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Photo Softening Technique Using NEAT Image Pro

By Matt Hardy - Salt Lake City, Utah

A Technique using a digital filter designed to reduce visible noise in digital photographic images to soften images.

Original Image:

Step 1.

  • Open your original image in Photoshop
  • Perform a curve adjustment to lighten up your image a bit. (adjustment levels will vary depending on the photo's exposure) The settinges I used were as follows:

     

     

     Input: 120

    Output: 135

     

Step 2.

  • Perform an Unsharp Mask (adjustment levels will vary depending on the photo's sharpness)
  • Filter---> Sharpen---> Unsharp Mask (in the menu)

    Amount: 195

    Radius: 1.0

    Threshold: 0


  • Brighness and Contrast may need a slight adjustment I adjusted contrast +5

Step 3.

  • Make a snapshot of your image (in the history menu. Right click--->Make new snapshot)
  • Ctrl z to undo your unsharp mask
  • Select history brush from the tool pallette
  • Check brush to snapshot and select the original layer
  • Use the history brush to go over the eyes and sharpen them
  • After PS adjustments

Step 4.

  • Open Neat Image (if you do not have it a free trial can be downloaded at http://www.neatimage.com/
  • Open you image
  • Select the device noise profile tab and drag a window in your image ( do not include eyes in the window)
  • Ctrl R ( this builds the profile using the selected area, it can also be done from the profile menu)
  • After profile has been built click on the noise filter settings tab
  • Drag a window over key elements of your photo for preview
  • Adjust settings until you get things the way you like ( I have included a picture of the settings used for demonstration below.)
  • Once you have it set the way you would like it to be click on the Output Image tab and click the apply button (for very large images this can take awhile)
  • After filters have been applied save as and you are done
  • I sometimes pull the image back into photoshop and readjust levels one more because Neat image will sometimes change the effect
    After Filtering:

And here is a before and after of the shot.

All Images and Text Copyright Matt Hardy. All rights reserved.

To view more info on NEAT IMAGE PRO click HERE



 

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