Touching Up Photographs
Paint Shop Pro 9 includes several new filters for correcting problems with digital photos, including Digital Cameral Noise Removal, Fill Flash, and Backlighting. These, along with other commands for retouching images, can be accessed using the buttons along the Paint Shop Pro toolbar:
Removing Camera Noise
The Digital Camera Noise Removal filter removes noise often produced by digital cameras and scanners. Noise is most evident in smooth, single-colored areas of an image, as in the sky portion of the image below:
The Digital camera noise removal dialog displays both a before and after preview image, as well as an image that shows the sampling regions Paint Shop Pro uses for the correction.
The crosshairs indicate areas of light, midtone, and dark, which Paint Shop Pro uses to sample the image and detect noise. You can drag the crosshairs to other areas to use different sampling regions; you can also add regions to provide the filter with more data. To do so, expand the dialog box by clicking and dragging at the edges. You’ll notice that in the preview pane on the left, sampling boxes corresponding to the crosshairs appear over the image:
When the dialog box is as big as you can manage it, use the Navigate button below the preview images to center the panes on an area containing a different color or noise level. Then click and drag a new sampling box on the left preview pane:
You can add up to 10 sampling boxes. For best results, add boxes over single areas of color with little texture or detail. To delete a box, click and drag the top left corner of the box over the bottom right corner.
The Small, Medium, and Large fields control the amount of correction for small-, medium-, and large-sized noise patterns, respectively. The default setting is 50, which is usually sufficient, but you can enter new values and see how the changes affect the image in the right preview pane.
When Link detail sizes is checked, making a change to one value causes all the values to be updated.
In addition, the Protect Image tab lets you define regions where you don’t want noise removed:
For example, you may want to limit the noise removal from sand or water, since smoothing these areas may lead to an unnatural appearance. The Protect Image feature works using the hue of an area you select, which it places along the hue range graph to the right. First, select an area you want to protect by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking and dragging a box around the area on the left preview pane:
Click and drag as many areas as you need. The hues appear as a darker range on the graph:
Next, use the nodes along the line at the top of the graph to define how much noise to remove from these areas. The lower you drag a node, the more noise is removed from those hues:
Above, the nodes at the bottom of the graph tell Paint Shop Pro to remove noise from areas of the image containing these hues. The protected hues, indicated by the darker grey area on the graph, will have no noise removal, since the nodes appear at the top.
Click OK to apply the settings. Below is the resulting image:
Notice the difference in detail in the waves, compared to the following image, in which no regions were protected:
In the second image, the waves appear smoothed over, showing fewer ripples. The first image is more realistic. In both images, noise has been removed from the sky.