s
    3. Adjusting Cache Level settings
      6m 8s
    4. Reading a channel-by-channel histogram
      6m 21s
    5. How the Auto commands work
      5m 22s
    6. Auto Tone, Auto Contrast, and Auto Color
      7m 7s
    7. Blending the Auto results
      4m 4s
    8. Introducing the Levels command
      6m 15s
    9. Using Levels as an adjustment layer
      3m 12s
    10. Applying custom Levels adjustments
      6m 8s
    11. Understanding the gamma value
      7m 39s
    12. The futility of Output Levels
      2m 56s
    13. Selections and adjustment layers
      5m 48s
    14. Opening up the shadows
      3m 40s
    15. Previewing clipped pixels
      4m 51s
    16. The black, white, and gray eyedroppers
      5m 7s
    17. Gray card tips and tricks
      6m 5s
    18. Making channel-by-channel adjustments
      7m 29s
    19. Introducing the Curves command
      7m 44s
    20. Curves dialog box tricks
      7m 16s
    21. Curves adjustment layer tricks
      5m 45s
    22. Correcting an image with Curves
      5m 32s
    23. Filling in the highlights
      5m 42s
    24. Neutralizing casts and smoothing transitions
      5m 37s
  4. 1h 46m
    1. The art of enhancing edges
      1m 26s
    2. How sharpening works
      6m 2s
    3. The single-shot sharpeners
      6m 7s
    4. Introducing Unsharp Mask
      6m 19s
    5. Radius and Threshold
      6m 24s
    6. Sharpening colors vs. luminosity
      5m 56s
    7. Gauging the ideal settings
      8m 59s
    8. Unsharp Mask vs. Smart Sharpen
      7m 1s
    9. Using the Remove settings
      9m 30s
    10. The More Accurate checkbox
      6m 8s
    11. Saving your Smart Filter settings
      5m 31s
    12. The Advanced sharpening settings
      7m 52s
    13. Accounting for camera shake
      6m 18s
    14. Sharpening with the Emboss filter
      6m 43s
    15. Sharpening with High Pass
      9m 23s
    16. The new and improved Sharpen tool
      6m 22s
  5. 1h 34m
    1. Edge's evil twin: noise
      1m 12s
    2. Color vs. luminance noise
      7m 21s
    3. Reducing color noise
      7m 45s
    4. Reducing luminance noise
      4m 59s
    5. Relegating an effect to the shadows
      6m 27s
    6. Switching between layer and mask
      6m 59s
    7. The Dust & Scratches filter
      4m 56s
    8. Adjusting shadow saturation
      5m 52s
    9. Combining High Pass with Lens Blur
      6m 57s
    10. Masking a layer of Lens Blur
      7m 34s
    11. Painting away High Pass sharpening
      8m 22s
    12. Building up a noise pattern
      6m 40s
    13. Converting noise to texture
      4m 24s
    14. Bleeding colors into paper
      6m 16s
    15. Matching different noise levels
      8m 31s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. We are the stuff of light
      1m 24s
    2. Applying automatic lens correction
      5m 53s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 44s
    4. Shadows/Highlights in depth
      7m 59s
    5. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      4m 43s
    6. Sharpening on top of blur
      7m 3s
    7. Sharpening the merged composition
      6m 16s
    8. Grouping and masking layers
      5m 40s
    9. Adjusting the density of a mask
      7m 14s
    10. Creating a Shadows/Highlights shortcut
      5m 47s
    11. Restoring detail with Shadows/Highlights
      6m 23s
    12. Changing the Shadows/Highlights defaults
      6m 21s
    13. Smoothing skin details with Gaussian Blur
      3m 56s
    14. Smoothing with High Pass
      5m 44s
    15. Lowering contrast with Gaussian Blur
      7m 4s
    16. Inverting a sharpening effect
      7m 5s
  7. 2h 32m
    1. Color becomes monochrome
      1m 31s
    2. Converting an image to grayscale
      6m 49s
    3. Extracting luminance information
      7m 37s
    4. Introducing the Channel Mixer
      10m 23s
    5. Aggressive channel mixing
      9m 42s
    6. Proofing CMYK colors
      7m 49s
    7. Color settings and intent
      7m 6s
    8. Practical Channel Mixer variations
      4m 30s
    9. Saving variations as layer comps
      7m 57s
