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Thread: Getting back on the horse: Unsharp Mask

  1. #1
    Senior Member Futterman's Avatar
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    Getting back on the horse: Unsharp Mask

    Okay. It's been too long.

    Just starting to take a look through my backlog (years' worth, perhaps) and pulling some photos out to edit, and I'm struggling to remember how the unsharp mask in Photoshop works.

    I seem to remember getting pretty consistent results with 50% / 0.3 / 6 . I would use a setting like that for starters, then tweak on a case-by-case basis.

    How does that sound to you guys? What do you use for USM?

    Here's a sample of a recent edit. PLEASE be nitpicky. To me, it looks a bit soft and like it's got a vomit color cast.



    Thanks,

    Brian
    "My wife is an air traffic controller. I married her because I've always wanted to screw the FAA." - B. Wulle

  2. #2
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    Re: Getting back on the horse: Unsharp Mask

    I usually go with USM set at 250, .2, 0. I most often apply it twice - but it is case by case depending on need. Each round of USM is usually done in a duplicate layer so that jaggies can be erased if they appear.

  3. #3
    Moderator mirrodie's Avatar
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    Re: Getting back on the horse: Unsharp Mask

    Hey Brian, I am pretty rusty but I looked at my last saved unsharp settings and I saw that I do 2 passes:


    500 0.2 0
    followed usually by
    97 0.2 0


    I hope that helps.

    BTW, I have never really understood layers and how to work with them. Can anyone please share the basic concept and how to apply it?
    And I, I took the path less traveled by
    and that has made all the difference......yet...
    I have a feeling a handle of people are going to be very interested in what I post in the near future.

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=187

  4. #4
    Senior Member MarkLawrence's Avatar
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    Re: Getting back on the horse: Unsharp Mask

    I've always done 3 passes at 50 0.3 0 - for my camera and lens, that works.
    Mark Lawrence - KFLL
    Davie, FL

    Community Manager NYCAviation.com
    email: [email protected]

    http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=1538
    http://amateuravphoto.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Re: Getting back on the horse: Unsharp Mask

    Quote Originally Posted by mirrodie
    Hey Brian, I am pretty rusty but I looked at my last saved unsharp settings and I saw that I do 2 passes:


    500 0.2 0
    followed usually by
    97 0.2 0


    I hope that helps.

    BTW, I have never really understood layers and how to work with them. Can anyone please share the basic concept and how to apply it?
    Here's how I use layers with USM in CS2:

    Once I get the image to the point where I want to sharpen, I create a duplicate layer [Layer>Duplicate Layer]

    I then apply the sharpening to the duplicate layer - the original layer is still underneath, you just can't see it.
    If any jaggies are apparent, I then select the eraser tool with a width of about 20px and opacity of 50%. Then you just erase where you see the jaggies - the original layer below then shows through where you erased. I use opacity at 50% so that I can take away just some of the sharpening. If you still see jaggies after one pass with the eraser then give it another swipe and you will have erased all of the sharpened layer.

    Once happy with my erasing, I then flatten [Layer>Flatten Image]

    If the image still needs more sharpening, I'll do the whole process again.

    Sounds like a lot of work but sometimes is necessary - especially with business jets with all the cheat lines.

    Try it out!

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