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Author Topic: Output Sharpening Settings for Matte Paper  (Read 11753 times)
ghervey
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« on: April 25, 2008, 05:02:42 AM »
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After having read various materials on sharpening, including Bruce Fraser's seminal work on the subject, I have accepted the fact that I am simply never going to understand it well enough to be facile with sharpening tools.  For that reason, I use PhotoKit Sharpener from Pixel Genius for most sharpening needs when using PS.

The problem is that that wonderful plugin does not work for NX.  So, if I want to print from NX, I am on my own.

Jason Odell, in his eBook on NX, recommends the following sharpening routine for output sharpening:

Create USM step with settings of 64/2/4 and set the Opacity to 70% in the Luminance Channel; and

Create a High-Pass step with Radius of 2 pixels, change the Blending Mode to Overlay, and set the Opacity to 50%.

He recommends these settings when printing with an inkjet printer on glossy paper for an image at 300dpi.  

These settings work pretty well for most images printed on glossy or satin/pearl papers.  But, I print a lot on matte paper, and I am not sure how to tweak these settings for matte paper, or how to tweak them for images at 240 and 180 dpi.  

Any suggestions?
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Geoffrey Hervey
Daniel Arnaldi
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2008, 10:58:35 AM »
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The trouble with "canned" settings is that they are not going to work the same for all images, I know from my own work that there are some images that will need a larger radius of the high pass filter than others to achieve the same affect, this is because subject and contrast from one image to another varies so that a radius setting of 2 on one image may require a setting of 3 on another to get the same amount of sharpening.

You'll have to do some experimenting to work out what is the best setting for the particular image; you can vary the amount of sharpening by changing the radius of the high pass filter. Once you set the blending mode of the high pass filter to overlay you can go back to the high pass filter slider and adjust the radius while previewing the effect on the image, best to set zoom to 50% for this step.

Personally this is one of the areas where NX is bested by PS, I use NX for adjusting/interpretation and converting all my personal work, but I still find that PS offers a bit more control when preparing for output.
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KeithR
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2008, 04:47:33 PM »
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After having read various materials on sharpening, including Bruce Fraser's seminal work on the subject, I have accepted the fact that I am simply never going to understand it well enough to be facile with sharpening tools.  For that reason, I use PhotoKit Sharpener from Pixel Genius for most sharpening needs when using PS.

The problem is that that wonderful plugin does not work for NX.  So, if I want to print from NX, I am on my own.

Jason Odell, in his eBook on NX, recommends the following sharpening routine for output sharpening:

Create USM step with settings of 64/2/4 and set the Opacity to 70% in the Luminance Channel; and

Create a High-Pass step with Radius of 2 pixels, change the Blending Mode to Overlay, and set the Opacity to 50%.

He recommends these settings when printing with an inkjet printer on glossy paper for an image at 300dpi. 

These settings work pretty well for most images printed on glossy or satin/pearl papers.  But, I print a lot on matte paper, and I am not sure how to tweak these settings for matte paper, or how to tweak them for images at 240 and 180 dpi. 

Any suggestions?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
A quick piece of information is in order. Your Raw file is a 12 bit, unrendered file. Your printer HAS to have in coming information from an 8 bit, RGB file. Most printers are not capable of handling 16 bit files(but they're getting better at it). It cannot print a raw file as it is not in a color space(be that sRGB, aRGB, ProPhoto, etc) until you render it. In other words, you may be able to print from NX, but it has been converted on the fly to an 8 bit rendered RGB file. With that bit of info, you could do your work in NX, then save out a tiff file to PS(as you know PK Sharpener works within PS)and use Sharpener and it's output sharpening options.
Also, the idea of standardizing on 300 dpi has kind of been replaced with using the native resolution, and if it falls somewhere between 180 and 460 dpi you should be ok. Read Jeff Schewe's artical about when and how to uprez.
[a href=\"http://www.digitalphotopro.com/tech/the-art-of-the-up-res.html]http://www.digitalphotopro.com/tech/the-ar...the-up-res.html[/url]
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Daniel Arnaldi
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2008, 11:16:41 PM »
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It cannot print a raw file as it is not in a color space(be that sRGB, aRGB, ProPhoto, etc) until you render it. In other words, you may be able to print from NX, but it has been converted on the fly to an 8 bit rendered RGB file.

This is not really an issue; you can avoid many problems of predicting how your print will look by using soft proofing.

Changing bit depth will not render the colors as the printer will see them, printers are 8 bits per head, not per color channel of the image.

The only working color space that can contain the color space of a modern printer is ProPhoto RGB, the other spaces you mention are too small to contain the color space of todayís printers.

Outputting straight from a RAW file using the correct settings is not going to produce a different result than if you were to convert to TIFF before printing, if you use the same output settings in both cases you will see the same result, both NX and LR do the same thing in this respect, they incorporate the conversion as part of the printing output.

This is were soft proofing will help, but NX falls short here, for soft proof printing it does not have the option to render the paper color, which is quite important in  printing.
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KeithR
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2008, 10:38:04 AM »
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This is not really an issue; you can avoid many problems of predicting how your print will look by using soft proofing.

This is were soft proofing will help, but NX falls short here, for soft proof printing it does not have the option to render the paper color, which is quite important in  printing.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=191984\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is were both LR and ACR fall short as well. All three lack soft proofing capability. Therefore, at the present, the only way to ACURATLY print is to go through an app, like PS, to utilize it's soft proofing capability. And the original topic was about sharpening and using PK Sharpener. My point was that in order to use PKS you'd have to render your file by opening in PS in order to use PKS. And since your file is in PS, you can also do your softproofing as well.
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Daniel Arnaldi
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2008, 11:42:50 AM »
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And the original topic was about sharpening and using PK Sharpener.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=192022\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Actually as I understand the orginal post it was about sharpening settings for matt  printing paper from NX.


As for proofing in PS I agree, it's the only application that I use for printing mainly for this very reason, but that will change as LR will get soft proofing and hopefully Nikon may decide to add paper white to it's soft proofing, fingers crossed.

And when that happens going from a high bit RAW file directly to printer will be possible with a good degree of accuracy, both LR and NX have some nice printing features that I would like to make use of without having to do the round trip to PS and then back again.
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KeithR
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2008, 04:44:34 PM »
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... but that will change as LR will get soft proofing...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=192028\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You know something the rest of us don't?
LR 2(beta) has a better output sharping than v1.x, but no indication of softproof-yet.
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Daniel Arnaldi
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2008, 10:37:54 PM »
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You know something the rest of us don't?
LR 2(beta) has a better output sharping than v1.x, but no indication of softproof-yet.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=192047\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't know something that the rest of you don't know, but Jeff Schewe does, according to him LR will get soft proofing.
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