Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Gauging the best sharpening settings, part of Photoshop CC 2013 One-on-One: Intermediate.
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In this movie, I'll show you how to guage the ideal combination of the mount and radius values. And that's going to largely depend on the destination of your image. Is it bound for the screen as in the case of the web graphic, or is it bound for print. And your answer to that question is going to make a big difference in the settings you apply. I'll go ahead and double click on the smart sharpen filter in order to bring up the dialogue box. And if you need to wake up your preview just click and release. Inside the preview window. Now you can see that I've got the amounts set to 500%, and the radius set to one pixel.
And that's clearly making a difference where this graphic is concerned. But just to make sure you can see the effect in the video, I'm going to click the little plus button here in order to zoom in 200%. So, that's the unsharpened image, and this is the sharpened version. Now when you're sharpening for the screen, you can use the screen to gauge the quality of your sharpness, because, after all, your screen and that other guy's screen's are going to show the edges the same way. The one exception, is for those of you who work with retina display, or high DPI screens.
You will not, necessarily want to use your screen to gauge the quality of the sharpness, because your screen is so different from everyone else's and I'll come back to that toward the end of this movie. But for now, let's just assume you're using a standard screen, and this image is bound for the web. In that case you want to start by cranking the amount up to 500%. That way you can easily (INAUDIBLE) I usually start with the radius of one pixel, and then I'll take it down by pressing the down arrow key until I get an effect that I like.
And at about half a pixel, about 0.5, this image is looking pretty great. Now, you want to take the amount value down to something that's more acceptable. And I'm going to take it down, 'cuz this image wants a lot of sharpening, to 300 percent. And we end up with this effect here. And it's definitely a more subtle effect than we had before, but it's still visible. So if you click and hold, you'll see that's (INAUDIBLE) The unsharpened original version of the image and when I release, that's the sharper version ideally suited to the screen. Now let's say you want to sharpen this image for a print.
In that case you take these ideal settings, the ones that look great on a standard monitor. And you multiply the radius value times three. So in my case I would take the radius up to 1.5 pixel. Now you may wonder where in the world does the times three come from. Well the resolution of a standard display device. Is around a 100 pixels per inch, It tends to vary between 96 and 110 But we'll just round it off to a 100 pixels per inch. When you print an image you printed it more like 300 pixels per inch.
So you've got to increase the radius value to 3 times to what looks good on screen. Now that may make the image look over sharp on screen But it's going to, look great in print, and that's because those halos need to survive the print process. When you pack more pixels onto the printed page, you reduce the size of the halos, and so you need a higher radius value. Then you also increase your amount value by 50%. And that's because there's a little bit of softening that's inherent of the print process so nudging the amount value up just slightly is going to ensure that your sharpening survives.
And then at this point I would go ahead and click OK. Now, I do want to make one more note. For those of you working with high DPI screens, the reverse of what I've told you is true. And that's because, for example, I've got a 15 inch Macbook Pro with a retina display, and it has a resolution of a little more than 220 pixels per inch. That's starting to approach your standard resolution. Or print graphics, and some screens have even higher resolutions than that. And so as a result you can pretty well use your screen at 100% view size to gauge the accuracy of print sharpening.
With one exception, and that is you want to go ahead and crank that amount value up an additional 50%. If you're sharpening for the screen, what I recommend you do, because you want to see the graphic the way everybody else does, right? What I suggest you do is zoom in to 200%. And that way, you'll essentially break the retina display, and what happens is you see the image the way everybody else sees it, and then you can modify your amount and radius values accordingly. And I happen to like these values where this image is concerned, so I'm going to go ahead and save them out by clicking in the preset popup menu.
And then I'll choose save present, and I'll go ahead and name this print graphic, let's say. And then I'll click the 'save' button in order to save of that pre-set. And now I'll click 'okay' button in order to apply that change. One more thing, for those of you who are working with standard displays which is most of you, if you really want to get a sense of how this image is going to look when printed. Go ahead and press Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on a Mac to center your zoom. And then zoom in to the 33% view size which is going to give you a better sense of how big the image will print.
Or to better gauge the edges, you want to zoom in to 50% because a 50% view size is just a little bit more accurate and it's going to give you a better sense of what those edges are going to look like. Especially in print. So, just so you can see the difference, I'll turn out the Smart Sharpen filter. This is this the original un-sharpened version of this butterfly. And now, if I press Control or Command Z, you can see how the sharpening is going to affect the image in print. And that friends, is how you gauge the ideal combination of a mount and radius values; when sharpening an image either for the web or for print.
Here inside Photoshop.
- Performing automatic retouch, scaling, and more with the Content-Aware tools
- Editing the histogram
- Customizing a Levels adjustment
- Making channel-by-channel Levels adjustments
- Sharpening with the Smart Sharpen, Emboss, and High Pass filters
- Working with vector-based type
- Kerning and tracking characters
- Creating text on a path
- Drawing and customizing shapes
- Creating depth, contour, and texture with layer effects
- Liquifying an image
- Simulating an infrared photo
- Adjusting print position, size, and color
- Creating the perfect JPEG image
- Downsampling for the web