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From the book Applying the Shake Reduction filter

Applying the Shake Reduction filter

The Shake Reduction filter detects, then resharpens, edges in a photo that were blurred due to slight shaking of the camera. The filter produces better quality results on indoor shots of a static subject taken in good natural lighting with a slow shutter speed and no flash, or on indoor or outdoor photos taken with a long focal length. The photos should contain few bright highlights and minimal noise.

Improvements to the Shake Reduction filter include a new check box that disables or enables Artifact Suppression, as well as controls for adjusting the length or direction of a blur trace path. You can compare and adjust the Smoothing and Suppression settings for any pair of blur trace regions via sliders in a loupe. The dialog preview provides support for retina displays, and the preview on large monitors is also improved.

To apply the Shake Reduction filter:

Part 1 — Choose basic settings

  1. Do either of the following:
  2. For the best results, open a raw photo into Camera Raw; correct for noise; apply minimal exposure adjustments, if necessary; then hold down Shift and click Open Object.A

    Open an RGB photo into Photoshop. Duplicate the photo layer (Ctrl-J/Cmd-J), then right-click the duplicate layer and choose Convert to Smart Object from the context menu.

    A This original photo is blurred due to camera movement.

  3. Choose Filter > Sharpen > Shake Reduction. To let the filter evaluate the amount of noise in the image, keep the Source Noise menu set to Auto.
  4. An area of the photo in which the filter detects blurred edges displays in a loupe (enlarged detail).B If the loupe is docked and you want to float it over the image, click the Undock Detail button (Q) in the Detail area; or if the loupe is floating and you want to dock it in the panel, click its close (X) button. It works the same in both locations.
  5. B The Shake Reduction filter chose a location for the loupe.

  6. You can change the area that the filter evaluates for the correction. If the loupe is floating, drag it to a new location; if the loupe is docked, drag within it. Or choose the Blur Estimation tool (E), then click another area of the image. To optimize the filter results based on the new area, click the Enhance At Loupe Location button in the lower-left corner of the loupe. The blur and ghosting correction will render first within the loupe, then in the overall preview.
  7. To try out a few Blur Trace Bounds values, drag the slider to the lower portion of its range, then release to preview the results; next, drag the slider to the middle portion of its range, then release to preview; and finally, do the same for the upper portion of its range (A, next page). Set the slider to the value that produced the best results.
  8. A We tried out low-, mid-, and high-range Blur Trace Bounds values before deciding on a high value of 132 px.

  9. If you’re satisfied with the filter results, click OK. If not, continue with Parts 2 through 7...
    • To compare the sharpened and unsharpened versions of the image, press P, then press P again. You can also press and hold on the loupe, then release.

Part 2 — Reduce edge noise

  1. Check Artifact Suppression; the Artifact Suppression slider appears. To eliminate noise artifacts in low- and medium-contrast areas of the image, set the slider to a medium value (30–50%). (If you leave Artifact Suppression off, the image may look sharper, but will also contain more artifacts.)
  2. The Smoothing option reduces noise in an image, but in so doing also makes the image look less sharp. With artifacts now remedied by Artifact Suppression, we suggest that you reduce the Smoothing value until noise begins to reappear. The lower Smoothing value will make the edges look sharper.
  3. If you’re satisfied with the results, click OK. If not, continue with Part 3, below.

In its standard mode, the Shake Reduction filter analyzes just one region. To enable it to analyze more than one region, follow these steps.

Part 3 — Create multiple blur trace regions

  1. If the Advanced area isn’t expanded, click the arrowhead. Click the Add Suggested Blur Trace button to add a new blur estimation region.B Another thumbnail appears in the side panel.
  2. B When we clicked the Add Suggested Blur Trace button, the estimation region created by the filter straddled the edge of the picture frame and produced more ghosting.

  3. If you need to reposition the estimation region, drag the pin in its center. If you need to resize the region, drag any handle.C
  4. C To prevent the high-contrast edges of the picture frame from being analyzed, we sized the blur estimation region to fit the oil painting. By manually designating the region to be analyzed, we obtained better results.

  5. To designate the region the filter will use to optimize the sharpening, check the box under one or both thumbnails. If you check both boxes, the filter will optimize the sharpening for each region, then apply a combination of those settings to other areas of the image (A, next page).
  6. A To produce a combined sharpening result, we checked both thumbnails in the Advanced area. The white shapes in the thumbnails indicate the shape and direction of a blur that was caused by camera shake.

Part 4 — Create and adjust a blur trace path

  1. Zoom to around 200–300% in an area that shows ghosting from camera shake. Choose the Blur Direction tool (R), then drag a very short distance from the ghosted edge to the spot where you want it to be relocated. Another blur trace thumbnail appears in the side panel. Check Preview.
  2. Under Blur Trace Settings,B move the Blur Trace Length slider to adjust the length of the path (to match the distance that edges in the photo were moved, and therefore blurred, by the camera shake). If needed, also rotate the Blur Trace Direction dial to adjust the angle of the path.
  3. B Using the controls under Blur Trace Settings, you can customize any user-created blur trace path.

  4. Click OK to apply the filter settings and exit the dialog, or continue with another part of this task.

Part 5 — Compare and adjust blur trace settings in a loupe

  1. If you haven’t already done so, create two or more blur estimation regions in the preview either by clicking the Add Suggested Blur Trace button,  or by dragging twice in the preview with the Blur Estimation tool (E). Adjust the blur trace settings for each region.
  2. In the Advanced area, hold down Ctrl/Cmd and click two blur trace thumbnails for which you want to compare and adjust settings. The results of the current settings for the selected thumbnails will display side by side in a large loupe.C
  3. C We held down Ctrl/Cmd and clicked two blur trace thumbnails: The adjustment results for the two regions displayed side by side in a large loupe.

  4. Adjust the Smoothing and [Artifact] Suppression sliders in either or both panels of the loupe.
  5. Optional: To compare and adjust the tracing results while viewing a different part of the image, drag in either panel of the loupe.
  6. To close the loupe, click the close box (X) in its upper-left corner or press Esc.

Part 6 —Save your Shake Reduction settings for future use

  1. From the Advanced menu In the Shake Reduction dialog, choose Save Workspace to save the current estimation regions, blur trace thumbnails, and slider settings; or choose Save Blur Trace to save just the currently selected blur trace thumbnail and its settings.A
  2. A Via the menu in the Advanced area of the Shake Reduction dialog, you can save and load your custom settings.

  3. In the Save Workspace or Save Blur Trace dialog, enter a file name (keep the default extension), choose a location, then click Save.
  4. To access a saved Shake Reduction workspace or saved blur trace settings at any time, choose Load from the Advanced menu, locate the saved workspace or blur trace file, then click Open.

Part 7 —  Exit the Shake Reduction dialog

When you’re satisfied with the filter results, click OK.

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