    10. The default grayscale recipe
      8m 55s
    11. Creating a custom black-and-white mix
      6m 59s
    12. Shadows/Highlights in black and white
      4m 58s
    13. Introducing the Black & White command
      5m 55s
    14. Adjusting Black & White settings
      9m 39s
    15. Mixing a Black & White portrait
      6m 32s
    16. Black & White vs. Channel Mixer
      9m 21s
    17. Adding tint and color
      8m 0s
    18. Introducing the Gradient Map
      7m 10s
    19. Loading custom gradients
      4m 32s
    20. Editing gradient color stops
      9m 58s
    21. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      7m 13s
  8. 2h 10m
    1. Two great commands working great together
      1m 18s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 13s
    3. Setting key colors and Fuzziness
      5m 38s
    4. Predefined vs. sampled colors
      3m 57s
    5. The Localized Color Clusters option
      5m 41s
    6. Defining a selection with care
      4m 44s
    7. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      5m 20s
    8. Testing edges with the Magic Wand
      5m 14s
    9. Hand-brushing a selection
      5m 39s
    10. Saving and loading an alpha channel
      4m 35s
    11. Converting a selection to a layer mask
      2m 46s
    12. Switching between an image and a layer mask
      6m 58s
    13. Protecting elements with a layer mask
      8m 5s
    14. Duplicating and editing a layer mask
      7m 34s
    15. Introducing the Refine Edge command
      4m 46s
    16. Accessing the various Refine Edge options
      5m 35s
    17. Refine Edge's preview options
      6m 21s
    18. The Adjust Edge values
      4m 11s
    19. Edge Detection and Smart Radius
      6m 5s
    20. Using the Refine Radius tool
      8m 8s
    21. Using the Decontaminate Colors option
      7m 30s
    22. Old-school masking adjustments
      7m 7s
    23. Four micro mask adjustments
      8m 33s
  9. 3h 13m
    1. Photoshop's vector exceptions
      1m 11s
    2. Making text in Photoshop
      6m 18s
    3. Creating and editing a text layer
      6m 56s
    4. Font and type style
      7m 35s
    5. Type size and color
      7m 52s
    6. Combining layer effects and type
      10m 57s
    7. Drawing a custom shape layer
      8m 34s
    8. Side bearing, kerning, and tracking
      10m 36s
    9. Point text vs. area text
      8m 26s
    10. Selecting and formatting a paragraph
      5m 19s
    11. Copying and pasting unformatted text
      7m 45s
    12. Creating text inside a custom path
      6m 26s
    13. Creating text along a path
      8m 13s
    14. Adjusting baseline shift
      6m 16s
    15. Drawing a fading arrowhead
      7m 29s
    16. Fading a shadow with a layer
      5m 32s
    17. Logo creation and Fill Opacity
      7m 44s
    18. Stretching a background element
      6m 9s
    19. Drawing with shape outlines
      6m 18s
    20. Combining vector-based shapes
      6m 42s
    21. Masking vector-based shape layers
      6m 7s
    22. Correcting spacing problems
      7m 44s
    23. Drawing the ultimate specular sparkle
      8m 45s
    24. Preparing text for commercial output
      5m 9s
    25. Saving a high-resolution PDF file
      7m 11s
    26. Inspecting the final PDF document
      7m 8s
    27. Saving large poster art
      9m 32s
  10. 2h 36m
    1. What filters ought to be
      1m 25s
    2. Layer effects vs. filters
      6m 14s
    3. Carving with an Inner Shadow effect
      7m 45s
    4. Selling an effect with Drop Shadow
      7m 17s
    5. Creating blurry shadow type
      5m 30s
    6. Saving custom default settings
      6m 22s
    7. Creating a custom contour
      7m 3s
    8. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      7m 35s
    9. Adjusting Angle and Altitude
      7m 8s
    10. Exploiting global light
      8m 11s
    11. Gloss and edge contour
      5m 8s
    12. Applying and creating layer styles
      6m 45s
    13. Loading, saving, and merging styles
      6m 17s
    14. Creating a textured bevel effect
      6m 56s
    15. Using shadows as highlights
