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In this video, I'd like to show you how, using a filter called GANE filter, we can take an image like this, which is soft because it's got some noise in the background, and use the GANE filter that help take away some of that noise and sharpen our image at the same time. The problem with images like these that have been shot under low light and then compressed with JPEG compression is they tend to have the noise from the high ISO and then some JPEG artifacts on top of that. So we open up this image and magnify it, and then we're going to hit the GANE filter. This is the filter that's called the Grain and Noise Elimination filter whereas, in fact, it's a Noise Elimination filter and a sharpening tool at the same time.
Now we can just assign a preset here, like Light, Medium, or Strong. But to really see what the impact of this is going to be, I suggest you go ahead and turn on the Preview. You accomplish that by clicking on the 1:1. It does a high-resolution overview scan and that allows us to take a look at our image in detail and depth. Notice you can tell by looking at it, there is a lot of detail that's missing from this image and it's because of the noisy background, and if we try to sharpen it without applying GANE filter first, a lot of that noise is exacerbating and you end up with kind of horrible patterns on people's faces which is not good.
So how do we apply the filter? Well, we can go Light, Medium, or Strong and just take what it kind of gives us. Or, what I am going to recommend is, go ahead and go to the Expert tool which we get to by clicking on the graduation cap. Then I begin with applying the presets; Light, Medium, see a little bit of impact there. And then we go to Strong, and notice what we're getting here is some grain that's actually been added back in the image from the sharpening. I'd like to go a little bit too far and then kind of back it off from there.
First, let's set the Dark limits. Typically, I'm going to but this at about 90-95, somewhere in there, kind of like with the Unsharp Mask where I don't like to sharpen between 95 and 100, or 90 and 100 depending on the image. So I might put the Dark limit at 90, so that none of the sharpening will be applied past 90% black, and then we can adjust Power and Threshold. We can put the Power 100 and then we can start backing off the threshold. Watch the graininess in the image will start to disappear. So if we go to 9, 8, 6, we get down to about 5 and then we've lost most of the graininess and when we check the check box to turn off and notice that the image is getting softer when we turn it off. It's getting sharper when we turn it on. We're not getting that noise pattern in there, because the Grain and Noise Elimination filter is first smoothing it and then applying some sharpening to it.
Sometimes if I go way down in the Threshold and it's still looking pretty grainy then I can back off in the Power a little bit and then adjust the Threshold. So you can use a combination of Power and Threshold. As you get some experience with the tool, you'll get some idea of what are the best setups. This is a common way that I'll use a filter and it's pretty darn effective. By the way, you can apply multiples of these related tools together. So for instance, I might make this a little bit smoother or get it to here and then apply the Unsharp Mask tool or I might do the GANE and noise and then use the SRD tool on top of that.
So you can apply multiple tools here. I typically end up with softening and removing the dust and scratches and then I'll go Unsharp Mask as the last filter. If I'm going to use my Unsharp Mask here, I could, as we've talked about, decide to use Unsharp Mask in Photoshop later on. So there's the Grain and Noise Elimination filter with a little bit of sharpening added in, even though it's not in the title.
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