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Thread: Sharpening for Cic Attachments

  1. #1
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Sharpening for Cic Attachments

    Recently, I asked member Pat how he did his sharpening for the image “The Smoker” in the September Monthly Contest. He commented:

    As for sharpening the first thing I do when an image comes out of the ACR is apply a capture sharpen of 300% and a radius of 0.3, I never use the Threshold slider. Then during pp if I need some selective sharpening on for instance eye's or something I want to be that bit prominent in an image I apply an Unsharp Mask of 100% and a radius of 0.8, sometimes I may vary this a bit. For output to CiC I first downsize to 700 pixels on the long side and then apply an Unsharp Mask of 80% and a radius of 0.6. Then upload through Tinypics.

    I decided to try this and compare it to the same image, sharpened in Lr4 and then exported using Lr4's export feature with the export sharpening set to high. The two resulting, small, web photos are attached. You decide which is better. On my screen, before uploading with Tinypics, the difference is minor but noticeably better using the procedure outlined by Pat.

    Here is the process I used:

    Lr4 image: Sharpen in Lr4, amt=68, radius-1.0, detail=50, masking=40
    Output image size constraints 700 x 700 x 96dpi
    Output sharpening for screen, high

    CS4 image: Lr4 virtual copy, sharpening set to default, exported to CS4
    Import sharpening, amt=300, radius0.3, threshold=10 (some noise developing at 0)
    2nd sharpening, amt=163, radius=0.8, theshold=10
    Reduce image size to 700 x 453
    Screen sharpen, amt=80, radius=0.6, threshold=0
    Save as jpg.

    CS4
    Sharpening for Cic Attachments

    Lr4
    Sharpening for Cic Attachments

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for Cic Attachments

    Quote Originally Posted by Boatman View Post
    On my screen, before uploading with Tinypics, the difference is minor but noticeably better using the procedure outlined by Pat.
    I think sharpening is all about subtlety and whilst the difference between the two above might, at one level, be minor, it is quite significant at another. It might be subtle, but it makes a big difference.

    There are, of course, the tutorials here on CiC that will take you through all that's involved in sharpening. But, in addition to that, Colin Southern wrote a post on the forum that encapsulates what it is all about in as good a way as you will find anywhere. Just click here to read that.

  3. #3
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for Cic Attachments

    Homer:

    To my eye, there seems to be more than sharpening differences in the images.

    The first one (CS4) seems to have a bit more contrast and saturation/vibrance, making the second one look dull.

    And I wonder what value you used for Clarity?

    Glenn

  4. #4

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    Re: Sharpening for Cic Attachments

    At first glance these seem similar, but looking at full image size, I find the plant in the centre near ground level is noticeably sharper in the first image.

    I use much the same settings as Pat. Although I set the sharpen levels within ACR to 50% and 0.5 radius. With CS5 the Raw sharpening settings work slightly differently before moving the image to the main edit window.

    The other settings are within a tiny tweak of what Pat uses.

  5. #5
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening for Cic Attachments

    The two images should be exactly the same as I took the composed and adjusted image, with all Lr4 sharpening at default and exported it CS4. Then I added sharpening in CS4, re-sized, sharpened again and exported. The LR4 copy got sharpened then exported as noted. No other changes were made. I agree with Jeff's comment that you can see differences if you look closely at the plants, though not so much in the clicked-on view.

    I'm not sure what all this proves except that Pat's technique provides a better image on screen and in small size. I'm not sure that you couldn't get the same results by over sharpening a bit in Lr4 before exporting.

    On thing that has been confusing me with Lr4 is import sharpening. If I understand this right, all it does is set your sharpening levels at some pre-set amount, say radius .3, amount 150 (it does not go to 300). Once you make any adjustments to the sharpening in your workflow, you are just resetting it to the new amount, not adding to it the way you do in PS. So import sharpening does nothing... if I understand this right. I'll have to try a few experiments and look at the results.

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