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Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider

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Advanced Sharpening Techniques

Now that you understand the basics of sharpening, it's time to delve into the realm of advanced sharpening. Consider yourself warned that this is pro-level stuff and not for the faint of heart. (Basically, these methods involve many more steps than the techniques you've learned so far.) In this section, you'll learn how to create a detailed edge mask, make a new high-contrast channel, and sharpen using the High Pass filter. Read on, brave warrior!

Note

This book doesn't cover every Photoshop sharpening technique; if it did, it'd be too heavy to lift! Instead, it covers the most practical and frequently used methods. If you want to learn more, pick up a copy of Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop CS2 (Peachpit Press, 2006), by Bruce Fraser. The book is a few years old, but it teaches you everything you ever wanted to know about the art of sharpening.

Creating an Edge Mask

An edge mask is simply a layer mask that accentuates the edges in your image. (Pop back to What Is Sharpening? for a refresher on what "edge" means in this context.) The mask itself, which you apply to the layer you want to sharpen, is black except for a white outline of your image. Because, in the land of the layer mask, black conceals and white reveals, this makes the sharpening show only in the edges. However, instead of drawing such a complicated mask yourself (that would take days!), you can have Photoshop create one for you by using the (rather lengthy) method described ...

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