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Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 85 of 118

Sharpening with Filters


Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 85 of 118

Sharpening with Filters


Lesson Info

Sharpening with Filters

On the flip side of that, which also works hand-in-hand with that, is going to be our sharpening. So when I sharpen this, I've reduced the noise. Now I'm gonna go ahead and sharpen it. If I make a layer, a stamp above this, it's gonna take all of my noise reduction settings, smash them together with my background, and allow me to do sharpening on top of my noise reduction, and my background. Because this has Blend If in it, I'm gonna need to make a stamp above it. I don't wanna sharpen this layer. I don't wanna make a copy of the background, and put it up here and sharpen it, because then what am I doing? I'm sharpening noise that existed in this background layer. So if I Press Control or Command + Shift, Alt or Option + E, Control + Shift + E, or Command + Option + Shift + E on a Mac, your fingers turn into like a little pitchfork claw-looking thing. We're gonna call this Sharpen. I used to do a lot of different ways of sharpening. I used to do something called a High-pass Sharp, in w...

hich I still do high-pass sharpening quite often. But really now, under Filter, under Sharpen, there is a Smart Sharpen. And the new Smart Sharpen is awesome. Unsharp Mask was one of the things I used to, sounds counter-intuitive, Unsharp Mask. How would you unsharpen something? But, Unsharp Mask was something that we used to use a lot in the past. Smart Sharpen, it's relatively new, I'm not sure when Photoshop snuck it in there, but it's a really powerful tool for sharpening our images. So if we just drop down the amount, drop down the noise reduction. You see it has a noise reduction built inside this as well. Typically how this works is that the amount is how intense it's gonna be, and the radius is how many pixels around it you want to grab to increase that intensity. So if we bring your amount all the way up, look at the preview here. And we bring our radius all the way up. It's gonna be really bad. It's taking those edges. Sharpening is an illusion, really is what sharpening is. Sharpening is taking areas that are detailed in your photograph, and it's adding contrast to those details to boost them up. It's, of anything you're not actually sharpening anything. It's not like you take a knife and you sharpen that knife. What you're doing here is, you're just increasing the contrast between the lights and the darks on the details to give the illusion of sharpening, okay? It appears more sharp to us because of that. So if we drop this radius down, that's a pretty decent sharpen actually, on some of those areas. Still a little too much, we'll bring that radius down, and then bring that amount down. Down here you have shadows and highlights, where you can actually feather the amount of sharpening that's happening between those areas of highlights and shadows, which is really cool. If we bring this radius up. We'll bring it up to a really uncomfortable amount, and we look at the fade amount on the highlights, this slider is going to fade, especially in the highlight areas, where that sharpening takes place. If that fade amount is low, it's gonna be very high contrast. Look at these little, look right in here specifically. As we bring that fade amount up, see how it starts to add some tone in there, so it's not just a bright white, punchy adjustment for our sharpening. If we were to do the same thing, but look in some of our shadows, it's gonna fade that amount of sharpening into the shadows as well. Tonal Width is how far that is going to go, the higher you put that, the more of that highlight area it's going to select to allow that fade to go in. So you're looking at the highlights and shadows essentially, of those detail areas to bring in that amount of sharpening. And that is quite a bit of an amount of sharpening if we look right back in here. Again, I wouldn't likely take my radius that high anyway. But in order to see what's happening, any time you wanna see what any sliders are gonna do within Photoshop, like these ones right here. If you get this set to the perfect setting up here, and then you come down here, you're probably not gonna see a difference at all. If you do, it's gonna be very subtle, and then you're gonna ask yourself, well why would I even use these things? If it's so subtle, why would I use it? Take these settings up to their max, then come down here and start modifying these settings to see what's happening with the interaction between this set of sliders, with this set of sliders. That's always a good practice when you're doing anything in Photoshop. If you wanna see what's happening, and how it's making affect of something, bump all the sliders up to max, and then start pulling them individually and independently down to see what's happening with that one adjustment. Especially if you wanna work your way through something like Adobe Camera Raw. That's beautiful advice. So bring the Tonal Width up a little bit on our (mumbles) our shadows, that looks pretty good there. Now, look what's happening here. We reduced the noise in our shadow areas, but now it's getting really sharp. We have a noise reduction slider in here that will help us reduce the noise in those shadow areas. It's not always quite as precise as we want it to, because it's also working globally on the entire image. So it might be counter-intuitive to do that. If we drop this down, just Press Okay, and guess what we can do now? We can do Blend If on this, and protect the shadow areas from getting sharpened. Here, what did we protect? We protect the highlight areas from getting the noise reduced. Here, we can click on this, and if we Press Alt or Option. Actually, let's Turn On our Color Overlay. Go back to our Blend Options. Now we're protecting all those shadow areas from getting any of that sharpening. If we Press Alt or Option, Split and Feather This. So we get it tapered down to here, basically anything that's Magenta is gonna get that sharpening. That's the baseline that I'm setting. If I Press Alt or Option, Feather this over, now I'm allowing that sharpen to slowly transition into other areas of the photograph, while still protecting and maintaining those shadow areas that needed that noise reduction in the very beginning of all this. So if we zoom on down here, that's gonna be sharpened. We'll just Press Okay, because we can always turn that Color Overlay off. So now if we look at this image. Here's the before, here's the after on the sharpening. Before and the after with the noise reduction underneath. The sharpening is a little heavy, and that's okay. If it's heavy, just come to Opacity, and drop the opacity a little bit. Maybe you want 50% of that sharpening. Just drop that opacity a little bit, and you're good to go. I would actually prefer it to be a little bit on the heavy side, then on the light side there, because I can always come back and feather that in with Blend If. I could always use opacity to clean up that area. If I start too low and build up, it's gonna create artifacting. If I start high and work my way down, it's not gonna artifact. Because if I were to try and sharpen this again with the same sharpening settings, it's gonna look not so good. So there is the overall before, and the overall after, which you can't see anything when you're looking at this, but if we zoom in. Overall before, overall after. It's very subtle, but it's important. And when you print this, it's gonna look beautiful.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop. 

