Advanced sharpening for web in one click and full control.

There are many tutorials how to sharp images for web, and I tested majority of them. Finally I found the one which works best for me. I did not invent the algorithm, big thanks to smart Russian guy, photographer Pavel Kosenko for his research, summarizing the knowledge and finally action he created. I use this action couple years already and very happy with result.

I am not a theorist I only filter and use the best on the marker:-). So if you are interested in theory, please read books and another blogs for the explanation on how and why every step works this way. Here I give you only a practical part. This action works best for web size images from 300 х 200 px to 1200 x 800 px.

Below one of the examples of how this actions works. Mouse Over to see Before and After

Advanced sharpening in photoshop for web.
Advanced sharpening in Photoshop for web.

Now, the sharpening process, step by step (or you can download Action at the bottom of this article):

1 step

Re-size the photo for web ( mine 800 x 526). I use Resample Image: Bicubic algorithm.

Resize Image
Resize Image

2 step

Duplicate layer

3 step

Filter/Sharpen/Smart Sharpen:

Smart Sharpen.
Smart Sharpen.
Smart sharpen shadow, hightlight.
Smart sharpen shadow, highlight.

4 step

When you use Filter Smart Sharpen light pixels can make a white halo on darker areas. To reduce this effect we duplicate the sharpening layer. Change the blend mode of the first sharpening layer from “Normal” to “Darken”, the second (duplicate) layer to “Lighten”.

Than set the opacity value to 80% on “Darken” Layer and 50% on “Lighten” Layer. Opacity value depends from size of the picture, image details and your taste. Play with Opacity slider to see differences.

5 step

Add a Layer Mask to both sharpening layers. Paint over with a black brush if you would like to fade the sharpening effect on some areas.

Sharpening for web in photoshop..
Sharpening for web in photoshop


Big advantage of this method is a full control over the process and ability to roll it back.

And finally the assembled ACTION:-)

Download Intelligent Sharpen by Pavel Kosenko


Thank you for looking. Any feedback and suggestions are very welcome!
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