Tool Basics Part 2
So clarity is kind of like a contrast adjustment, but if we go back to fantastic Sketch so let's draw a nice histogram, zero, 255. So what clarity does it's still a contrast adjustment but it's really only dealing with this part. So we're gonna avoid doing much to the shadows and we're gonna avoid doing much to the highlights. So it's purely a mid-tone adjustment and the benefit of that means you can push it quite hard you can get a nice pop from the image, but without horrible shadows and horrible highlights. So if we take this image and we do contrast for example and we push it and we push it and we push it we've got no detail left down here we've kinda got no highlight detail left, saturation's gone a bit ugly, it's not necessarily what we wanted to do, but if we take clarity, we can push that relatively hard and it gives us a nice mid-tone pop, but still maintaining pretty good detail in shadows and highlights and so on. Now there's four methods of clarity, which might sound excess...
ive but they all have a slightly different action on adjusting that. So let's just zoom in that a bit closer so there's these four methods: natural, punch, neutral and classic. Most of the time you're probably gonna stick with natural. If we stay at say max points a hundred and then we go to punch you might be able to see a tiny shift in the color. So punch just gives you a bit more of a kick in the pants for saturation adjustment. So if we go back to neutral and look at the warm tones, here for example, let's just ever so slightly, pop. And it's a bit of a stronger clarity as well. Neutral is sort of somewhere in the middle as you can see if we go back to natural, there's not really much between neutral and natural. The main difference is that natural does kinda a better job, when you want to push it harder. So quite often if you think of a building in front of a blue sky and you add lots of clarity you start to see halos around things. So natural works very well if you need to push that adjustment harder. The last one classic, is actually a really old kind of algorithm from catch one six and you can see it's worlds apart from the latest one. Some people still quite like to use it so again, experiment see what you think. But personally I'm sticking with natural most of the time. You can see it's really the kind of magic slider for any image it works, works really really nicely. Underneath that we have structure, which basically does that it enhances structure. So anything with sorta fine detail like this rusty metal, if we just bring this up then you see these scratches. I'm kind of being obsessive so you can see what it does, but if we just preview that and then let go. Anything with sort of edge definition gets an increase. In terms of other sort of examples, also with whoops, fur structures quite good at increasing fur definition, or anything with animals. If we take one of Drew's penguins for example. Then a little dab of structure, we look at the feathers, are they feathers? I think they're feathers and helps to just increase that structure like so. So structure is not a contrast adjustment, it's boosting that edge definition and such. So let's drop that down yeah so again, no right or wrong to what you should use here and if we probably look at the penguin, if we do relatively hard clarity adjustment, let's go to a 100% and then switch to punch. Then you can see, it's just a bit more aggressive and if we look at the saturation of the colors here. Probably on the beaks a good place to look and it just ups it a little bit more. The last one to look at in this particular tool tab is vignetting, and this is actually really, really simple to understand. So if we just reset that, for example. Vignetting just applies a creative vignette to the image. There's very sorta little influence you can have over it. Except, darken or lighten like so. Personally, I think it does a really nice job of adding a vignette, 'cause it's a really nice blend from the outside in, it's got a really nice roll off so it's not like an obvious vignette. It's a very natural, nice looking vignette. It's not like you see a big kind of bright halo in the middle, and everything goes to black on the edges. You've got a few different methods so elliptic on crop means basically it will follow the crop. So as I move the crop, then the vignettes gonna follow that. We've got circular which just gives you a slightly different shape on the crop. So you might prefer how that vignette looks to the elliptical for example, and you've also got circular which kind of disregards the current crop and I can't really think of a good use, (laughs) why you would use that. But it's there so elliptical or circular tends to give you a really nice effect on there. So if you only ever spend your time in the exposure tool tab you can actually take images a very long way. When you saw earlier, that even just with white balance exposure and levels. You can take a very dull, flat image into something pretty punchy. Inviting clarity as well, you've got that extra mid-tone boost and then really you're on the way to some really good image processing.