      7m 39s
    16. Combining filters and effects
      6m 58s
    17. Working with random effects
      6m 55s
    18. Smoothing with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 13s
    19. Masking blacks from whites
      4m 37s
    20. Applying liquid styles
      4m 36s
    21. Simulating liquid reflections
      8m 12s
    22. Finessing and cropping a liquid effect
      7m 25s
    23. Initiating a displacement map
      6m 17s
    24. Applying a displacement map
      7m 37s
  11. 1h 12m
    1. Two words: Free Transform
      34s
    2. Scale, rotate, and constrain
      6m 30s
    3. Using the transformation origin
      7m 42s
    4. Applying a slant (aka skew)
      3m 37s
    5. The four-point "perspective" distortion
      7m 51s
    6. Two ways to make gradient text
      5m 59s
    7. Building complexity from a simple shape
      4m 42s
    8. Duplicating a series of transformations
      6m 3s
    9. Rasterizing a layer with its effects
      6m 41s
    10. Applying a custom warp
      7m 24s
    11. Blending and softening a warped layer
      4m 39s
    12. Creating spherical highlights
      6m 30s
    13. Using a center-source inner glow
      3m 51s
  12. 2h 42m
    1. Distorting reality
      1m 33s
    2. Extracting a foreground element
      6m 45s
    3. Introducing the Puppet Warp command
      7m 20s
    4. Setting and manipulating pins
      7m 48s
    5. Rotating pins and switching warp modes
      6m 41s
    6. Expanding and contracting the mesh
      6m 11s
    7. Changing the Density setting
      8m 0s
    8. Adjusting the pin depth
      5m 18s
    9. Winding an image into a pretzel
      6m 2s
    10. Applying Puppet Warp to type
      6m 30s
    11. Warping single characters
      6m 25s
    12. Editing puppet-warped text
      8m 24s
    13. Extending an image with Free Transform
      8m 46s
    14. Extracting from a white background
      10m 5s
    15. Tracing a shape with Puppet Warp
      9m 1s
    16. Introducing the Liquify command
      5m 4s
    17. Warp, Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat
      8m 53s
    18. Saving and loading a mesh
      5m 59s
    19. Push, Mirror, and Turbulence
      11m 49s
    20. Lifting and slimming details
      8m 22s
    21. Warping fabric, arms, and legs
      7m 1s
    22. Masking and finessing the results
      10m 8s
  13. 3h 3m
    1. Welcome to the digital darkroom
      1m 44s
    2. Introducing Camera Raw
      7m 40s
    3. Adjusting white balance
      7m 0s
    4. Selecting and synchronizing images
      6m 9s
    5. Making automatic adjustments and saving changes
      7m 19s
    6. Creating and managing snapshots
      8m 23s
    7. Adjusting the Exposure value
      6m 24s
    8. Working with clipping warnings
      5m 5s
    9. Adjusting Brightness and Contrast
      7m 35s
    10. Vibrance, Saturation, and Clarity
      9m 25s
    11. Recovery and Fill Light
      6m 57s
    12. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      7m 2s
    13. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      9m 44s
    14. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      7m 49s
    15. Applying manual lens corrections
      7m 19s
    16. Vignette and chromatic aberrations
      6m 21s
    17. Introducing the Tone Curves
      6m 9s
    18. Parametric curves and targeted adjustments
      6m 26s
    19. Correcting a low-noise photograph
      7m 35s
    20. Sharpening and high-noise photos
      8m 25s
    21. Selective Hue/Saturation adjustments
      5m 34s
    22. Selective Luminance adjustments
      5m 39s
    23. Adding grain and vignetting effects
      5m 23s
    24. Mixing a subjective black-and-white image
      7m 53s
    25. Colorizing with the Split Toning options
      4m 29s
    26. Opening a raw image as a Smart Object
      5m 39s
    27. Camera Raw wrap-up
      8m 38s
  14. 55s
    1. Until next time
      55s

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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.

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