Photoshop cs5 missing manual_5

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  1. Skin Softeners Figure 10-16: Top: A quick way to create a layer you can use for your faux dodging and burning is to use the New Layer dialog box; press �-Shift-N (Ctrl+Shift+N on a PC) to call it up. Set the Mode menu to Soft Light and then turn on the “Fill with Soft-Light-neutral color (50% gray)” checkbox and click OK. Bottom: When you use faux dodge and burn, your subject retains his character but his wrinkles aren’t so distracting. Notice how much brighter his eyes are, too. The whites were dodged and the darker rim of color around the outer edge of each iris was burned. Here’s how to do some faux dodging and burning: 1. Open your image and, in your Layers panel, Option-click (Alt-click on a PC) the “Create a new layer” button. In the resulting dialog box, name your new layer Dodge Burn, choose Soft Light from the Mode pop-up menu, turn on the “Fill with Soft-Light-neutral color (50% gray)” checkbox, and then click OK. Sure, you could create a new layer, use the Edit➝Fill command to fill it with gray, and then change its Mode set- ting, but this way is faster. chapter 10: the beauty salon: photoshopping people 449
  2. Show-Stopping Eyes 2. Press B to grab the Brush tool and set its opacity to 10–20 percent. To touch up your image gradually, lower the brush’s opacity to something be- tween 10 and 20 percent. Yes, the retouching takes longer, but you can dodge and burn little by little, which is better than doing too much at once. 3. Set your foreground color chip to white for dodging. Take a peek at the color chips at the bottom of your Tools panel. Press D to set them to black and white and then press X to flip-flop them so white is on top. 4. Mouse over to your image and paint across the dark wrinkles. To lighten just the shadowy parts of the wrinkles, you need to use a small brush (or else you’ll lighten areas that don’t need to be lightened). It’s also helpful to zoom way in on your image when you’re doing detailed work like this. You can zoom in or out by pressing � (Ctrl on a PC) and the + or – key. Photoshop gives you a pixel-grid view when you zoom in more than 500 percent (see page 61). 5. Swap color chips so that your foreground color is black and then paint light areas that you need to burn (darken). If the wrinkles are so deep that they cause highlights, you can darken those a little. In Figure 10-16 the edge of each iris was also darkened to make the man’s eyes look brighter. 6. Lower the Dodge Burn layer’s opacity slightly. If you’ve overdone the changes a bit, you can lower the layer’s opacity. 7. Save your document as a PSD file in case you ever need to go back and alter it. Show-Stopping Eyes One of the simplest yet most impressive eye-enhancing techniques is waiting for you over in Chapter 11. Just as you can selectively blur an image, you can also selectively sharpen it. Hop on over to page 472 to see how to use sharpening to make eyes really pop. Here in this section, you’ll learn how to enhance and whiten eyes, fix red eye a bazillion different ways, and even get the scoop on fixing your furry friends’ eyes. Enhancing Eyes A quick and painless way to make eyes stand out and look sultry is to lighten them by changing their blend mode to Screen. This technique enhances the iris and brightens the white bits at the same time, as Figure 10-17 shows. To achieve this ef- fect without duplicating the original layer (which increases your file’s size), just use an empty Adjustment layer. Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual 450
  3. Show-Stopping Eyes Figure 10-17: If you use an empty Adjustment layer set to Screen mode, you can add a whole new dimension to your subject’s eyes. (The original image is at left and the adjusted image is on the right.) The cool thing about this technique is that it enhances the iris and the white part simultaneously. Here’s how to quickly enhance eyes: 1. Pop open a photo and add an empty Adjustment layer. Click the half-black/half-white circle at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Levels from the menu. When the Adjustments panel opens, click the double arrows at its top right or the dark gray bar at the top of the panel to close it (you don’t need to actually make a levels adjustment). 2. Set the Adjustment layer’s blend mode to Screen. At the top left of the Layers panel, use the pop-up menu to change the blend mode to Screen. When you do, Photoshop makes your whole photo way too light, but don’t panic—you’ll fix it in the next step. 3. Fill the Adjustment layer’s mask with black. Peek in your Layers panel and make sure the Adjustment layer’s mask is selected (it should have a tiny black outline around it). To hide the over-lightening that happened in the previous step, choose Edit➝Fill, pick Black from the Use pop- up menu, and then click OK. 4. Grab the Brush tool and set the foreground color chip to white. Press B to grab the Brush tool and then glance at the color chips at the bottom of the Tools panel. If white’s on top, you’re good to go; if it’s not, press D to set the chips to black and white and then press X until white is on top. Now you’re ready to paint a hole through the mask so the lightening will show through only on your subject’s eyes. chapter 10: the beauty salon: photoshopping people 451
