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Old 12-31-2007, 07:11 PM
Satchidananda Ashram Satchidananda Ashram is offline
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CS3 Clarity Slider

What do you experienced image editors think of CS3 Camera RAW's Clarity Slider. How often do you use it?




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Old 12-31-2007, 07:24 PM
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Re: CS3 Clarity Slider

I love it and use it a great deal. It might even be fair to say I use it compulsively. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to me to be a particularly suitable effect for automatic/blanket application. (Technically, I'm using the same slider in Lightroom, rather than Camera RAW, but it is the exact same thing.)

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Old 12-31-2007, 08:07 PM
Aaron Winters Aaron Winters is offline
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Re: CS3 Clarity Slider

It is a great feature, you could almost think of it as midtone contrast. I have it default to adding a little clarity when I import and then adjust from there.

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Old 01-01-2008, 08:50 AM
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Re: CS3 Clarity Slider

I use it on every image, with the preview window set to 100%. It appears to me to produce the same effect I used to get by using Unsharp Mask at a relatively small amount and very large radius.

The main precaution I would raise is to watch the histogram, because if you have optimized the levels in the image to spread over the entire range (short of clipping the highlights,) the Clarity control can push the lighter levels too much to the right.
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:58 AM
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Re: CS3 Clarity Slider

It shouldn't really be thought of like a sharpening control although technically, since its increasing Midtone contrast, I guess you can think of it that way (but lots of rending controls give such appearance). Its based on the technique of Mac Holbert at Nash Editions that he used in nearly all images prior to printing there on existing rendered images in Photoshop (its an easy set of steps if you need them). I prefer to do this all in Lightroom. Not every image benefits but many do.
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:08 AM
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Noel_Carboni Noel_Carboni is offline
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Re: CS3 Clarity Slider

Looks like some kind of subtle large radius unsharp mask operation to me.

I find I can control results better doing such operations in Photoshop proper, so I rarely use the Clarity control in the raw converter. My strategy for raw conversion is to deliver the cleanest unclipped data into Photoshop as possible, then process it the rest of the way to perfection there. I suggest that best-in-show results can be obtained this way, though there are definitely things that the converter does exceedingly well, such as lens corrections.

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Old 01-01-2008, 11:15 AM
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AndrewRodney AndrewRodney is offline
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Re: CS3 Clarity Slider

And I'd do all the work globally possible in the Raw converter. Its faster, you get better data and you can back out of any move and re-render the image. Local corrections I'd do in Photoshop, global to get the best master, I do in LR. have no problem with the controls there.

As for Clarity being USM like, here's the exact steps Mac uses in Photoshop:

Quote:
Midtone Contrast

1. Highlight your top layer in your Layers Palette then:

2a. In CS I: Select Layer->New->Layer to create a new, blank layer at the top of your Layer Stack. Then, holding down
your Opt Key (Mac) / Alt Key (PC), select Merge Visible from the fly-down menu on the right side of your Layers Palette.
Be sure to keep the Opt/Alt depressed until you see the blank layer update. You should now have an additional layer at the
top of your layer stack. It represents how the image would appear if you had flattened your layers. Rename this layer
“Midtone Contrast”
-OR-
2b. In CS II: Holding down your Opt Key (Mac) / Alt Key (PC), select Merge Visible from the fly-down menu on the right
side of your Layers Palette. Be sure to keep the Opt / Alt depressed until you see the blank layer update. You should now
have an additional layer at the top of your layer stack. It represents how the image would appear if you had flattened your
layers. Rename this layer “Midtone Contrast”



3. Ne xt double-click on the Midtone Contrast layer icon to bring up the Layer Style Palette. Change the Blend Mode to
Overlay and lower the Blend Mode Opacity to 20%. Now move the left “This Layer” slider to 70. Now Split away the left
side of that slider by holding down the Opt / Alt key and move it to 50. Repeat the same process on the right “This Layer”
slider, moving the sliders to 185 and 205 respectively. Then select “OK”.



4. Now select Filter->Other->High Pass. In the High Pass Palette set the radius to 50 and select “OK”. Now select Image-
>Adjustments->Desaturate. The Midtone Contrast layer is now complete. At 20% opacity it should be very subtle, but
noticable. The effect can be decreased or increased by raising or lowering the Midtone Contrast Layer opacity. I’ve found
that the proper setting can usually be found between 20% and 40% opacity. Above 40% one risks creating “halo” artifacts
that are visually distracting.
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