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Book Review: Color Confidence by Tim Grey
Monday May 24, 2004
by IR Staff

IR Staff reviews Tim Grey's new book Color Confidence. Included is an excerpt from the book, Chapter 3, which deals with choosing and calibrating Displays.

Creating Panoramas
Monday May 10, 2004
by Ellen Anon

Ellen Anon illustrates the creation of Panoramas in Photoshop.

Working with Pressure Sensitive Tablets
Monday May 3, 2004
by Katrin Eismann

Katrin Eismann outlines the use of pressure sensitive tablets in image processing.

Book Review: Mastering Digital Photography and Imaging(Updated)
Monday April 26, 2004
by IR Staff

IR Staff reviews Peter K. Burian's latest book, "Mastering Digital Photography and Imaging."

Digital Workflow for RAW Processing: Part IV - Batch
Thursday April 1, 2004
by Jeff Schewe

The fourth in a five part series, Jeff demonstrates the application of settings from one image to a series of images within Photoshop.

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Software > Inside Photoshop > PK Sharpening for the web

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AuthorSubject: PK Sharpening for the web   [Go to Bottom of Page]
Arlen Thomason
Posted on Mon Jan 5, 2004 1:38 PM

I've been using PK Sharpener for some time now and overall am very happy with it. However, I would like to better understand the best way to achieve optimum results, particularly when sharpening images intended for final viewing on a computer monitor.

The key question for me is, at what point(s) in the sharpening process should we expect to see optimum results? In the case where a print is the final output, the following is my understanding of the PK Sharpener workflow. Upon bringing an image (in my case usually an unsharpened Canon 10D RAW file) into PS CS, Capture Sharpener is applied to offset loss of sharpness in the capture process. If the image needs any further sharpening to look optimum ONSCREEN, then Creative Sharpeners are applied until we are satisfied that the image looks just right. Now when we go to print, we want the printed image to look as much as possible like this ONSCREEN image. But since some sharpness will be lost in the printing process, before printing we apply the Output Sharpener to compensate, so that the final print will indeed look as sharp as the ONSCREEN image. I am emphasizing ONSCREEN because I am assuming that this is the reference point around which we are judging our optimization steps.

Now, what about the case where the final output is not a print, but rather a web (ONSCREEN) image? Since we have already optimized the sharpness for ONSCREEN viewing using Capture and possibly Creative Sharpeners, what is the purpose of applying the Output for Web Sharpener? Is it to compensate for changes that occur during the downsizing that is usually performed on an in image intended for the web? What if the image is not downsized; is Output Sharpener for the Web still recommended? And if compensation for downsizing is the issue, is the situation changed now that Bicubic Sharper (rather than Bicubic) is the recommended method for downsizing an image in PS CS?

These questions came up recently when I was preparing some images of snow-covered tree branches that contain a lot of fine detail. The master images in PS after optimization including Capture and Creative Sharpeners look great onscreen, and also in prints after the addition of the Inkjet Output Sharpener. But the same images prepared for the web, downsized with Bicubic Sharper and using the Web Output Sharpener, are much less satisfactory. That got me to thinking about whether I should be optimizing for sharpness in the master image, or in the downsized web image; and how best to do it. Should the master image be a little less sharp than optimum, to leave some overhead for sharpening in the Web Output or Inkjet Output steps?

Sorry for the long post, but I hope this is an issue of interest to others as well.


... this thread contains expert advice from Andrew Rodney.




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