  4. Show-Stopping Eyes 5. Paint the eye area. Mouse over to your image and paint the eyeballs. If you mess up, just press X to flip-flop the color chips and paint with black. 6. Duplicate the Adjustment layer. Once you’ve got the mask just right, you can intensify the effect by duplicating the Adjustment layer. Press �-J (Ctrl+J on a PC) to duplicate the layer and lower the duplicate’s opacity to about 50 percent. 7. Save the image as a PSD file. Ta-da! This technique makes a galactic difference, and your subject’s eyes will pop off the page. Fixing Red Eye One of the most annoying things about taking photos with a flash is the creepy red eyes it can give your subjects. Photoshop’s Red Eye tool does a good job on most cases of red eye, though sometimes you’ll encounter a really stubborn case that just refuses to go away. That’s why it’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve, including stealing pupils from another channel, using the Color Replacement tool, creating a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer, or fixing ’em in Camera Raw. This section ex- plains all those options. The Red Eye tool Oh, man, if only all of Photoshop’s tools were as easy to use as this one! The Red Eye tool is part of the Healing Brush toolset (it looks like an eye with a plus sign next to it). Just grab the tool, mouse over to your document, and draw a box around the eye, as shown in Figure 10-18, top. As soon as you let go of your mouse button, Photoshop hunts for the red inside the box and makes it black. That’s all there is to it! Tip: If this tool doesn’t zap the red-eye completely on the first attempt, try pressing ⌘-Z (Ctrl+Z on a PC) to undo it and increase the Pupil Size and Darken Amount settings in the Options bar and then have another go at it. Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual 452
  5. Show-Stopping Eyes Figure 10-18: Contrary to what you might think, it’s better to draw a box around the whole eyeball rather than just around the pupil. For some odd reason, the smaller the box, the less effective the Red Eye tool is. WoRKARoUNd WoRKSHop Stealing Pupils from Channels 3. Ctrl-click (right-click) in one of the selections (it Why bother with all this red-eye fixing mumbo jumbo doesn’t matter which one) and choose Feather from when you’ve got perfectly good black pupils in your Chan- the resulting shortcut menu. In the resulting dialog nels panel? (Since Photoshop doesn’t display channels in box, enter 1 in the Feather Radius field and then click color, the pupils aren’t red.) There’s certainly no law saying OK. you can’t pop into your image’s channels and snatch the pupils from there. Here’s how to do it: 4. Copy the pupils by pressing �-C (Ctrl+C on a PC) and then turn the composite channel (page 189) back on 1. Open your Channels panel by clicking its icon by pressing �-2 (Ctrl-2). in the panel dock (page 188) or by choosing 5. Open your Layers panel and create a new layer for Window➝Channels. Then stroll through the chan- nels by clicking each one or by pressing �-3, 4, 5 the pupils: Click the “Create a new layer” button at the bottom of the panel, name the layer New Pupils, (Ctrl+3, 4, 5) to find the channel where the pupils are and then place it above the photo layer. darkest (it’s most likely the Green channel). If you’re in CMYK mode, you’ve got one extra channel to look 6. Paste the pupils onto the new layer by pressing �-V at, which you can see by pressing �-6 (Ctrl+6). (Ctrl+V). Poof—you’re done! Your subject should look much less demonic now. 2. Grab the Elliptical Marquee tool (page 139) and draw a selection that’s slightly larger than the pupil in one eye. Then press and hold the Shift key to draw a se- lection around the other pupil. chapter 10: the beauty salon: photoshopping people 453
  6. Show-Stopping Eyes The Color Replacement tool Another option for getting rid of super-stubborn red eye is the Color Replacement tool. If you choose black as your foreground color chip, you can use this tool to re- place the red with black. But because this tool is destructive (and because there’s no way of knowing what kind of job it’ll do), it’s best to select the eyes and jump them onto their own layer first. Here’s what you do: 1. Select the eyes and copy them onto another layer. Using the Lasso tool (page 162), draw a rough selection around both eyes (grab the whole eye, not just the pupil) and then press �-J (Ctr+J on a PC) to jump the eyes onto their own layer. That way, if this technique goes south, you can toss this layer and start over. 2. Select the Color Replacement tool from the Tools panel. It’s hiding in the Brush toolset, and it looks like a brush with a tiny curved arrow pointing to a black square (the square is supposed to represent your foreground color chip). You can press Shift-B repeatedly to cycle through this toolset. 