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Scratch Pad Exploration of a single feature or technique, illustrated with user examples

Sharpening

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  #11  
Old 08-12-2004, 03:03 PM
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Selective Channel Sharpening

It may be that sharpening just one channel is enough to improve the sharpness of the image.
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  #12  
Old 08-12-2004, 03:04 PM
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Using Unsharp Mask to Add Contrast

This technique uses the USM to make slight bumps in image contrast. Just select a low value for Amount (10-25%), a very high value for Radius (200-300 pixels), and a 0 Threshold. This technique can produce a more likeable contrast boost than does the Contrast command. Just be sure to save a version of your image before using this technique (it's not undoable at a later date). You can also perform this action prior to doing a "real" sharpening.

From Sharpening 101
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2004, 03:05 PM
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Unsharp Mask with Layer Mask

The idea here is to have a sharpened layer and an unsharpened layer and use a mask and paint tools to control location of sharpening.

Duplicate the image, use the Unsharp Mask filter on the duplicate layer. The upper layer is now sharpened.

Next add a layer mask by Option/Alt clicking the mask button at the bottom of the Layer palette. This creates a Hide All (black) mask. Use a large, soft, white airbrush on the mask to show the sharpening where you want it.

Or: create a Reveal All (white) mask by simply clicking the mask button at the bottom of the Layer palette. Using a black brush will HIDE the sharpening effect where you paint.

Last edited by T Paul; 08-13-2004 at 03:01 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-12-2004, 03:06 PM
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Layer-Based Sharpening with Blend Modes

Duplicate image.

Changing the Blend mode to Soft Light produces a gentle sharpening (increase in contrast), while Hard Light produces a slightly harder sharpening.
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  #15  
Old 08-12-2004, 03:06 PM
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Emboss Sharpening

Good for slightly out of focus images, and ones with clear lighting direction.

1. Duplicate the image.

2. Use Filter/ Stylize/ Emboss. Set the angle to match the lighting of the image. Set the Height within 2-4. Keep the Amount near 100%.

3. Change the blend mode to Overlay, which eliminates the gray and accentuates the edges. Adjust the Opacity to control the effect.
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  #16  
Old 08-12-2004, 03:07 PM
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USM Technique

(from Steve A.K.A Trimoon )

1. Copy your image and name the new layer sharp 1

2. Go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask

Settings: Amount 200, Radius 8, and Threshold 4. Note, this should greatly over sharpen your image but the next step will resolve this.

3. Next duplicate this layer and name the new layer sharp 2.
Set the blending mode for this layer to LIGHTEN, set the layer mode on sharp 1 to darken.

Experiment with the opacity modes for both layers until you are satisfied with the results.

By adjusting these two layers you will sharpen the image and do away with the edge effect caused by the overuse of the Unsharp Mask filter. It doesn’t work with every image, but 80% of the time it does.
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  #17  
Old 08-12-2004, 03:08 PM
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High Pass Sharpening:

High Pass Filter Sharpening - Optional Layer Mask

Filter turns all non-edge areas to neutral gray but leaves edge intact. This technique is used in combination with the Soft Light or Overlay Blend modes.

1. Duplicate image.

2. Apply the Filter/ Other/ High Pass filter with radius settings of 3-6. Low-frequency images -- those with close subjects and soft detail -- generally require a higher Radius setting than high-frequency images with lots of fine detail.

3. Change the blend mode to Overlay. The neutral tones in the image are eliminated and the edges accentuated. Use the Opacity slider to control the effect. Use Soft Light blend mode for a softer effect. Overlay produces a little more contrast.

4. Add a layer mask (Option/Alt layer mask button at bottom of Layer palette) on duplicated layer with Reveal All to paint back in original image smoothness, or Hide All to paint in sharpness in selected areas.

5. Stack multiple sharpening layers with layer masks to adjust different areas of an image.
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  #18  
Old 08-12-2004, 03:09 PM
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High-Pass Filter:

(from Steve A.K.A Trimoon )

1. Copy your image and name the new layer High Pass

2. Go to Filter>Other>High Pass, now the following settings are not set in stone, you can play with them for different results, but for this we’ll use the following. Let’s try a radius of 10. Then set your blending mode for this layer to overlay. Using the Opacity, adjust accordingly.

Sometimes I will create a couple of layer like above, but different adjustments. By turning each layer off & on you see which one gives you the best results for this particular image. I also will adjust for a certain area, say the eyes; and will mask out the rest and delete, which will give you sharp eyes, yet a soft look to the rest of the image. Again using the Opacity adjustment for just the right look.

This above method of using the high pass filter is something that I used a year or so ago and no longer recommend this method except for certain special effects when doing artistic renderings. Below is a link to the method that I now use, which uses the custom filter. I think you will find it a much better way of doing things. It applies a slight blur to the image before sharpening. After a while, you get to where you are so good at it that you do it intuitively.

Better Than USM

Last edited by T Paul; 08-12-2004 at 09:26 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-12-2004, 03:18 PM
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Resources:

Books
Adobe Photoshop 7 Advanced Digital Imaging by Against the Clock

Photoshop 7 Wow! Book by Linnea Dayton & Jack Davis

Photoshop Restoration & Retouching (2nd Ed.) by Katrin Eismann

"Out of Gamut: What You Always Wanted to Know About Sharpening But Where Afraid to Ask", two internet tutorials by Bruce Fraser

Photo Re-touch Secrets by Scott Kelby

The Photoshop book for digital photographers by Scott Kelby
Good RetouchPro Threads:
Smart Sharpening

Sharpening using Photoshop (Something Different)

Sharper Images
Good Links:
Understanding Digital Unsharp Mask

Sharpening and USM

Sharpening Techniques

Photoshop High Pass Filter

Everything You wanted to Know about Sharpening
Tutorials
Smart Sharpening Tutorial

Bruce Fraser Two Pass

Glenn Mitchell tutorial on sharpening

Advance Sharpening Movie by Russel Brown

Better than USM

Last edited by T Paul; 08-13-2004 at 10:35 AM.
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  #20  
Old 08-12-2004, 03:42 PM
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Are you a teacher...?

Thanks for this wonderful explanation.
Taking advantage on your knowledge... can you do the same thing but for channels...I just don't get them. The more I try to understand them, the more I get confused...

Congratulations

Mosha
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