Desirable improvements to Lightroom and ACR sharpening mask

  • 1
  • Idea
  • Updated 4 years ago
I love almost everything about Lightroom and rarely use anything else these day. Nothing else comes close.
However, the sharpening mask is definitely an exception !!

When using the sharpening mask it often seems to affects the brightest regions first and the darkest regions last, as the strength is increased. Yet the brightest areas are generally those that don't show much noise and allow the highest levels of detail, hence need a reduced or zero level of masking. You generally want more masking in the mid-tones and on down to the darker areas..

It would be great if you could either (1) have the choice to reverse the effect ... IE affect darkest regions first and affect more and more of the brighter areas as the effect is increased. Or (2 preferably), add 3 new sliders. The first would set the middle of the luminance range to be masked. The second would set the width of the masked area and the third would set the edge feather of the affected range. In this way we can tailor the masking to only affect the noisiest areas in the image.

These suggestions obviously apply to ACR as well.
Photo of Les Allen

Les Allen

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 4 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Rob Cole

Rob Cole

  • 4831 Posts
  • 382 Reply Likes
I agree in principle (it often seems impossible to find a setting that masks enough but not too much..), although I think a more general purpose implementation might be better (since sharpen-masking is not the only adjustment that would be beneficial to apply more "strategically" - with the help of some "auto-targeting").

The work-around for the time being is to supplement with local adjustment:
sharpening = -50 (exactly) will mask all sharpening effect, smaller negative values will mask partially, and larger negative values will blur. And of course lum.NR is available locally too now..
Photo of Les Allen

Les Allen

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hi Rob, many thanks for your reply. That is really useful information about the masking using the local sharpening slider at -50. I hadn't realised I could do that (I have been using the local noise reduction slider instead to back-off the sharpening). I guess I should read the books more thoroughly !! (I'm an engineer ... we never read the instructions except as a last resort !).
I take your point about making the adjustments more general. I look forward to seeing what comes along in the future. As I said, I absolutely love LR. Its near-perfect (for me at any rate) and beats anything else out there by a mile.
Thanks again ... Les
Photo of Rob Cole

Rob Cole

  • 4831 Posts
  • 382 Reply Likes
If I remember correctly, that pearl of wisdom is not even in the manual, or at least not so specifically. It used to be more critical to know before local NR was added, which accomplishes a similar result.

PS - I have a love/hate relationship with Lightroom - always have. Lots to love, but riddled with infuriating bugs and omissions too - oh well..