3. Set your foreground color chip to black. Press D to set your color chips to black and white, and then press X until black hops on top. Alternatively, you can set the new color by Option-clicking (Alt- clicking on a PC) an eyelash or other black part of the eye. 4. In the Options bar, set the Mode field to Hue, the Limits field to Contiguous, and the Tolerance field to around 30 percent. Choosing the Hue blend mode means you’re replacing color without altering its brightness (for more on blend modes, see page 289). The Contiguous setting tells Photoshop to replace only the red pixels that are clustered in one spot and not separated by other colors. The Tolerance setting determines how picky the tool is: lower numbers make the tool pickier; higher numbers result in a color- replacing free-for-all. 5. Paint the red away. You’ll want to use a small brush for this maneuver. Press the left bracket key ([) to cycle down in brush size, and the right bracket key (]) to cycle up, or Ctrl- Option-drag (Alt+right-click+drag on a PC) to the left or right to decrease or increase your brush size. When you’ve got a size that looks good, mouse over to the pupils and paint over the red, being careful to touch only the red with your cursor’s crosshair. Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual 454
  7. Show-Stopping Eyes 6. When you’re finished painting, use the Eraser tool or a layer mask to clean up the area just outside the pupil, if necessary. If you end up with a little black outside the pupil, you can use the Eraser tool (see Appendix D, online at to fix it because you’ll erase to the original layer below. Press E to select the Eraser and carefully paint away any extra black pixels. You can also add a layer mask to the eye layer and paint with black to hide the excess black. 7. Save your document as a PSD file and call it a day. Hue/Saturation Adjustment layers Yet another option for fixing red eye is to zap the red with a Hue/Saturation Adjust- ment layer, which you learned about in Chapter 8. Select the red eyes with the Lasso tool, click the half-black/half-white circle at the bottom of your Layers panel, and then choose Hue/Saturation from the pop-up menu. When the Adjustments panel opens, adjust the sliders until the red eye leaves the building. The Sponge tool As a last resort, you can use the Sponge tool to desaturate (remove) color from the pupils. The Sponge tool looks—not surprisingly—like a sponge, and it’s part of the Dodge toolset. Though you can use this tool to desaturate or saturate an image, it’s set to desaturate (which is what you want when you’re zapping red eye) until you change it. After you grab the Sponge tool, head up to the Options bar and change the Flow field to 100 percent or you’ll be painting for days (it’s set at 50 percent originally). Finally, mouse over to your image and paint over the red area repeat- edly until it turns almost black. This technique takes a while, but it’s guaranteed to work…eventually. Fixing red eye in Camera Raw Camera Raw’s Red Eye Removal tool looks and works the same as Photoshop’s. It’s handy to have this ability in Camera Raw because, if you’re shooting in Raw format and you don’t need to do any other editing in Photoshop, you don’t have switch programs just to fix red eyes. After you open an image in Camera Raw (see page 234), press E to grab the Red Eye Removal tool. Then simply draw a box around the eyeball, as shown in Figure 10-19, and let go of your mouse button. chapter 10: the beauty salon: photoshopping people 455
  8. Show-Stopping Eyes Figure 10-19: When you’re finished using the Red Eye tool in Camera Raw, you’ll see a black-and- white circle around the pupil, letting you know that Raw made the red-eye fix. Just switch to another tool and the box disappears. Click Done to save your changes and close the Camera Raw window. Fixing Animal White Eye Okay, technically animals aren’t people—though to some folks (your author includ- ed) they might as well be. Our furry friends have a version of red eye, too; it’s called white eye, and it can ruin their photos, too. Actually, white eye is more challenging to fix than red eye because there aren’t any pixels in the eye left to work with—the pupils turn solid white. The Red Eye tool won’t work because the pupils aren’t red, and the Color Replacement tool won’t work because there’s no color to replace. The solution is to select the pupil and fill it with black, and then add a couple of well-placed glints (tiny light reflections) to make the new pupils look real (see Figure 10-20). Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual 456
  9. Show-Stopping Eyes Figure 10-20: Selecting the blown- out pupils (top), adding some black paint, and topping it off with two flicks of a white brush to add a glint transforms Miss Abbey from devil dog to angel in minutes. Here’s how to fix your furry friend’s eyes: 1. Open the image and select the white pupils. Since you’re selecting by color, you can use either the Magic Wand or the Quick Selection tool: Just click one pupil and then Shift-click the other. You can also select them with the Elliptical Marquee: Draw a selection around the first pupil and then press and hold Shift while you draw a circle around the second pupil. While you’re holding the mouse button down, you can press and hold the space bar to move the selection around as you’re drawing it. 2. Feather the selection with Refine Edge. Once you’ve got marching ants, click the Option bar’s Refine Edge button bar and make sure the resulting dialog box’s Feather field is set to one pixel and the Smooth field is set to one (otherwise the edges will be too soft). To make sure you get all the white bits, you might expand your selection by 10 to 20 percent or so by dragging the Contract/Expand slider to the right. When you’re finished tweaking your selection, click OK. chapter 10: the beauty salon: photoshopping people 457
