Join Bryan O'Neil Hughes for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the role of Smart Objects in a sharpening workflow, part of Photoshop Insider Training: Enhancing Photos.
A big part of sharpening in Photoshop is knowing where your image is going to end up. Sharpening is going to be very different if you're just putting it on the Web, as opposed to print or a book and there's a way to build that flexibility into your file, let me show you how it's done. So here's our image, and again, we want to make sure we come into 100% there, hold our H key to choose the area that we want to zoom in on, and if we come up to our Filter menu, first thing we want to do is convert this to a Smart Filter. And essentially it's just the same as a Smart Object; it gives me a reference to the original.
And you can just think of this as a Filter layer. I've got the same benefits I have in Adjustment layer. I can edit it, it's portable, it can be shared with other documents, and I have a lot more control, so I'm going to be able to put my sharpening in, but then change the values down the road. So I click OK to this dialog and what I can do now is come into any different filter that I like here and we're going to go to Smart Sharpen, and just for the sake of our Preview, let's apply a very strong sharpen here, something just crazy like so.
We'll click OK and give it a moment to go ahead and render, and perhaps our aggressive sharpening here is designed for screen. And as you can see when we backup here, it doesn't look that bad. This would be acceptable for the Web. And that looks great to us, and may be we go ahead and we make this black and white. And we're going to make it a little more high contrast. Get things looking the way we want them to, and in doing this we realize that what we really want to do is print this image out.
Now the problem is if I double-click on my Zoom tool and I come in here, I see that I've got that really aggressive sharpening, and I want to change that. Well, the fact that this is a Smart Filter, or again, think of it is a Filter layer, I can just come over here, double-click on that, I'll launch my same Smart Sharpen dialog and I'd just back down the Amount here. It can look the way I want, and click OK, and it will apply that same setting to my file. So I really have that portability and that reedit ability that I've come to enjoy with a layer-based workflow.
So there you see that having the flexibility of Smart Objects or Smart Filters, or again, think of them just as Filter layers, really allows me to govern what my image looks like depending upon where I'm putting it.
The course begins with an exploration of Photoshop features that make changes to an entire image: the Crop tool, the Auto button that's present in many adjustment dialog boxes, and the Curves panel options. Next, Bryan explores sharpness and blur. Each has its place in a photograph, and Bryan details how the sharpening and blur features work and how to get the most out of them.
The course also looks at adjusting specific areas of an image with the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools, and at the growing array of content-aware features in Photoshop, showing how they work and what to do when they don't work. The course concludes with a tour of the powerful Liquify filter, features for correcting lens distortion, and the world of presets that allow you to apply settings with a single click.
- Reinventing the Crop tool
- Rediscovering the Auto button
- Getting the most out of curves
- Understanding Smart Sharpen
- Building blur and softness
- Working with a graphics tablet
- Using Content-Aware Fill, Scale, and Move effectively
- Correcting distortion automatically based on lens profiles
- Using presets