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Thread: Nik Sharpner Pro 3.0 help

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    Member kaiser's Avatar
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    Nik Sharpner Pro 3.0 help

    Hey all,

    I've jsut started using the Nik Software Shaprner plugin for CS4.

    I am trying to get the output for print sharpening right. I have selected the relevant parameters (continuous tone printer, 300DPI, viewing distance etc)

    Now if I just want default global output sharpening, do I leave the "creative sharpening settings at their default? (Strength: 100%....)

    Also I am a bit confused by the sharpening softproof view. When I go into softproof view mode, the image looks even more oversharpened than what it does in the normal view mode. I though the soft proof is meant to give a rough idea of what the print will look like?

    I know that an image sharpened for print will generally look oversharp on a monitor, so should I just leave everything at default and hope for the best?

    The lab I am using isn't being very helpful- I sent 5 images through all with various strengths of sharpening - but now they said they'll charge me an extra $12.50 just to look at these five and tell me which one looks the best. I didn't want to pay $25 courier charge just for 5 test prints so I was hoping they could just tell me over the phone which print looked sharpest -then I could just see what setting I used for that image and batch process the rest and send them through in bulk.

    Do you guys generally do a batch output sharpening before you send off to print, or do you do it on a per image basis and perhaps use the brush / mask etc to skip sharpening on some areas all together (blank skies, skin etc)

    Thanks for your help!

    I have attached 2 screen captures to illustrate my problem understanding the "softproof". First capture is in normal view mode, second with softproof turn on.
    Last edited by kaiser; 14-07-2010 at 1:55pm. Reason: add attach
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  2. #2
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    Here are the screenshots
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    AFAIK there is no real way to tell what they are going to look like printed until you do a test print. Way too many variables. Why 5 prints with varied sharpness settings? I would just do one at default and adjust accordingly for next time....

    or just give them $12.50 its not an unreasonable amount. also dont they have an FTP upload thingy so you can send images through withoutr a courier?
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    oversharpening slightly for printing is good. Prints 'bleed' as the colour is transferred onto the paper. A slightly oversharpened digital file will often result in a truly stunning print with perfect sharpness. The only way to make sure you get it right is testing, by doing it. The photo paper being used also affects the end result, cause some don't bleed as much as others, or vise-versa. It is a bit of trial and error, but slightly over-sharpening is a good point to start at.
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    I thought if I sent through 5 prints with varied strength, it would give me a more accurate result. For example if I sent through one at default and it came back too sharp, how would i know how much to back the sharpening down by. They have an FTP upload which is what I used. The courier charge I was referring to was what they charge to deliver the prints to me. They are in NSW, I'm in regional QLD.

    matt.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    how about emailing them and seeing if they have a suggestion as to what sharpness level you should use?

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    Thanks Rick. I realise the software can not possible accomodate all the variables of different printers and papers types, I just thought a "soft proofer" image would look less sharpened.

    I think part of my problem was that some of the images I was running through Nik Sharperner, I had already applied a final USM or high pass sharp to them - so I was probably doubling up on sharpening. So I went back to the master Tiff image, undid that final USM and used the Nik Tool instead which did give a better result. From there I adjusted the strength of the sharpening to look good on the soft proof ciew. Will see how the prints come back now.

    matt

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    off-topic a bit, but I have found a double sharpen sometimes is good, I find I can sharpen twice at a lower setting and get a better result, than sharpening once at twice the setting.

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    I did speak to one of the techs over the phone initally, and all he said was to sharpen the image using USM at 100% view until it looked good, which I suspected wasn't the most accurate advice.

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