  10. Show-Stopping Eyes Note: Remember, the settings in the Refine Edge dialog box are sticky—they reflect the last settings you used. So take a second to make sure they’re all set to zero except for the ones mentioned here. 3. Create a new layer named New Pupils. Click the “Create a new layer” button at the bottom of the Layers panel, name the layer, and make sure it’s at the top of the layers stack. 4. Fill the selection with black. To recreate the lost pupil, press D to set your color chips to black and white and then press X until black is on top. Next, press Option-Delete (Alt+Backspace on a PC) to fill your selection with black. If the color doesn’t seem to reach the edges of your selection (which can happen if you feathered or smoothed your edges a little too much in step 2), fill it again by pressing Option-Delete (Alt+Backspace). Once you’ve filled the pupils with color, you can get rid of the marching ants by pressing �-D (Ctrl+D) to deselect. 5. Create another new layer and name it Glint. You’ll want to soften the glints you’re about to create by lowering layer opacity, so you need to put the glints on their own layer. 6. Grab the Brush tool and set your foreground color chip to white. Press X to flip-flop color chips and, with a very small brush (10 pixels or so), click once in the left eye to add a glint to mimic the way light reflects off eyes (every eye has one). Next, click in the exact same spot in the right eye to add a sister glint. Then lower the glint layer’s opacity to about 75 percent. 7. Save your document as a PSD file. Pat yourself on the back for salvaging such a great shot of your pet. Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual 458
  11. chapter 11 The Art of Sharpening Y ou know the saying “Last but not least”? Well, that definitely applies to sharpening—a digital attempt to improve your image’s focus—since it’s gen- erally the last thing you do before sending your precious images off to the printer. Sharpening is muy importante: It brings out details and makes your image really pop. But it’s also one of the least understood processes in Photoshop. In ad- dition to teaching you how to sharpen, this chapter also gives you some guidelines about when and how much sharpening to apply, so you’re not just guessing. In case you’re wondering which of your photos need sharpening, the answer is pretty much all of ’em. If your image came from a digital camera or a scanner, it needs sharpening. Why? In his comprehensive book on sharpening, Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop CS2 (Peachpit Press, 2006), the late Bruce Fraser explains that images get softened (their pixels lose their hard edges) when cameras and scanners capture light and turn it into pixels. Then, those images get softened even more when they’re printed. Even if you create an image from scratch in Photo- shop, the same deterioration occurs if you shrink it. To combat all these problems, you need to spend a little quality sharpening time with your images. While Photoshop is pretty darned good at sharpening, it’s not magic—it can’t take an out-of-focus image and make it tack sharp (photographer slang for super-duper sharp, derived from the phrase “sharp as a tack”). One of the few ways you can pro- duce well-focused photos is to shoot using a tripod (to keep your camera stable) and a remote (so you don’t move your camera when you press the shutter button), and use a lens (or camera body) that includes an image stabilizer. The program doesn’t have a magical “make my blurry picture sharp” button, though maybe Photoshop 459
  12. What Is Sharpening? CS25 will. What Photoshop can do is take an in-focus image and make it nice and crisp. But before you start sharpening, it’s important to understand how the whole process works. Note: You can save a slightly blurry image by using the Emboss filter. Flip to page 652 for the scoop. What Is Sharpening? Sharpening an image is similar to sharpening a kitchen knife. In both instances, you’re refining (emphasizing) the edges. On a knife, it’s easy to identify the edge. In a digital image, it’s a little more challenging: the edges are the areas where different- colored pixels meet (see Figure 11-1). Figure 11-1: Left: You can easily Unsharpened spot the edges in this image because its contrast is pretty high. Right: In this before- and-after close-up of the Chihuahua’s antlers—who does that to their pet?—see how the edges are emphasized after some overzealous sharpening (bottom)? The weird white glow around the antlers is Oversharpened the dreaded sharpen- ing halo. Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual 460
