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Author Topic: smart sharpening  (Read 3160 times)
BobMcCarthy
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« on: May 26, 2005, 08:58:15 AM »
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The only thing I've seen to date is

http://www.outbackphoto.com/workflow/wf_73/essay.html

bob
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2005, 11:20:04 AM »
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Like most I have been playing with this a bit to try and get the best out of the filter. I tend to find that Lens Blur gets better results than Gaussian Blur, though if the edges are not clean there can be some artifacts produced.

I also tend to set the shadow fade to 100% for 20% tone and radius of 3 to prevent sharpening in shadows where noise is greatest; and set highlight fade to 20% for 80% tone and radius of 5 to minimise sharpening of flat areas of texture. These settings help to constrain sharpening to edges rather than across every bump in the image. Using these settings allows a more aggressive sharpening percentage without creating halos or increasing noise in textured areas.

I have also been experimenting with multiple pass sharpening which iteratively can produce better results than a single pass of the sharpening filter; though it can be a balancing act to minimise halos across sharp edges where the tonal difference is high. Running the filter at 0.4/100, 0.8/30, 1.6/12, and 3.2/10 produces a very sharp image though halos start to crop up - it depends upon how objectionable these are in reality.

I find that post sharpening it helps to run the noise reduction filter as the sharpening process tends to increase noise in areas of flat tone. The noise reduction tool gently applied does a good of reducing the increased noise in flat tonal areas whilst still preserving the sharp edges created by the smart sharpen tool.

One final comment, the quality of the sharpening process depends greatly upon the quality of the interpolation of the original RAW file. In this respect ACR3.1 produces much better edges than any of the other RAW convertors on the market at the moment and can be sharpened to produce a much more detailed image. Whilst there are claims that C1 images are sharp, the images it produces contain a lot of 'zipper' artifacts along edges which when sharpened can produce nasty effects in the image.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
DiaAzul
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2005, 03:03:15 PM »
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However, I totally disagree with this. ACR3 may be better than anythiing else available for the Mac, but RSE is a better converter for edges and detail, hands down. IMO even C1 produces better detail than ACR3.
I think we can agree to disagree on this one. I can post any amount of technical comparison between the two convertors and wax lyrical about the difference between Bilateral and NEDI and many other interpolation techniques and the zipper atifacts, loss of texture detail and so forth that are present in a C1/RSE conversion. But at the end of the day it is in the eye of the beholder. From what I have evaluated so far ACR3.1 is technically better than C1 (and RSE as they both appear to use the same interpolation method), however, it ends up being what works out better for each individual - it's an issue of actually seeing something versus describing it in cold clinical numbers.

NB The one feature that ACR trumps C1 on by a large margin is the chromatic abberation correction in the RAW convertor - this makes a large difference to edge interpolation particularly towards the edge of the images. To make the most of C1 you need to be using lenses that don't exhibit much CA otherwise the interpolation is skewed.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
mikeseb
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2005, 04:52:08 PM »
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Interesting and timely topic. Sorry, what is RSE? Also, has anyone compared the sharpening results using Smart Sharpen in CS2 with those from 3rd-party plugins, such as the PhotoKit Sharpener I use?

Mike Sebastian
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michael sebastian
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2005, 07:20:45 AM »
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Are there any articles or tutorials around yet which explain how to use smart sharpening in CS2, which for when etc?
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2005, 09:21:33 AM »
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I'm starting to get the hang of it and can maybe answer a few simpler questions...

I'll start by saying I have primarily used it in Gaussian blur mode since that is basically what my AA filter adds that I am trying to remove. I also check the "more accurate" box. Next, I find that Smart Sharpen likes a larger radius and lower percentage than what I used with USM (1/150 for my 1Ds2 files). Finally, I use the fade function for highlights and shadows set to 25% each.

IMO the above generates a very sharp but smooth image and it's free of halos.

Hope this helps,
Jack
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2005, 11:54:39 AM »
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the quality of the sharpening process depends greatly upon the quality of the interpolation of the original RAW file.

Great point -- This is so important it cannot be understated.


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In this respect ACR3.1 produces much better edges than any of the other RAW convertors on the market at the moment and can be sharpened to produce a much more detailed image.

However, I totally disagree with this. ACR3 may be better than anythiing else available for the Mac, but RSE is a better converter for edges and detail, hands down. IMO even C1 produces better detail than ACR3.

Sidebar note to the above: I had a long-time LF shooter tell me that he was disappointed with results he had seen in large prints from high-end DSLR's. Since it is well-known I print large, he asked my opinion. My reply was "a picture is worth 1000 words," and I sent him an 8x10 crop from a 36x54 print made from a single 1Ds2 file. That file was converted with RSE, sharpening on and set "0". The file was then processed and sharpened with Smart Sharpen (one pass at 1/150) as outlined above. The image was then upscaled per my previously explained routine, and the crop printed. Anyway, to the point -- when he saw the crop, he immediately ordered a pair of D2x's on the spot (he was a Nikon shooter from before) and put his film gear up for sale.

Cheers,
Jack
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2005, 10:15:43 AM »
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Agreed  ::  

And isn't it nice we have such good options!
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2005, 06:16:56 PM »
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Sorry, what is RSE?
RSE is a TLA for Raw Shooter Essentials (a raw converter written by a C1 renegade programmer).
Raw Shooter Essentials
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
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