Old 10-16-2009, 11:06 AM   #1
dejv
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Default Smart sharpening

I've found out recently about the smart sharpening plugin for Gimp. It basically automates this tutorial. In short: it sharpens only value component of HSV and only in areas with detected edges. The result is that one can go for higher amounts and lower thresholds when sharpening noisy images (it eliminates chroma noise amplification completely and luma noise amplification in edgeless areas).

There are only two minor drawbacks: there's no preview so one must go through try-undo-try again process when fine-tuning the sharpening and the plugin "forgets" to merge the layer it created with the original one so one has to do this manually.

You can see the effect on these two version of pic I'm working at, first sharpened by standard USM and second by smart sharpen plugin.
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:26 PM   #2
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Interesting. I never have a good eye for sharpening - in fact, in this case I can't even decide which I like better! Subtle differences.

If one is into sharpening, for what I have read the master work is this book
http://www.amazon.com/World-Sharpeni...ref=pd_sim_b_5

360 pages, just on sharpening!
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:48 PM   #3
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I prefer the USM version myself, I think it handled the number on the nose and the fence better than the plugin did. Interesting stuff none-the-less; I can imagine there are instances where it would do a better job.
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
Interesting. I never have a good eye for sharpening - in fact, in this case I can't even decide which I like better! Subtle differences.
Looking at the unsharpened pantograph head recall I selected out some areas in picture sharpened by standard USM. This is normally USM'd picture (0.2 radius, 0.8 value, 15/255 threshold) - notice the noise in the rear of cab or on the rails in foreground, that is absent at smart sharpened picture despite smart sharpened pic got higher amount of sharpening as one can see on higlights on foliage and handrails.

I've done it once more for better comparison:
#1 unsharpened

#2 standard USM on whole pic with:
0.2 radius
0.8 amount
15/255 threshold (to keep noise down)

#3 smart sharpened with:
0.2 radius
1.6 amount
0 threshold
switched off refocus plugin
2.0 edge detect
10.0 edge mask blur (to prevent wires oversharpening)
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Last edited by dejv; 10-16-2009 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dejv View Post
2.0 edge detect
10.0 edge mask blur (to prevent wires oversharpening)
Tell me about THIS, please! I've spent many an unpleasant time doing selective sharpening so as to exclude catenary. I am lousy with the lasso tool in both its magnetic and regular forms, so I dislike doing it. If there is an easier way, I want to know!
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
Tell me about THIS, please! I've spent many an unpleasant time doing selective sharpening so as to exclude catenary. I am lousy with the lasso tool in both its magnetic and regular forms, so I dislike doing it. If there is an easier way, I want to know!
Use the blur tool??? Seems to work just fine!
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by JRMDC View Post
Tell me about THIS, please! I've spent many an unpleasant time doing selective sharpening so as to exclude catenary. I am lousy with the lasso tool in both its magnetic and regular forms, so I dislike doing it. If there is an easier way, I want to know!
I'm still new to this plug-in, so I'm just experimenting. With standard USM, I use fuzzy selection to select the sky segments and thin light lines, then I invert selection and do the USM.

Smart sharpening ignores selections (I'm realizing now I could make yet another layer and use the selection as layer mask), so I tried to find a way to do something similar by the plugin itself and I thought blurring the edge mask could do the job because that two edges make quite low area in 10px circle and that should effectively decrease amount of sharpening. OTOH it decreases amount also in handrails, compared to the pic in my first post. Well, another two sliders mean one must spend some more time to master it...
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Old 10-17-2009, 02:13 PM   #8
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OK, I thought maybe you had a new solution for catenary wire oversharpening. Looks like I will be sticking to my usual selective sharpening.
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Old 10-17-2009, 03:04 PM   #9
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OK, I thought maybe you had a new solution for catenary wire oversharpening.
Stop shooting all of those foreign or hippie lines that run off of electric power?
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:43 PM   #10
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Stop shooting all of those foreign or hippie lines that run off of electric power?
Hippie?????

I doubt there are too many hippie influences down at the Black Mesa and Lake Powell.

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Old 10-17-2009, 09:48 PM   #11
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A problem with sharpening is it tends to antialias diagonal lines. Look at the pantograph in the 2nd image, it has become jagged (stepped) looking.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:37 AM   #12
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well,
Smart sharpening ignores selections..
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