  13. Basic Sharpening When you sharpen an image—whether in Photoshop, Camera Raw (page 480), or a darkroom—you exaggerate the edges in the image by increasing their contrast. Where two colors meet, you make the light pixels a little lighter and the dark pixels a little darker. Though it may sound similar to increasing the overall contrast of your image, it’s not. When you run one of Photoshop’s sharpen filters, the program ana- lyzes your image and increases the contrast only in spots it thinks are edges (and, as you’ll learn later on you have some control over what Photoshop considers an edge). Sharpening is a bit of an art: If you don’t sharpen enough (or at all), your image looks unnaturally soft and slightly blurred; if you sharpen too much, you get a nasty sharpening halo, a white gap between light and dark pixels as shown in Figure 11-1 (bottom right). But if you sharpen just the right amount, no one will notice the sharpening—they’ll just know that your image looks really good. One of the downsides to sharpening is that it also emphasizes any kind of noise— graininess or color specks—in your image. One way around that problem is to get rid of the noise before you sharpen, or at least have a go at reducing it (see the box on page 462 for tips). Now that you know what sharpening does, you’re ready to give it a whirl in Photo- shop. The next few pages focus on basic sharpening techniques; more advanced methods are discussed later in this chapter. Basic Sharpening After you’ve retouched your image (Chapters 8, 9, and 10) and resized it (Chapter 6), it’s time to sharpen. If you’ve ever peeked inside the Filter menu at the top of your screen, you’ve probably noticed a whole set of filters devoted to sharpening. They include: • Sharpen, Sharpen Edges, Sharpen More. When you run any of these filters, you leave the sharpening up to Photoshop (scary!). Each filter analyzes your image, tries to find the edges, and creates a relatively narrow sharpening halo (see Figure 11-1, bottom). However, none of these filters gives you an ounce of control, which is why you should forget they’re even there and stick with the next two filters instead. • Smart Sharpen. When you see three little dots (…) next to a menu item, it means there’s a dialog box headed your way (and when it comes to sharpening, that’s good!). Luckily, this filter has those dots. Smart Sharpen lets you control how much sharpening happens in your image’s shadows and highlights and lets you pick which kind of mathematical voodoo Photoshop uses to do the sharp- ening. Page 466 discusses this filter in detail. • Unsharp Mask. This filter has been the gold standard sharpening method for years because, until the Smart Sharpen filter came along in Photoshop CS2, Un- sharp Mask was the only one that gave you dialog box–level control over how it worked. Most folks still prefer this method because it’s easy to use and quick (it runs faster than the Smart Sharpen filter). Page 463 has the lowdown. chapter 11: the art of sharpening 461
  14. Basic Sharpening No matter which filter you choose, sharpening is a destructive process, so it’s a good idea to protect your image by following these guidelines: • Resize your image first. Make sharpening your last step before you print an image or post it on the Web—in other words, after you’ve retouched and resized it. Because pixel size depends on an image’s resolution (page 44) and sharpen- ing has different effects on different-sized pixels, it’s important to sharpen the image after you make it the size you want. Up to Speed Keeping the Noise Down It’s best to reduce or get rid of any noise in your image • Sharpen Details. Because every noise-reducing fil- before you sharpen it, or you’ll end up sharpening the ter blurs your overall image, this option lets you bring noise along with the edges. Photoshop gives you a variety back some of the sharpness. However, resist the urge of noise-reducing filters: they’re discussed starting on page to use it and go with one of the other sharpening 644. All of them work by reducing the amount of contrast methods described in this chapter instead. between different-colored pixels. (This process is exactly • Remove JPEG Artifacts. If you’re dealing with an the opposite of sharpening, which is why removing noise image that’s gotten blocky because it was saved as also reduces sharpness!) The aptly named Reduce Noise a low-quality JPEG, turn on this checkbox and Photo- filter is the best of the bunch because it gives you far more shop tries to reduce that Lego look. control than the others. • Advanced. This setting lets you tweak each color channel individually (for more on channels, see Because all filters run on the currently active layer (mean- Chapter 5). So if the noise is in just one or two color ing they affect your original image), be sure to convert your channels (noise is notoriously bad in the blue chan- image to a Smart Object first so the filter itself runs on its nel), turn on this option and tweak each channel’s own layer (see page 124). Choose Filter➝Noise➝Reduce settings individually. (Because Reduce Noise can Noise and, in the resulting dialog box, you can adjust the make your image blurry, it’s better to adjust as few following settings: channels as possible.) • Strength. If you’ve got a lot of g rayscale noise— Once you’re finished modifying these settings, press OK to luminance or brightness noise that looks like grains run the filter and then toggle the filter layer’s visibility off or splotches—or color noise that looks like little specks and on (page 82) to see how much effect the filter really of color in your image, you can increase this setting had. (You can preview the effect on your image by pressing to make Photoshop reduce it in every color channel. P while the filter’s dialog box is open.) You can also use the This setting ranges from 1 to 10; it’s set to 6 unless Smart Filter’s included layer mask (page 634) to restrict the you change it. filter’s effects to certain parts of the image if you need to. • Preserve Details. You can increase this setting to protect the detailed areas of your image, but if you And if you determine that the filter didn’t help one darn bit, do, Photoshop can’t reduce as much grayscale noise. run—don’t walk!