getting the optimal sharpness out of your online thumbnails

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by nakedyak, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    Sorry for the long title, but when i look at my own pictures online, sometimes it seems like they aren't as sharp as they should be. I see many picture that are extremely sharp, and I don't know how to get that in a 600 pixel wide picture. I usually apply some degree of "unsharp mask" to my picture before uploading them, but should i vary this from picture to picture? I dont want to sharpen them too much obviously, but i am wondering if i'm forgetting to do something obvious that would help improve the way they look. Let me know if you guys know of any ideas, or what you usually do for your own pictures
     
  2. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When you save your web images, at what level do you save them? A JPG saved at a 8 or 9 is a lot sharper than one say saved at level 5.
     
  3. jadin

    jadin The Mad Hatter

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    Just fine tune your USM. I almost always use 100% and a threshold of 5. The only thing I change is the radius. I usually use anywhere from .5 to 1.0 whatever I decide looks best for that photo.
     
  4. Meysha

    Meysha still being picky Vicky

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    Definately use the unsharp mask.... a couple of times too. Don't necessarily use it once at 200% at 3px for example. Try it a couple of times with different settings. I find that works best for me.

    Make sure you vary your pixel setting as well... i find that most important.
     
  5. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    I usually try to make sure my images are around 100kb each, but sometimes that isn't possible, so i try to make sure i dont save them at less than 8 or 9 jpg level. I"ll try varying the settings on the USM
     
  6. Mumfandc

    Mumfandc TPF Noob!

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    There are (some expensive) Photoshop plug-in programs like Nik Sharpener Pro which make USM easier to apply to images, in case you're interested. With them, you can specify things like, output size, viewing distance, printer resolution etc.

    When it comes to digital cameras, I tend to set the camera's sharpening mode to "normal" or "0" or whatever.

    Usually USM should be applied last in Photoshop, after you've finished making all edits/adjustments to your image.

    The method I was taught for setting USM in Photoshop:

    1) First, click "View/Actual Pixels" or type 100% in the navigator window.

    2) Go to the "unsharp mask filter" dialog box.

    3) Slide "Amount" up to like 350%

    4) Set "Radius" to your output dpi divided by 150 (i.e. radius=2 if your dpi is 300, 300/150=2)

    5) Slide your "Threshold" gradually up until noise is reduced in the image.

    6) Last, slide the "Amount" slider down until you don't see any "halo" around the edges of your image in the preview box. (Check and uncheck the "preview" box to preview the change in the main window).

    May take some tinkering in certain cases, but this method gets the job done well for me. Sometimes when you have a low resolution image, it often helps to INCREASE the dpi then sharpen. You might want to also experiment with applying Unsharp Mask twice or more to the image at a LOWER "Amount" setting (<75%).
     
  7. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    thanks, i'll give that a try
     

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