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Ween
08-05-2006, 03:33 AM
Today while at Barnes & Noble, I was looking at a book about digital image processing and was reading the section on sharpening. The author was using Photoshop Elements 3.0, and he was talking about doing selective sharpening (i.e. only sharpening the subject of the photo as opposed to the whole image in general). One option he talked about using was the lasso tool to select what you want to sharpen, but the other thing he talked about was called (I think) the selesctive brush which you use to 'paint' over what you want sharpened, go to the USM control panel, and use the USM to sharpen when you just brushed.

I got home to edit a photo, looking forward to trying this newly learned technique, but I could not find this brush tool in Photoshop Creative Suite 2. Is it not there or am I missing it? Also, has anybody else used a feature like this? I did use the lasso to try it on a plane photo and I like the results, but I think it would be easier to 'paint' the area I want to sharpen rather than dink around with the lasso tool.

Thanks for any and all help!

John Fladung
08-05-2006, 03:39 AM
EDIT: I believe I found what you are looking for Chris. It's the "Sharpen Tool" . I use PhotoShop CS.

Ween
08-05-2006, 04:01 AM
Nah, that's not what I'm thinking. The thing I saw was a feature that let you select an area by 'painting' it (it wouldn't do anything as you brushed over the area), and you would go to Filter->Sharpen->Unsharp Mask and whatever USM setting you chose would only be applied to the 'painted' area. I think the sharpen tool sharpens as you 'paint' with it...

John Fladung
08-05-2006, 04:14 AM
I'll continue to look into it, sorry I couldn't be of more help. What you are looking for sounds very useful.

Ween
08-05-2006, 04:36 AM
While the technique I read about seems much simpler, I found this about selective sharpening:

http://www.thegraphicgroove.com/Tutorials/Image_Sharpen_Page1.htm

It looks like some work to get used to, but I'll give it a whirl if I can't find the mysterious selective brush...

Mustang11
08-06-2006, 12:05 AM
I don't know if this is it or not but... There is a button on the tool palette called "quick mask mode" (see the first photograph) Pressing that and then selecting the paintbrush allows you to seemingly "paint" parts of the image using the brush. (see 2nd image) Then when you select normal again it selects what you just "painted" (see image 3) Then you can use the controls to sharpen in just like any other part you selected with the lasso or other similar tools. Hope that helps... Oh and btw I use CS, I'm not sure if it is available in earlier versions but it might be.

Brian

John Fladung
08-06-2006, 02:31 AM
Brian, very interesting! Thanks for pointing that out! I learned how to use another element in CS tonight that I didn't know before! I'm learning more and more about PhotoShop all the time!

Ween
08-06-2006, 03:46 AM
Brian,

Very good. I think that's what the author in the link I found was getting at. It looks like I'll have to get familiar with Masks with CS2. I was at B Dalton tonight doing some more research was looking at a PS Elements 4.0 book which had the Selective Brush plain as day in the tool pallete, but I'm thinking CS2 does not have that option.

But the Quick Mask may be the answer. Thanks much!

BTW, the more I look into PS stuff, the more and more overwhelmed I feel because there is sooooooo much you can do with it that I don't have the first clue about. But, fear of being overwhelmed isn't going to help me learn anything new, so here we go...

John Fladung
08-06-2006, 04:29 AM
There is a tremendous amount of "stuff" to use in PhotoShop. Sad thing is I never really took the time to do much with it until I started to get into railfan photography.

Mustang11
08-06-2006, 05:15 AM
Yeah, Photoshop is defiantly one of the most overwhelming programs. I'm lucky because I'm a graphic designer and still in college so I get plenty of access to all this "new" information. (or at least it is all still fresh in my brain) I've known GD and photography is what I have wanted to do for a long time, so also luckily I have plenty of experience outside of classes, not to mention "growing up" as photoshop has.

But there is defiantly so much more to learn. I have shown professors things they haven't known about and I know there are millions of things I still have to be taught. I could study Photoshop all my life and still not understand it all, but the best thing I have found is that you get something different from every person. Even if it is different ways to do the same thing it can still be very valuable. What is nice is that we have the same environment here for sharing information with as many sources as possible, just without the 30k a year college price tag :-D

Brian

Ween
08-06-2006, 11:31 PM
Brian,

I messed around with the technique you mentioned and it worked great...except everything outside of the 'painted' area changes when switching back to normal. I tried changing the brush color from black to white, but that didn't seem to work. Any suggestions?

Mustang11
08-07-2006, 04:40 PM
That is very interesting, but yes actually. I just looked at it again and apparently when you switch back to normal it selects everything but what you painted. (I am guessing that is why they call it a mask mode) But if you go to the top "select" menu then choose "select inverse" it will automatically select exactly what you painted.

The nice thing I forgot to mention about this technique for selecting is that if you vary the "hardness" of the brush under the brush settings, you can either choose a solid boundary line or a blended line between the rest of the photo and whatever effects you plan on applying to your selected area (without having to mess around with tolerance or feathering) Hope all this helps...

Brian

Ween
08-07-2006, 10:54 PM
But if you go to the top "select" menu then choose "select inverse" it will automatically select exactly what you painted.

Worked like a champ! Thanks again!

LAHDPOP
08-07-2006, 11:27 PM
You guys are making me jealous. I think I'm outgrowing the Photo Studio that came with the Rebel XT....

Ween
08-08-2006, 04:34 AM
BTW, here's the first (and only) shot using this method:

[photoid=154170]

I used it on the lead unit and part of the second one. Can any discerning eyes see any mess ups or tells?

LAHDPOP
08-08-2006, 05:35 AM
I used it on the lead unit and part of the second one. Can any discerning eyes see any mess ups or tells?

Not me. It looks great. If there are tells, they're not visible to me.

Mustang11
08-08-2006, 07:59 AM
I agree, it looks real good. I like that feature for shots like that with grass and trees. Sharpening the whole pic leads to over-sharpened trees and tree leaves, which are not the way to go lol... But this way you can just do what needs to be done and leave the rest. Good work.

Ween
08-08-2006, 07:38 PM
BTW, this feature is a nice and easy way to leave parts of a B&W photo in color if that sort of thing floats your boat. I should probably go to a PS tutorial somewhere because I know there's so much I'm missing...