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Lesson 6. Photo Retouching > Applying the Unsharp Mask filter

Applying the Unsharp Mask filter

The last step you take when retouching a photo is to apply the Unsharp Mask filter, which adjusts the contrast of the edge detail and creates the illusion of a more focused image.

Choose Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask.

In the Unsharp Mask dialog box, make sure that the Preview option is selected so that you can view the effect before you apply it. The preview will show in either the Unsharp Mask dialog box thumbnail or your document window. To get a better view, you can place the pointer within the preview window and drag to see different parts of the image. You can also change the magnification of the preview image with the plus and minus buttons located below the window.

Drag the Amount slider until the image is as sharp as you want (we used 60%).

Drag the Radius slider to determine the number of pixels surrounding the edge pixels that affects the sharpening. The higher the resolution, the higher the Radius setting should be. Since our image is only 72 dpi, we used a Radius of 0.5 pixel.


For high-resolution images, a Radius between 1 and 2 is recommended.

If you desire, you can adjust the Threshold slider. This determines how different the sharpened pixels must be from the surrounding area before they are considered edge pixels and subsequently sharpened by the Unsharp Mask filter. The default Threshold value of 0 sharpens all pixels in the image.

Click OK to apply the Unsharp Mask filter.


For complete information on the Unsharp Mask filter, see "Sharpening the image" in Adobe Photoshop 6.0 online Help.



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