Topics covered will include:

  • Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
  • Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
  • Smart Objects, Transforming, Actions, Filters, and Editing Video
  • Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.


Adobe Photoshop CC 2018


  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. The Bridge Interface
  3. Setting up Bridge
  4. Overview of Bridge
  5. Practical Application of Bridge
  6. Introduction to Raw Editing
  7. Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface
  8. Global Tools Part 1
  9. Global Tools Part 2
  10. Local Tools
  11. Introduction to the Photoshop Interface
  12. Toolbars, Menus and Windows
  13. Setup and Interface
  14. Adobe Libraries
  15. Saving Files
  16. Introduction to Cropping
  17. Cropping for Composition in ACR
  18. Cropping for Composition in Photoshop
  19. Cropping for the Subject in Post
  20. Cropping for Print
  21. Perspective Cropping in Photoshop
  22. Introduction to Layers
  23. Vector & Raster Layers Basics
  24. Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
  25. Organizing and Managing Layers
  26. Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes
  27. Screen and Multiply and Overlay
  28. Soft Light Blend Mode
  29. Color and Luminosity Blend Modes
  30. Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes
  31. Introduction to Layer Styles
  32. Practical Application: Layer Tools
  33. Introduction to Masks and Brushes
  34. Brush Basics
  35. Custom Brushes
  36. Brush Mask: Vignettes
  37. Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn
  38. Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation
  39. Mask Groups
  40. Clipping Masks
  41. Masking in Adobe Camera Raw
  42. Practical Applications: Masks
  43. Introduction to Selections
  44. Basic Selection Tools
  45. The Pen Tool
  46. Masks from Selections
  47. Selecting Subjects and Masking
  48. Color Range Mask
  49. Luminosity Masks Basics
  50. Introduction to Cleanup Tools
  51. Adobe Camera Raw
  52. Healing and Spot Healing Brush
  53. The Clone Stamp Tool
  54. The Patch Tool
  55. Content Aware Move Tool
  56. Content Aware Fill
  57. Custom Cleanup Selections
  58. Introduction to Shapes and Text
  59. Text Basics
  60. Shape Basics
  61. Adding Text to Pictures
  62. Custom Water Marks
  63. Introduction to Smart Objects
  64. Smart Object Basics
  65. Smart Objects and Filters
  66. Smart Objects and Image Transformation
  67. Smart Objects and Album Layouts
  68. Smart Objects and Composites
  69. Introduction to Image Transforming
  70. ACR and Lens Correction
  71. Photoshop and Lens Correction
  72. The Warp Tool
  73. Perspective Transformations
  74. Introduction to Actions in Photoshop
  75. Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface
  76. Making Your First Action
  77. Modifying Actions After You Record Them
  78. Adding Stops to Actions
  79. Conditional Actions
  80. Actions that Communicate
  81. Introduction to Filters
  82. ACR as a Filter
  83. Helpful Artistic Filters
  84. Helpful Practical Filters
  85. Sharpening with Filters
  86. Rendering Trees
  87. The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters
  88. Introduction to Editing Video
  89. Timeline for Video
  90. Cropping Video
  91. Adjustment Layers and Video
  92. Building Lookup Tables
  93. Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type
  94. ACR to Edit Video
  95. Animated Gifs
  96. Introduction to Creative Effects
  97. Black, White, and Monochrome
  98. Matte and Cinematic Effects
  99. Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades
  100. Gradients
  101. Glow and Haze
  102. Introduction to Natural Retouching
  103. Brightening Teeth
  104. Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool
  105. Cleaning and Brightening Eyes
  106. Advanced Clean Up Techniques
  107. Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization
  108. ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits
  109. Portrait Workflow Techniques
  110. Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization
  111. Landscape Workflow Techniques
  112. Introduction to Compositing & Bridge
  113. Composite Workflow Techniques
  114. Landscape Composite Projects
  115. Bonus: Rothko and Workspace
  116. Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos
  117. Bonus: The Mask (Extras)
  118. Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Robert Andrews

Blake Rudis is the absolute best in teaching photoshop. His knowledge and how he presents the instruction is clear and concise - there is NO ONE BETTER. Yes, his classes require some basic skills, and maybe I'd organize the order of (or group) the classes in a different order, but, let me be clear - if anyone is to be successful or famous in the Photoshop world, it should be Blake Rudis. I strongly recommend his teaching. I started photography and post processing in 2018, and because of this class, I'm know what Im doing. The energy you get when you create something beautiful is profound, it makes you bounce out of bed (at 4AM) like a 5 year old, to go create. It's a great ride! Thanks Blake, & Thanks Creative live.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!