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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How to fix blurry images in Photoshop using shake reductions

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, this video is all about taking images that are just a little bit blurry, out of focus, things were moving when I was-- this little guy was ringing around when I was trying to photograph him, but I loved the shot, it's taken on a cell phone, everything is against it, but Shake Reduction, I'll turn it on there, just adds a little bit of level of sharpness there, kind of tidies it up, not 100% but it's definitely a lot better. So let's look at Shake Reduction in Adobe Photoshop. 

To get started let's open up the two images, 'Shake Reduction 1' and '2' from the '04 Fixing Images' folder. Now the trouble with fixing this particular image, it's really hard to find stock library images of bad images. So you have to dive into your own images, and then you're like, "Who's going to put up a fuss?" My baby's not going to mind if I use him, and I'm not going to mind. Phil might mind, but Phil doesn't even have an internet connection. He's not going to know. So let's start with Oliver, my new little baby. I love this picture, but he was just wiggling around too much. He's kind of, like a little bit blurry. This background's kind of an okay focus, it's just a cell phone picture. Just want to get the most from it. 

So there is no, like magic potion, but you can always make things, I'd say, 30-40% better, if they're just a little out of focus, a little blurry, either you were jiggling around, or in my case, my little gremlin was. Let's be fancy and make this non-destructive. So right click the 'Layer' and say, 'Convert to Smart Object'. Just so we can apply it as a filter to turn on and off later on. And let's go to 'Filter', let's go to 'Sharpen'. And we'll use this top one here. All of these guys do a similar type of job. They're all about kind of removing the blurriness, gathering some more detail. In my experience, Shake Reduction is the best out of all of them. Even if it's not a shaky image, more a blurry image, it gives you a lot of control in here, rather than just kind of turning it up and down, like say, some of the other filters do. 

Now twirl in Advanced, if it's open like yours, that will disappear. And the simple version is, if you click somewhere on this, you can see the little preview over here. And that's my main point of focus, and what it will to do is, wherever you click, it will kind of tell Photoshop that this is kind of the most important area. Analyze this as your kind of baseline to do the fixing. Let's turn Artifact Suppression 'on', yours is probably by default. And we've got these settings here. This one does look at-- we've kind of clicked here, and it's using a portion around where I've clicked. You can slide it up and down to kind of include it and exclude more. Doesn't really matter, what you're really looking for is, does lowering it make it better or just raising it? Make it better. 

Now what you'll find though, it's quite a stressful process, so watch this. I'm going to drag this down here, you can see this one updates first, and then I've got this little thing that says, the quality's not quite right, we're trying our best, we're showing to you, but wait, wait until that thing's gone. My poor little computer's flying around. Can hear the fans coming on. So just wait until that's gone. You'll notice there's often a little bar that runs across here, and you want to wait till that thing disappears. Or just keep an eye on this, this goes first. It's like a little preview, and then eventually it will update the whole thing. 

So how do I like it? I'm going to zoom in. Best to probably look at 100%, so you can switch it down here to 100%. That's kind of like the best view to be in. You can be zoomed in any more detail but if it's not going to get any bigger, if you keep zooming in, you're going to spot all, maybe get a little bit caught up in some of the artifacts when, if it's going to be viewed about this size. Then just preview it at this size. So do I like it? How good is it compared to the original? Just tap the 'P' key, and it just kind of toggles this on and off, so I just, on my keyboard here, P 'on', P 'off'. You can see, it's doing a pretty good job. It's just like, I guess it's definitely like, I'd say 30% better, maybe 40% better. A lot of details in here are great. His clothes get a lot sharper, that's what they-- on, off, give it a sec. On, you can see, it’s just kind of flicking over here. 

Now with these other two settings here, like this one up the top here, don't worry too much about what it's-- like what these mean. Although this one's quite obvious, you just got a look at the end results. Smoothing, up high, just gets really milky, which might be necessary in some images. Remember, I'm waiting for this to be finished, or I'm checking it in here, because I don't want to kind of make my decision based on this low res preview. Don't like it, P 'on', I'm just tapping the P key, 'P', 'P'. Actually Smoothing, yeah, and keep it reasonably low. Artifact Suppression, same thing, on or off. 

Basically what this means is, we're using Shake Reduction. If I tuned Artifact Suppression all the way down, I'm using a 100% of the Shake Reduction. If I turn it all the way up here, it's actually doing absolutely nothing, the Shake Reduction. So this is more of like how much of this is applied, slider. Can even turn it off completely to say, actually just don't try and suppress this Shake Reduction, go full noise, please. So let's leave him there, let's click 'OK'. I'm just going to toggle the undo key, so 'Command Z'. Before, after. 'Ctrl Z' on a PC. You can see, it's just-- let's go in here. Handsome man! 

You can see, there's some artifacts, it's just the way-- like this is-- we're trying to make lemonade out of lemons, or all that twirled in glitter. I'm not sure we can actually use that one. Can you say that in a video? But you get what I mean, right? We've all had these problems, and there's no, like absolute magic cure, but Shake Reduction gets us a lot of the way there. And because it's a Smart Filter, we can kind of turn it off or on, or just kind of like, click on this, off and on. Or because it's a Layer Mask as well we could click on this and decide that-- using my paintbrush, and using black, I can kind of paint bits out, you can see there, I can decide that, it's kind of good round here, but it's doing weird stuff around this area. 

So I'm just going to kind of paint that out so it's not doing the Shake Reduction around these areas, really just kind of focus it into the little man's face. There's my terrible mask there. Let's look at the second version. We'll go a little bit more advanced. Best dressed man I know. This is us at our-- every year we meet up, me and all my friends, and our kids. All get together, rent a beach house in beautiful old New Zealand. This is us cutting firewood, stuff you did not need to know. I should probably explain this but let's look at 'Select', no, not in Select, so I got it selected, let's convert it into a Smart Object because we're pros. Let's go to 'Filter', 'Sharpen', 'Shake Reduction'. And the difference between this one and the last one, is that there's kind of like two focus areas. 

So what we can do is twirl down Advanced. And what we can say is, grab the center of it and say, that there is something that's quite important; Cyprus Phil's face. And there's another one here. I'm going to click once on my face. Actually click and drag around my face. So there's kind of two paths, there's this one, and then there's this one. It's just analyzing these two separate areas. And you can actually change the settings per little box. So these are-- they bring pretty close focus. Let's say it's this and not Phil's face, and it is way back here. So you can have a different group of settings here, the Trace Bounds and the Smoothing. For this particular section, and different for this section, to kind of get the most out of Shake Reduction. That's what makes it really cool, compared to some of the other sharpened features. 

Again, just going to kind of work through. Blur, Smoothing, you might change Artifacts back on just for this section. I turn it off. I'll draw another one for my man and then go here. Smoothing, probably come down a bit. How's this one doing? I'm happy with that, let's click 'OK'. And I've gone totally too far on this, go back into Shake Reduction. Just double clicked on the word 'Shake Reduction' in the Layers Panel there. And spend a bit more time in here. I think I need Artifact Suppression on pretty much all of these. There we go, it's a terrible image, it's a bit better now. This one here just means, lower, and that's going to be enough for me for the moment. So before, after, before, after. You can see, we lost a chunk of the milkiness from the image. So again, it's only going to get you a bit further through. Out of focus images are really tough, but Shake Reduction is the best way to clean them up. All right, let's get on to the next video.