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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Alright, I am now zoomed into the 200% zoom ratio on this orange snake against a blue background that is found inside the orangeonblue.jpg file inside the 11 Sharpen folder. And the reason I am zoomed into 200% is so that we can see the results of some of the more subtle sharpen functions. Now all of Photoshop sharpening capabilities are located under the Filter menu and the Filter menu frankly is something of a hodgepodge as it turns out there are all kinds of commands, they run the gamut and they are organized into one submenu after another as you can see here just gobs and gobs of submenus.
Now if there is a tie that binds some of the filters anyway, it's that many of them are edge detection functions, so they either exaggerate the degree of contrast between neighboring pixels or they downplay the degree of contrast or they merge pixels together, what have you, some sort of edge detection and edge manipulation is going on. And that's certainly true of the Sharpen functions right here. So you go midway down the Filter menu to the Sharpen command which brings up a submenu of 5 additional commands.
Now the best of the 5 are these two at the bottom here, the ones that end in an ellipsis here the "..." meaning that the command is going to bring up a dialog box so that you can customize the behavior of the function. And these two commands are actually really great commands as it turns out which is why I have assigned them keyboard shortcuts with my D keys keyboard shortcuts if you have loaded those and you will get Shift+F5 for Unsharp Mask and Shift+F6 for the newer Smart Sharpen function, this one was actually introduced in Photoshop CS2. The guys above them here sharpen, sharpen edges and sharpen more are single shot sharpeners as what I call them because they just apply immediately.
You choose a command, it sharpens the image, you are done, they are non-intelligent commands, they don't analyze the existing brightness values, luminosity levels that kind of thing inside the image, the way for example the Auto Color and Auto Levels and Auto Contrast functions do. They are just these predefined algorithms that apply and they are done. So I will go ahead and show you what they look like and you can safely ignore them actually if you want to but just for the sake of complete coverage here, I will go ahead and choose the Sharpen function. Did you see there that is the effect of sharpening, this is before and this after, just a tiny little bit of additional sharpening going on and that's it.
I am going to undo that command because I don't want to be heaping one sharpening function onto another. Now I am going to go up to the Filter menu, choose Sharpen again and this time I am going to choose Sharpen More which is about three times as much sharpening as it turns out, quite a bit more sharpen is going on inside the image that time around. Again I am going to undo the command and then finally I will show you Sharpen, Sharpen Edges. The idea here is that instead of just sharpening the degree of contrast between all neighboring pixels, it will sharpen only the most defined edges inside the image which apparently includes none of the edges because there is just about no difference between the before and after views.
In fact, if you are seeing a difference at all then you are seeing more than I am. I am going to go ahead and undo that big old modification, so those are them. Those are the single shot sharpeners, you can purge all knowledge of them right now because we are never going to see them ever, ever, ever again in this training series or hopefully any other one. From now on in the next couple of exercise, we are going to focus on the Unsharp Mask command and then we will find our way to this guy right there Smart Sharpen coming right up.
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