The Absolute Power of Blend If

Lesson 4/10 - Blend If and Sharpening


The Absolute Power of Blend If


Lesson Info

Blend If and Sharpening

So now I'm gonna duplicate that background again, press command or control + J, I'm gonna move that to the top, and now we're gonna call this sharpening. So now with sharpening, what do we wanna sharpen? We don't wanna sharpen our shadows right? 'Cause that's where noise exists. We wanna sharpen things that are a mid tone or into the highlights. So we need to now go into filter, go to sharpen, and go to any sharpen method you like. I'm gonna go into smart sharpen, but you can do this with any type of sharpening. If you're a high pass sharpen type of person, you can do a whole global high pass, and then use your blend if. If you're an unsharp mask type person, you can use unsharp mask, which makes no sense at all, 'cause why would you unsharp something when you're tryin' to sharpen it, but I like smart sharp. So with smart sharpening, I'm just gonna zoom in to an area that has quite a bit of highlight area. Now you can see my amount is set really high, my radius is set really high. The ...

way this works is that the radius and the amount work together. The amount is how much sharpening you want, the radius is how many pixels that will affect. So it even says, we want 141% sharpening, and we want that done to 64 pixels around that one pixel that it would be targeting, that's too much, so we're gonna drop that down. We'll drop it down to about half. And then reduce noise, do we wanna reduce noise? Well we don't really have to, because we already have a noise reduction layer here that we already have controlling that noise reduction. Now as far as this shadows amount, and the tonal width, and these are like your more advanced stuff here for your shadows and your highlights, which can still work out just fine, this is a fade amount. So really what they're doing here, but they're not telling you, is they're doing a blend if inside here. It's sneaky stuff, 'cause they're saying fade this sharpening effect in your shadows, or fade this sharpening effect in your highlights. You get that? So there's a lot of tools that already work with blend if that are hidden, that probably run off of the same algorithm, but they'll never tell us okay? So we're kind of like hacking this stuff up and decoding it a little bit here. So if I don't do anything to those highlight and shadow areas, and that amount, and that radius are pretty high, but if I bring this radius and this amount up really high, and then I fade it into those shadow areas, and work with the tonal width and the radius of that pixel, it starts to reduce the sharpening within those shadow areas, or reduce the sharpening within those highlight areas to give us a really nice, well rounded sharpening. And if you say, oh Blake says 86, 76, 41, 59, 59, 50, that's perfect, right? No. It's just for this image. So a lot of these numbers are gonna be arbitrary, don't take them for, just take them for what they're worth when we're working on this photo. So now if I turn that preview off, let's go somewhere like right here, we'll zoom in. Here it was before, here it is after. Before, after, we'll press OK. Again, we're doing the commando method, we're goin' in, alright? Let's double click this, we have our blend if settings, right? So we want to protect the underlying layers' what? The shadow areas, because we want this to affect the mid tones and the highlights. So if I move this over, guess what? I can't see anything. I mean I can, but I can't, it's like ah, let me just turn on that color overlay. Boom. Go back up to my blending options here. Again, you're not gonna see a little tick box for this because this is part of the blending options. Another aside on the blending options is look at the other things you have in your blending options. You have your blend modes, you have your opacity, you have your fill. These are your things that are contained right here, but maybe they didn't have enough room to put a little slider there to help you out a little bit, well maybe you wouldn't know how to use it anyway, 'cause sometimes that stuff's pretty intimidating. So if we press alt or option, we can split this, get a nice, feathered transition in. We can turn that color overlay off here, or we can do it on the layer itself and press OK. So now if we were to turn these off, here's our sharpening, really nice sharpening on our, maybe a little over sharpened, but it's over sharpened so you can see it, 'cause if I do it normal, you wouldn't be able to see it very well. And then our noise reduction. So what we have inside here, if we turn these eyeballs off, there's the before, there's after our noise reduction, and there's after our sharpening. And that's all controlled with blend if. Here's the really cool thing about blend if, especially when we start getting into some other things, anything that changes underneath a layer that has blend if on it, if the shadows change, if the highlights change, guess what? It automatically does it. Ah, dude! Okay.

Class Description

Hidden deep within the Layers Styles panel is Blend if, one of the hidden gems of Photoshop®’s tools. Blend if sliders allow you to blend images together to achieve more natural, creative and impactful results. In this course, Blake Rudis will show you how to unleash the power of Blend if in a multitude of ways, from noise reduction to sharpening to color grading. By the end, you’ll realize there’s almost nothing you can’t do with this multifaceted feature.


Gina Hamm

This was a great course and really opened my eyes to an essential part of Photoshop that I had been neglecting. Blake is an excellent teacher. His love of Photoshop is evident in his teaching style and really gets you excited to learn.

David Babcock

Geat class - I enjoyed learning more about blend if - an area that I have not used a great deal. I would make on suggestion though, please upload the work files that you are editing - I learn more by doing than just watching.

Robert Figueroa

Ouch so good it hurts! Chock loaded with awesome workflow techniques that open up so many possibilities. Saw it free and will buy it and watch over.