Using Separate Layers for Sharpening

In contrast to the direct sharpening techniques we have described here, we usually sharpen on a separate layer. In other words, we flatten all of our existing layers into a new, single layer and sharpen that (section 7.5). This allows us to use a layer mask to protect certain image areas (the face in a portrait, for example). This technique also allows us to sharpen a little too strongly and to regulate the effect using layer Opacity settings (section 7.3).

In order to alter our sharpening parameters later, we use our sharpening filter as a Smart Filter (section 7.12).

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