—over to Chapter 19 to find a third-party, For best results, tweak this setting along with the noise-reduction plug-in that can. Or, if buying a plug-in isn’t Strength setting and find a balance between the two. in your budget, flip to page 214 to learn how to sharpen • Reduce Color Noise. If you’ve got colored specks in individual channels which lets you bypass the noise-riddled your image, try increasing this setting so Photoshop channel altogether. erases even more of the little buggers. You may now proceed with sharpening your image. Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual 462
  15. Basic Sharpening • Get rid of any noise first. If you see any funky color specks or grains that shouldn’t be in your image, get rid of them before you sharpen or they’ll look even worse. The box on page 462 tells you how. • Sharpen your image on a duplicate layer or run it as a Smart Filter. Before you run a sharpening filter, select the image layer and duplicate it by pressing �-J (Ctrl+J on a PC). That way, you can toggle the sharpened layer’s visibility on and off (page 82) to see before and after versions of your image. You can also restrict the sharpening to certain areas by adding a layer mask (page 114) to the sharpened layer and reducing the opacity of the sharpened layer (page 92) if the effect is too strong (page 470 has tips for sharpening a multilayered file). Better yet, convert your image layer for Smart Filters so Photoshop does the sharpen- ing on its own layer and includes a layer mask for you automatically; page 634 has the details. • Change the sharpening layer’s blend mode to Luminosity. Because you’re about to make Photoshop lighten and darken a whole lot of pixels, you risk having the colors in your image shift. However, if you change the sharpening layer’s blend mode to Luminosity, the sharpening affects only the brightness of the pixels, not their color. If you use the Smart Filter method described on page 466, change the filter layer’s blend mode to Luminosity instead. This little trick does virtually the same thing as changing the color mode to Lab (page 420) and then sharpening the Lightness channel, but it’s a whole lot faster! • Sharpen your image a little bit, multiple times. It’s better to apply too little sharpening and run the sharpening filter again than to apply too much sharp- ening all at once. Sharpening your image gradually gives you more control; just use your History panel or press �-Z (Ctrl+Z on a PC) to undo the last sharpen- ing round if you go too far. In the following pages, you’ll learn various ways to sharpen, starting with the most popular method: the Unsharp Mask filter. Sharpening with the Unsharp Mask This filter is the favored sharpening method of many, but its name is rather confusing—it sounds like it does just the opposite of sharpen. The odd name came from a tech- nique used in darkrooms, which involves using a blurred (or “unsharp”) version of an image to produce a sharper one. In Photoshop, the Unsharp Mask filter studies each pixel, looks at the contrast of nearby pixels, and decides whether they’re differ- ent enough to be considered an edge (you control how picky the filter is using the Threshold setting, shown in Figure 11-2 and discussed below). If the answer is yes, Photoshop alters the pixel to increase the contrast of that edge. The basic process is simple: Photoshop lightens the light pixels and darkens the dark pixels. chapter 11: the art of sharpening 463
  16. Basic Sharpening Figure 11-2: Before the Smart Sharpen filter came along, Unsharp Mask was the only sharpening method in Photoshop that gave you any level of control. Because it’s so quick and easy to use, it’s still the preferred method today. To bail out of the Unsharp Mask dialog box (shown here) without doing anything, click the Cancel button or press Esc. The Unsharp Mask filter’s effects look a little stronger onscreen than they do when you print the image. That’s because the pixels on your screen are much bigger than the ones your printer prints. So to get a printed image that’s nice and crisp, make your onscreen image look a little too sharp. Here are the settings you can adjust in the Unsharp Mask dialog box: • Amount. This setting, which controls the sharpening intensity, ranges from 1 percent to 500 percent. The higher the setting, the lighter Photoshop makes the light pixels and the darker it makes the dark pixels. If you set it to 500 percent, Photoshop makes all the light pixels near edges pure white and all the dark ones pure black, giving your image a sharpening halo you can see from outer space. For best results, keep this setting between 50 percent and 150 percent (you can find