Sharpen Images with the Smart Sharpen Plugin in Photoshop

Sharpen using Smart Sharpen

The Smart Sharpen filter has sharpening controls not available with the Unsharp Mask filter. You can set the sharpening algorithm or control the amount of sharpening that occurs in shadow and highlight areas.

  • Zoom the document window to I 00% to get an accurate view of the sharpening.
  • Choose Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen.
  • Set the controls in the Sharpen tabs:
  • Amount Sets the amount of sharpening. A higher value increases the contrast between edge pixels, giving the appearance of greater sharpness.
  • Radius Determines the number of pixels surrounding the edge pixels affected by the sharpening. The greater the radius value, the wider the edge effects and the more obvious the sharpening.
  • Remove Sets the sharpening algorithm used to sharpen the image. Gaussian Blur is the method used by the Unsharp Mask filter. Lens Blur detects the edges and detail in an image, and provides finer sharpening of detail and reduced sharpening halos. Motion Blur attempts to reduce the effects of blur due to camera or subject movement. Set the Angle control if you choose Motion Blur.
  • Angle Sets the direction of motion for the Motion Blur option of the Remove control.
  • More Accurate Processes the file more slowly for a more accurate removal of blurring.
  • Adjust sharpening of dark and light areas using in the Shadow and Highlight tabs. (Click the Advanced button to display the tabs). If the dark or light sharpening halos appear too strong you can reduce them with these controls, which are only available for 8-bits and lis-bits-per-channel images:
  • Fade Amount Adjusts the amount of sharpening in the highlights or shadows.
  • Tonal Width Controls the range of tones in the shadows or highlights that are modified. Move the slider to the left or right to decrease or increase the Tonal Width value. Smaller values restrict the adjustments to only the darker regions for shadow correction and only the lighter regions for highlight correction.
  • Radius Controls the size of the area around each pixel that is used to determine whether a pixel is in the shadows or highlights. Moving the slider to the left specifies a smaller area, and moving it to the right specifies a larger area.
  • Click OK..

Sharpening Simple

Also See Photoshop Fundamentals Tutorial Lesson 17

  • Always zoom image to at least 100%
  • Sharpening should be the last step just before printing
  • Photoshop USM filter (Filter > Unsharp Mask)
  • For high-resolution 6MP or greater files:
    • Sharp 150-350
    • Radius 1.5 to 2.5
    • Threshold: 5
  • For low-resolution 5MP or less files:
    • Sharp 150-350
    • Radius 0.5 to 1.5
    • Threshold: 5
  • Modify the above based on the Frequency of the image
    • High Frequency With closer detail, smaller radius
    • Low Frequency With large continuous areas, bigger radius

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