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A photograph's detail can be thought of as being made up of a range of frequencies. Low frequencies represent areas of minimal change, like the sky or flat surfaces. High frequencies represent areas of high detail, like textures and grain. The goal of simplification is to remove the high frequencies of a photo while maintaining the high-contrast edges. In this video, we will take a look at the Reduce Noise filter's capacity for removing these high frequencies.
Let's begin by going to the exercise files, and in chapter06 you'll find the toned_photo. So let's go ahead and open up our Reduce Noise filter, which you'll find in the Filter > Noise > Reduce Noise right here. And depending on how you have used this, or if you've never used it before, it may have some different settings on it, so I am just going to artificially kind of move these up to a setting that's more likely to be there.
The thing I want to get across to you is that you don't need these bottom three settings at all, so you can turn these all down to 0. And the other thing we are going to want to do is crank this all the way up to 10 initially, and take a look at what's happening in the image. And you can see, that it is removing the noise level quite a bit, and it's smart enough to leave a lot of the snowfall that's present in the image. I might play around with reducing this a bit, to see just subtly what's happening here.
It's nice that it still maintains the verbage in the signs. I crank it all the way up, and it's still there. It's really pretty subtle what's happening here. I may go to a level 8 and go ahead and say OK, and we want to be sure to look at this at 100% so we're seeing what's happening. And I am going to look right here in kind of the major subject area, the intersection. And by using Command+Z or Ctrl+Z to undo, I can get a quick before and after, and it's doing a very good job actually.
The other thing you can do is if use Command+F or Ctrl+F, you can reapply this, multiple times if you want. But each time you do it, you are going to add further to the simplification. And if we jump back in history here, you can see what's happening. So applying multiple times is a way to extend the use of this technique. You may get it where it's too simplified and in this case, I would say it is. But the Reduce Noise filter is definitely a way to simplify an image prior to underpainting.
In the next videos, I'll show you alternate technique for removing high-frequency information from an image.
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