other magic numbers on page 466). • Radius. This setting controls the width of the sharpening halo or, rather, how many pixels on either side of the edge pixels Photoshop analyzes and changes. Changing this setting alters your sharpening preview thumbnail (shown in Fig- ure 11-2), so it’s a good idea to adjust it first. Typically, when you increase this setting, you need to reduce the Amount setting to avoid creating a Grand Canyon– sized sharpening halo. For best results, never set the Radius higher than 4. • Threshold. This setting lets you control how different neighboring pixels have to be before Photoshop considers them an edge. Oddly enough, Threshold works the opposite of how you might expect: Setting it to 0 sharpens every pixel in your image! For best results, keep this setting between 3 and 20 (it ranges from 0 to 255). Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual 464
  17. Basic Sharpening Here’s how to use the Unsharp Mask filter nondestructively: 1. Convert your image to a Smart Object. This filter is destructive, but instead of duplicating your image layer (which adds to your document’s file size), you can run it as a Smart Filter instead. Choose Filter➝Convert for Smart Filters and Photoshop places a tiny Smart Object badge at the bottom right of your image’s thumbnail (page 125). 2. Choose Filter➝Sharpen➝Unsharp Mask. In the resulting dialog box (see Figure 11-2), tweak the settings to your lik- ing. In the next few pages, you’ll find some recommended values that you can memorize for later use, but, for right now, just adjust the settings so the image in the preview thumbnail looks good to you. Click OK when you’re finished to close the dialog box and you’ll see another layer named Unsharp Mask appear in the Layers panel. Tip: Anytime you see a preview thumbnail in a dialog box (like the one shown in Figure 11-2), you can click it and hold your mouse button down to see a before version of your image (in this case, the unsharpened version). You can also drag to move the preview around or click the little + and – buttons below the preview to zoom in or out. You can also use keyboard shortcuts: �-click (Ctrl-click) to zoom in, and Option-click (Alt-click) to zoom out. 3. Change the filter’s blending options to Luminosity. Click the tiny icon to the right of the Unsharp Mask layer to open the filter’s blending options. Change the Mode pop-up menu to Luminosity and then click OK to close the dialog box. Sit back and marvel at your new Photoshop sharpening prowess! If necessary, you can always use the Smart Filter’s mask (the big white thumbnail beneath your image layer) to hide the sharpening from areas that don’t need it. Smart Filters and their masks are covered in detail in Chapter 15. How much to sharpen? Some images need more sharpening than others. For example, you don’t need to sharpen a portrait as much as you do a photo of Times Square because they have different amounts of detail (the Times Square photo is super busy and has lots of hard lines). If you sharpen the portrait too much, you see pores and blemishes with enough details to haunt your next power nap! chapter 11: the art of sharpening 465
  18. Basic Sharpening Photoshop guru Scott Kelby came up with some especially effective values to use in the Unsharp Mask dialog box and published them in The Adobe Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers (New Riders Press, 2009). With his blessing, here they are: • Sharpening soft stuff: If you’re sharpening images of flowers, puppies, babies and other soft, fluffy subjects (stuff that often blends into its background), you don’t want to apply much sharpening at all. For extremely soft sharpening, try setting the Amount to 150 percent, the Radius to 1, and the Threshold to 10. • Sharpening portraits: While close-up portraits need a bit more sharpening than the items mentioned above, you don’t want to sharpen them as much as something hard like a building with lots of straight lines and angles. To sharpen portraits enough to make their subject’s eyes stand out, try setting the Amount to 75 percent, the Radius to 2, and the Threshold to 3. • Sharpening objects, landscapes, and animals: This stuff tends to be a little harder and contain more details (sharp angles, fur, and so on) than portraits, so it needs a moderate amount of sharpening. Try setting the Amount to 120 percent, the Radius to 1, and the Threshold to 3. Note: These numbers are merely guidelines—they’re not absolute rules. Experiment with your own im- ages and printer to see which settings give you the best results. • Maximum sharpening: For photos of cars or of buildings (which are chock-full of hard lines, angles, and details) or for photos that are a little out of focus, try entering an Amount of 65 percent, a Radius of 4, and a Threshold of 3. • Sharpening anything: For everyday sharpening, regardless of what’s in your image, enter an Amount of 85 percent, a Radius of 1, and a Threshold of 4, and then call it a day. • Sharpening for the Web: If you’ve resized an image so it’s small enough to post on the Web (see page 247), it needs more sharpening because downsizing often makes an image appear softer. Set the Amount to 200 percent, the Radius to 3, and the Threshold to 0. The Smart Sharpen Filter The Smart Sharpen filter (Figure 11-3) gives you a lot more options than Unsharp Mask, so it offers you a slightly better chance of saving an out-of-focus image. This filter also lets you save your favorite sharpening settings as presets, which is handy. The downside? It’s not nearly as easy to use as Unsharp Mask and it takes longer to run. Like Unsharp Mask, this filter is destructive, so be sure to make a copy of the layer you’re sharpening first (or run it as a Smart Filter, as described on page 634). Then run this filter by choosing Filter➝Sharpen➝Smart Sharpen. Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual 466
