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Awesome quick, simple, & non-destructive way to sharpen on Photoshop!!

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by jambaj0e, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    816
    Aug 31, 2010
    How to Not Suck at Retouching – Sharpen with high pass at The Phoblographer

    From Phoblographer:

    There are several different ways to sharpen your image in Photoshop How to Not Suck at Retouching Sharpen with high pass. The best way is also the least known, which is to use a High Pass filter. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use it to get more finished looking images.

    Sharpening should always be the last thing you do in your post-production, just before it goes out for print or exported for web. If you do it any earlier it will enhance defects. You should always do it, but always keep it subtle enough that it’s not obvious that its’ been done.
    Why is High Pass the best way?

    • You have greater control over how much to sharpen
    • Your sharpening lives in its own layer so if you need to do more retouching later you can remove it and reapply
    • High pass does not affect the original image


    *Admin/Moderators: Please let me know if you think it's ok to add the tutorial here or just the link *
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    I had a look at it and it does work. However I don't see the advantage of using it rather than the already existing options in Photoshop. For those you can also create a separate layer for sharpening and save that. By saving any "adjusted" image under a different name you can always come back to the original anyway. Shooting raw does the same thing. As to the sharpening "living" in its own layer, you can always create new ones instantly. You can in fact have lots of different layers all sharpened to different levels and choose which you want.

    I didn't see how it gave more control either. Smart sharpen, for example has lots of options. It also lets you save different options you have come up with.

    I can't see anything here that either improves what I can do already or makes it simpler. In fact using Smart Sharpen lets me see the effect of the sharpening I'm adding which this High Pass method doesn't, which is much more useful as far as I'm concerned.
     
  3. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I've long used high pass sharpening. The beauty of it is that as much of the strength is achieved by the opacity of the layer it is on, so you can go in and make changes easily and as often as you want. I've always preferred its look to the unsharp mask or 9x9 grid sharpening.

    I must agree that now, smart sharpening does make a strong case and competitor to high pass sharpening, for me.

    Gordon
     
  4. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    This is working exactly like an unsharp mask filter, but this method follows the path "from the other end". No wonder the results are close, but I nonetheless find the idea elegant.

    Cheers,
     
  5. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    816
    Aug 31, 2010
    Is there a similar method of doing this on Lightroom? I'd like to be able to quickly incorporate this to my Lightroom workflow
     
  6. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Nov 30, 2010
    Wisconsin
    I don't think so, because you don't really work with layers in Lightroom.
    However, sharpening in Lightroom is non-destructive, as are all adjustments to your image.
     
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    From my perspective, the Definition slider in Aperture achieves the same look as the high pass filter. I believe the equivalent control in Lightroom is the Clarity slider.

    Now with Aperture I can selectively brush in and ajust the level of the effect - i am not familiar enough with lightroom to know whether you can do the same there.

    ....and before anybody jumps in and tells me I am wrong and that they are completely different things, I did an experiment a few months back and sharpened an image in PS using the high pass technique, and replicated the look in Aperture using only the definition slider.... your mileage may vary

    K
     
  8. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Nov 30, 2010
    Wisconsin
    yep, you can assign Clarity to a brush in Lightroom.
     
  9. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    816
    Aug 31, 2010
    So the Clarity slider is the same as the high pass filter in Photoshop?
     
  10. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    At times ... things can be a bit trying here ... lol

    G
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    586
    Sep 15, 2010
    Brazil
    Sidinei
    I downloaded a plugin for Gimp with four different sharpening methods, and after using it for a few days, I believe that sometimes the high pass sharpening is better, in other cases the octave sharpening is better and in other the split sharpening, which apply different settings of sharpening in darker and lighter areas is the best choice, but I always try all of them to see which one works better.
     
  12. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I often wish for a 'clarity' slider for many of the responses on this and other forums.

    :)

    K
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    only an Adobe engineer can answer that definitively.... but subjectively it seems that the Definition slider in Aperture produces a similar result to a high pass filter....and the Clarity slider does the same in Lightroom

    All I would say is try it out and see if it works for you - after all its the result not the process that really matters

    K
     
  14. Sander-Martijn

    Sander-Martijn New to Mu-43

    2
    Apr 19, 2011
    Response to adding the whole tutorial

    Actually I, as the original writer of the tutorial can answer that question. While it is welcome to link to another's writing with attribution it is never ok to repost an entire article without permission. I'm glad you like it and hope you find it useful.
     
  15. Sander-Martijn

    Sander-Martijn New to Mu-43

    2
    Apr 19, 2011
    One of the problems with clarity in lightroom (and I assume the same with Aperture's equivalent) is that it does not enforce it being the final stage of production. If you add clarity in LR and then edit in Photoshop you've created problems before you start. Better to use the sharpening option in the export dialog of LR3. I use clarity as a "poor man's sharpener" - in otherwords I'll add it to images that aren't ever going to pass through photoshop, but the images that I take the time to edit properly don't get it.

    As for the other shartpening options, yes you will often be able to obtain similar results but you lose some of the flexibility. Adding a new layer that you apply sharpening to covers lower layers as opposed to creating a sharpening layer that overlays the others. Sometimes this doesn't matter, but other times it does. For example you can add a black and white adjustment layer below the high pass layer and show and hide that to create 2 versions of the same image. There are reasons you might want that adjustment layer below the sharpening rather than above it. With the other ways of sharpening your images this is not possible.
     
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  16. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    816
    Aug 31, 2010
    Great explanation Sander!

    Question: When I'm using the high-pass filter on the new layer, I found it easier to calibrate the amount of sharpness by changing that layer to soft-light BEFORE going to the filter in order to see in real-time the amount of sharpening. Is there a reason to not do this, to keep it as a normal layer and only changing it to soft/hard/vivid light AFTER using the filter?




     
  17. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium

    its only a 'problem' if you insist on using Photoshop.

    While i respectfully understand that there may be instances where Photoshop is a must have tool, the current versions of Lightroom/Aperture I reckon offer 95% of what 95% of the typical readers of this forum would ever wish for.

    Photoshop excels at retouching and manipulating multiple images in layers - but when it comes to things like sharpening the same tools and capabilities exist in LR/Aperture, and in a much more accessible form.

    I can understand if you have developed a workflow that works for you using Photoshop - but don't dismiss the Aperture/Lightroom tools so readily


    K
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. jambaj0e

    jambaj0e Mu-43 Top Veteran

    816
    Aug 31, 2010
    I do agree with Kevin on this, too. I rarely have to go outside of Lightroom for most of my photos. They get processed in LR, then exported to Flickr in LR, too.

    I'd have to play around w/ the Clarity slider in LR, though, because the high-pass on Photoshop looks great! Gotta do a comparison when I'm home!