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Software Photoshop, Lightroom, Paintshop Pro, Painter, etc., and all their various plugins. Of course, you can also discuss all other programs, as well.

Best Sharpening Plug-ins

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  #21  
Old 06-10-2011, 08:51 AM
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AKMac AKMac is offline
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Re: Best Sharpening Plug-ins

When i asked earlier in this thread about bringing an image back into ACR for final sharpening, I was interested in doing so for the purposes of comparing the qualities of various sharpeners. I didn't conceive of it as part of a realistic workflow.
But I am still intrigued by the quality of ACR sharpening, and can't put my finger on why it "feels" so good. Is it the sliders, the algorithm, the nature of the file content, or simply my imagination?
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  #22  
Old 06-10-2011, 10:22 AM
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Re: Best Sharpening Plug-ins

LR or ACR has no idea nor could it that someone in the past applied sharpening. Or if the camera applied it (which many do).

Yes, you can apply output sharpening in Photoshop just as well as you can in LR or ACR if you know the correct values for all permutations of output type and size. That's the rub! One size absolutely does not fit all. Even if you look at LR's output for ink jet, there's a difference in handing the data for a specifically sized print and resolution (it does that into account how much you send to the driver, native or otherwise) for matt versus glossy papers.

If you wanted to spend a huge amount of time and media figuring out the specific values to enter for differing print sizes to just those two kinds of media, you could. Or you could just let LR do the job for you.

ACR/LR sharpening 'feels good' because it is good. Someone (Bruce Fraser initially) took the months to test differing sharpening routines to differing devices and at differing sizes, based on ideal capture sharpening, which he also worked out. Then Adobe put the routines for PhotoKit Sharpener into ACR/LR and further tweaked (because a big, big difference here is Photoshop deals with gamma corrected data, LR/ACR deals with linear encoded data). And the icing on the cake is in LR/ACR, the routines are totally non destructive and very fast as they are simply composed of metadata.

Now you want to go farther down the rabbit hole? Note that in LR, you have the ability to set the resolution with a check box and entry field. The output sharpening as based on all the above parameters AND LR's ability to interpolate data being sent to the driver which can affect the quality of the output. Long thread warning coming. This post on Lula is worth the read for anyone printing out of LR and how this check box/field can affect the outcome:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/fo...topic=54798.60
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  #23  
Old 06-10-2011, 11:29 AM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Best Sharpening Plug-ins

Andrew, I'm still confused. You said that LR/ACR's output sharpening is based on capture sharpening, and then raised the question of what LR is to do with files worked on outside of LR where it can not know what sharpening may have already been applied.

What assumptions does LR/ACR in fact make about the TIFF/PSD file? Does it apply more, less or equal sharpening to a same size raw that's never left the pipeline?
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  #24  
Old 06-10-2011, 11:32 AM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Best Sharpening Plug-ins

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chain View Post
If you are bringing your image back into ACR or LR for the sole purpose of doing output sharpening you should already have done your input sharpening earlier in your workflow. If not, please do.

That being said, I do believe going back to ACR for output sharpening would be unnecessary since you can do excellent sharpening in Photoshop (although you don't have such neat masking sliders). My final sharpening (for effect and output) I always do in layers on top of my document (using the actions I linked earlier). Then I have full manual control and can mask it just the way I want if need be (easier in Photoshop than ACR).
The issue probably pertains more to LR than ACR. Many people use LR to manage all their images, RAW or otherwise, for the convenience of cataloging them and managing all sorts of output/export resizing/converting operations.
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  #25  
Old 06-10-2011, 11:36 AM
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Re: Best Sharpening Plug-ins

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashtones View Post
Andrew, I'm still confused. You said that LR/ACR's output sharpening is based on capture sharpening, and then raised the question of what LR is to do with files worked on outside of LR where it can not know what sharpening may have already been applied.

What assumptions does LR/ACR in fact make about the TIFF/PSD file? Does it apply more, less or equal sharpening to a same size raw that's never left the pipeline?
It makes no assumptions it can't. The idea is to capture sharpen the raw data in Develop, then when printing, that data is passed to the Print module for output sharpening at the size you specify for the print template. The workflow assumes no sharpening at all, which is what one would encounter with raw data. OR it assumes you capture sharpened correctly elsewhere if LR is referencing the rendered data, then it will apply, again, the correct output sharpening. See the Fraser piece which covers the concept of a "sharpening workflow".

Http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/20357.html
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  #26  
Old 06-10-2011, 11:42 AM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Best Sharpening Plug-ins

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Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
The workflow assumes no sharpening at all, which is what one would encounter with raw data. OR it assumes you capture sharpened correctly elsewhere if LR is referencing the rendered data, then it will apply, again, the correct output sharpening.
Sorry to be dense but which is it? It assumes "no" sharpening or "correct" sharpening for TIFF/PSD's?
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  #27  
Old 06-10-2011, 12:59 PM
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Re: Best Sharpening Plug-ins

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flashtones View Post
Sorry to be dense but which is it? It assumes "no" sharpening or "correct" sharpening for TIFF/PSD's?
There are two rounds of sharpening. You can either implement Capture sharpening in Develop, then Print sharpening (two rounds) OR you can correctly sharpen outside of LR and have no capture sharpening applied in Develop (settings are zero) and then apply Print sharpening.
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  #28  
Old 06-10-2011, 01:00 PM
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Re: Best Sharpening Plug-ins

I believe what andrew said is that it assumes no sharpening on data when adjusting images (as raw images should be unsharpened to start with), and it assumes correctly sharpened images when printing (it then applies correct output sharpening).

Hmm... Maybe it's time for me to try out Lightroom.
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  #29  
Old 06-10-2011, 04:06 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Best Sharpening Plug-ins

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Originally Posted by andrewrodney View Post
There are two rounds of sharpening. You can either implement Capture sharpening in Develop, then Print sharpening (two rounds) OR you can correctly sharpen outside of LR and have no capture sharpening applied in Develop (settings are zero) and then apply Print sharpening.
My questions are around output sharpening, which you say is based on Capture sharpening: when Lightroom knows what Capture sharpening was applied it does one thing. When it doesn't it does another.

Theoretically, in both cases it can assume that "correct" sharpening was applied. In the case of RAW files it can assume that any Capture sharpening applied (none, default or custom) was "correct". Ditto in the case of TIFF's/PSD's.

So in what way specifically is it addressing the two situations differently? For instance, for any given output sharpening choice, assuming same size files, is it applying more or less sharpening to TIFF's/PSD's relative to raws?

Putting aside what it's thinking for the moment - rubber meets the road - what is it actually doing?
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  #30  
Old 06-10-2011, 04:09 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Best Sharpening Plug-ins

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chain View Post
I believe what andrew said is that it assumes no sharpening on data when adjusting images (as raw images should be unsharpened to start with), and it assumes correctly sharpened images when printing (it then applies correct output sharpening).

Hmm... Maybe it's time for me to try out Lightroom.
I'd have a better idea of what it's thinking if I knew what it was doing.
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