  19. Basic Sharpening Figure 11-3: Here you see the option-riddled Smart Sharpen dialog box in basic mode. poWeR USeRS’ CLINIC Fading Filters select another tool, Photoshop grays out the Fade option You may feel that this chapter is jumping the gun a little and you’re out of luck.) In the resulting Fade dialog box, bit by covering sharpening filters because there’s a whole enter a percentage in the Opacity field to let Photoshop chapter on filters headed your way (Chapter 15). However, know how much you want to fade the filter. For example, some of the things you can do with filters—like fading a if you think the filter is twice as strong as you need, enter filter you’ve applied—are too dad-gummed useful to wait 50 to reduce its effect by half. (If you click OK and then until then! change your mind, you can select Edit➝“Fade [name of fil- If you run a filter (or an image adjustment, for that matter) ter]” again and enter a new number. The Edit menu’s Fade and the effect is a little too strong, you have one shot at option remains clickable until you run another command lowering the filter’s opacity to lessen its effect. You can also or use another tool. change its blend mode (page 289). However, Photoshop The Fade dialog box also has a Mode pop-up menu that only lets you do this right after you run the filter, so it’s lets you change the filter’s blend mode to adjust how the super easy to miss your chance. (If you didn’t duplicate the sharpened pixels blend with the original ones. Changing original layer before running the filter or if you didn’t run it this setting to Luminosity has the same effect as running as a Smart Filter, this fix is your saving grace.) the filter on a duplicate layer and setting that layer’s blend After you run the filter and before you do or click anything mode to Luminosity. When you press OK, Photoshop less- else, head up to the Edit menu and choose “Fade [name ens the filter’s effect by the percent you entered. of the last filter you ran]”. (If you click another button or chapter 11: the art of sharpening 467
  20. Basic Sharpening In the resulting dialog box, you’ll be assaulted with options that include Amount and Radius (discussed in the previous section—page 464), plus: • Remove. This menu is where you pick which kind of blurs you want Photoshop to remove—or, more accurately, reduce. Your choices are: — Gaussian Blur. Think of this as the basic mode; it’s the one that the Un- sharp Mask filter uses. — Lens Blur. Pick this setting if your image has a lot of details or noise. — Motion Blur. If your image is blurry because the camera or subject moved, use this setting to make Photoshop try to fix it, as shown in Figure 11-4. Since choosing Gaussian Blur basically makes this filter work like Unsharp Mask (in which case you could just use Unsharp Mask instead) and you use Mo- tion Blur only when your picture is blurry, go with Lens Blur for most photos. • Angle. If you choose Motion Blur from the Remove menu, use this dial to set the angle of the blur currently marring your image. For example, if you have a square image and the subject is moving diagonally across the shot from the lower-left corner to the upper-right corner, set this field to 45 degrees. • More Accurate. If you turn on this checkbox, Photoshop thinks long and hard before it does any sharpening. With this setting turned on, you’ll get more pre- cise results though the sharpening won’t be as strong. Since turning on this op- tion makes the filter take longer to run, you’ll want to leave it off if you have a slow computer or if you’re working with a huge file. If, on the other hand, you buy a new computer every time you upgrade your copy of Photoshop, you can turn it on and leave it on. If you turn on the Advanced radio button at the top of the dialog box, Photoshop adds three tabs to the settings section. Besides the settings just listed, which appear on the Sharpen tab, you get Shadow and Highlight tabs, as shown in Figure 11-5. These two tabs, which have the same settings, let you control the following: • Fade Amount lets you reduce the amount of sharpening Photoshop applies to your image’s highlights or shadows, depending on which tab you’re on. So, for example, if you enter 100 in the Sharpen tab’s Amount field but want Photoshop to do a bit less sharpening in the shadows, click the Shadow tab and enter a Fade Amount of 25 percent or so. If you want no sharpening to happen in the shadows, enter 100 percent. (This setting is similar to the Fade command you learned about in the box on page 467.) Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual 468
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