Sharpening and Noise Reduction
If we look at, let's just grab... This is a good example, this image. Again in the details tab where we found our film grain and our focus tool, we've also got the sharpening and noise reduction tools. I'm gonna reset this image so it's all back to defaults, just rotate that - so this is the image all on defaults. And when you're looking in the sharpening tool - move that across - you'll see these four different sliders and there will be some kind of values in those sliders and the same goes for noise reduction as well. Now for every camera that we profile as well as making the color profile, which we spoke about earlier, we also have different sharpening values for every camera that we support. Across the ISO range as well. So even now on this particular shot from whatever camera this is, if you open up one of your shots, or if I grab a different image, you might see different sharpening values. That's cause we tune the sharpening to the specific cameras that we support. Now generally...
those defaults are actually pretty good and pretty on-the-money, but we'll talk about what those sliders do in a second. For noise reduction, and we'll talk about what those sliders do as well, you will always see 50/50/50 but, depending on the camera model, and the I.S.O. that we're shooting at, there might be some different stuff going on under the hood. But the default is always 50/50/50. So let's zoom out and then zoom into this image itself and then see what the sharpening does. Let's float the tool so we can see as much of the image as possible. So we've got four different sliders. Amount, radius, threshold, and this is halo-suppressant, is what that's short for. So the amount really, is, the amount, the strength. "How much sharpening do I want to apply on this image?" So the more I drag this to the right, and you can see it updates pretty much in real time, the image gets sharper and sharper. The radius is really the kind of width of how many pixels that we're attacking at once. So with a greater radius, you'll see that the sharpening becomes more aggressive and I'm pushing that quite hard of course. So generally you want to keep the radius relatively low and as I said the default's normally doing a pretty good job on the camera. If you need to increase the sharpening, you've got a really useful slider at the bottom called halo suppressant. So what the halo suppressant does when you start to kind of be a bit more aggressive with your sharpening, if we just zoom in even closer, what you'll see this kind of halos, or dark shadows, especially if the radius is up high. You can see as we make the radius greater, then our halos get bigger. So if you really need to sharpen something up, let's go back almost to 100, then the last slider halo suppressant keeps the sharpening on the image but reduces the halos and you can actually push that quite hard. So if you do have a heavy amount of sharpening, bring up the halo suppressant and that takes those halos down but gives you a really nice sort of super sharp image underneath. So if we preview what's going on there, if I just option-click, that's how it came out of camera with the defaults, and then with that additional sharpening it looks really nice and super crisp now, but it doesn't look ugly; it doesn't look over-sharpened. But without halo suppressant, it's harder to push that sharpening, so that's a really really nice addition. Again, there is no "How much sharpening should I put on my images?" There's no kind of magic bullet or sort of exact figure that you should apply to it, it's what looks best. And in laser lessons, what you'll also see, remembering what we're looking at here, is that how we can accurately proof an output in a process recipe, and see exactly the result of the sharpening that it's gonna have on the end result. So just hold that thought and then in the later lesson remember what we've seen here and then how we can really see exactly what the sharpening is going to do to the output. So different images need different levels of sharpening of course. For example, this is a much older camera so I threw this one in here just to look at, and it's got much greater noise so the potential of being able to really realistically throw in more sharpening is kind of limited as such. So noisier files, softer focus files, aren't going to sharpen up as much as, you know, lovely, sort of crisp high resolution files like so. So it can be very much independent. But I would say stick with the defaults, have a quick look at sharpening if you think you can improve on it, but as I said, later with the process recipes you'll really be able to see exactly how to proof an output. If we think about noise reduction, as I said, similar principle applies. So if we take our more sort of noisy, older image as such. Let's just zoom out a touch. Let's stick with 100, then it's easier to see. So I picked this image just cause it's an older camera, it's got a bit more noise to it, and we have these three sliders, luminance, details, and color. So luminance is really that sort of grainy, noisy aspect that you see. So if we have more luminance, as you see, that helps to soften off that noise. If I just do an option click preview, let's just go into 200 percent, if you option click preview, you can see it helps to just reduce that general graininess noise down but at the potential cost of, expense of a loss of detail. You know, sometimes it's playing off what's the advantage. That I have more noise reduction, have a smoother image, but at the expense of losing some detail. The detail slider is like a bias. Do you want as much details as possible potentially showing more noise, or do you want as less noise as possible but potentially showing sort of more detail? So if we bump the detail slider up you can see we get a bit more kind of definition here for example, but at the expense of more noise. So again that's a bias you can play with to see what looks best. This slider, color, is probably the one that you won't really necessarily play around with so much cause the default has pretty much got it on the money, most of the time. So what the color slider does. Let's see if we can find a better example. So let's go up here in the shadows. If we have no color adjustment, you can start to see very sort of gradual mottling, color effects and generally on the default Capture One does a pretty good job, so it's unlikely that you'll have to deviate off that to be honest. But luminance and details might be worth a try. Now single pixel. I think we might be able to see an example here, potentially. So what single pixel does is, if I zoom into, let's go even closer, so single pixel helps to remove hot spots like this. It's almost become a thing of the past on modern-day cameras but sometimes on high ISO cameras or longer exposures if anyone does long exposures then you start to see hot spots like, popping up on the image. So what single pixel does, if you drag this to the right, it helps to try to reduce those kind of little single pixels you saw there. So if we just click on this, those hot spots then it just takes them away like so. Generally you might find that you don't really have to adjust this, but if you do see some hot spots, then it's worth just giving that a try. But it's, you know, noise reduction, it's becoming much less prevalent because cameras these days, like this is an older camera, an ISO 500, and it's kind of really noisy. If we look at this shot, this is ISO 1000, and while it's got some noise in it, it's really not sort of offensive and the defaults generally do well. So the more modern or new your camera is or better sensor technology, the less likely it is you're gonna have to pull around noise reduction. What we will see in later lessons with local adjustments is that noise reduction and sharpening can also be applied locally. So you can really think about what parts of the image need sharpening, what parts of the image need noise reduction, and just kind of brush or paint that on which is kind of better than just a blanket throw over the whole image as such.