PHP GD Sharpening, Photoshop-style

So I have been working on my thumbnail image sharpening script .. and I am happy to show some MAJOR progress. Go here:

Testbed Image Sharpening

I hope that you can see the difference in detail from the first image to the second. The first image is blurry and the second is sharper.

When all image editing programs take a large image and shrink the image down, what happens is some of the data gets cut out and approximated, occurring in a blurry image.

More intuitive programs like Adobe Photoshop will incorporate better approximation algorithms, but in most cases, still don’t do the image justice.
So the next step is to use a sharpening filter to fine tune the amount of detail within the image. These sharpening filters are based on real-world darkroom techniques that are used by photographers to enhance their photographs. I’m not going to go into detail about how photographers go into the process of sharpening their images, and further how a computer can reproduce the exact same process digitally.

In the end you have a product that removes the blurriness and adds a little detail to the resized image.

I have now taken what I understand from this script and managed to embed it into the NextGEN Gallery Plugin built for WordPress, which I used in my client’s website for his image gallery of his art pieces online.

All of the images upload to the gallery, resize, and then sharpen based on the settings in the admin.

I have passed along the code to the creator of NextGEN Gallery and hopefully he will include it to the next version that comes out!

Photoshop Tip: Reverse Layers

I’ve come to use this nifty little keyboard shortcut combination for Reverse Layers within Adobe Photoshop CS or greater. And, it’s a safe key-combination to use from the default set.

  1. Open up your Keyboard Shortcuts Panel.
  2. Navigate to the Layer menu.
  3. Further down to the Arrange submenu
  4. Further-still down to the Reverse option
  5. Bind the key-combination (MAC:) COMMAND+SHIFT+r (PC:) CTRL+SHIFT+r to this option

Now select a group of layers in your layers palette. Hit your new keyboard shortcut, and voila! Layers reversed.

Photoshop Tip: Keep Rulers 'Off' When Possible

When I work in Photoshop I usually have my screen mode set full screen, so that I can use my screen to it’s maximum potential and edit artwork that bleeds off the edges of the document area.

I recently turned off my rulers (PC: CTRL+r MAC: Command+r) for even further maximum viewing area, and noticed that grabbing the page and moving it around was much smoother!

I think the rendering of the measurement numbers and the scaling marks on the rulers in photoshop take some GPU or CPU rendering power away. Whenever I have the rulers on, it just seems to make the redraw of the entire window sluggish and choppy when I manipulate the document.

I’m leaving rulers off from now on.