Two Pass Sharpening
This is simple and easy to use. One slider from ‘a little’ to ‘a lot’. At both ends of the spectrum you’ll see that there is plenty of range from soft right through to overly sharpened. Adjust the slider and hit ‘Refresh’ to preview changes.
Expert Sharpening – or Two Pass Sharpening
The Expert Sharpening feature offers two passes of sharpening, each highly configurable.
This mechanism is similar (but not the exact same) to the Unsharp Mask (USM) function in LightRoom or PhotoShop.
If you’ve used USM then you can easily map your settings in LightRoom or PhotoShop across to BlogStomp (just copy the values), and get pretty close – you might have to tweak them a little to get it looking spot on.
Often with two pass sharpening, you can have a wider but softer reach for the first pass, then a narrow but more intense reach for the second. The defaults we’ve set for Expert Sharpening mode reflect this.
Now all that may not make too much sense to many people, so feel free to stop here, because it’s about to get geekier. We’d suggest just diving in and having a play around with the new Expert Sharpening settings.
The three variables to Unsharp Mask are explained below – with a lot of help from our good mate Wikipedia:
- Amount: This controls the magnitude of each overshoot (how much darker and how much lighter the edge borders become). This can also be thought of as how much contrast is added at the edges. It does not affect the width of the edge rims.
- Radius: This affects the size of the edges to be enhanced or how wide the edge rims become, so a smaller radius enhances smaller-scale detail. Higher Radius values can cause halos at the edges, a detectable faint light rim around objects. Fine detail needs a smaller Radius. Radius and Amount interact – reducing one allows more of the other.
- Threshold: This controls the minimum brightness change that will be sharpened, or how far apart adjacent tonal values have to be before the filter does anything. This lack of action is important to prevent smooth areas from becoming speckled. The threshold setting can be used to sharpen more-pronounced edges, while leaving subtler edges untouched. Low values should sharpen more because fewer areas are excluded. Higher threshold values exclude areas of lower contrast.
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