Managing Sharpening and Cropping

When preparing images for processing and output from the Process Recipe’s Adjustments tab, you can apply sharpening based on the intended output device, or disable sharpening completely. You can also choose to include any cropping made during editing.

Overview of output sharpening

As the third and final stage of a three-part sharpening workflow, Capture One Pro can add sharpening to image variants on output, based on the intended device: Print (inkjet or repro) or Screen (web or email).

Print sharpening relies on several factors, including the print size and resolution, viewing distance, and even the type of printer and paper. Therefore, the output sharpening for print tool differs slightly from the screen sharpening option. It offers the expected amount and threshold sliders, as well as a tool that allows you to set the viewing distance to calculate the radius. This tool is particularly useful when you know the distance that the print will be viewed from (e.g., when displaying prints in an exhibition or gallery). However, if you prefer, you can also use the tool to set the radius based on the diagonal dimension of the print. As a rule, this can be set at either 100% or 150%.

When selecting the Output Sharpening for Screen option, the tab’s tools will change to replicate those found in the Sharpening tool under the Details Tool Tab and includes sliders for amount, radius, and threshold. Each slider works in the same way.

Whether you are applying sharpening for print or screen, adjustments should be made after selecting the image variant’s size and resolution and with the recipe proofing option enabled. Note Capture One ships with recipes for an A3 300dpi print-ready TIFF and 1600px wide sRGB JPEG, complete with suggested sharpening settings.

Applying sharpening for printing

When preparing an image variant for printing, you will inevitably have to apply additional sharpening over what would normally look sharp on-screen (i.e., after input and creative sharpening). When making adjustments, it is essential to specify the image variant’s dimensions and resolution under the Basic tab and to soft proof using the proof recipe option.

  1. Select the image variant or variants in the browser.
  2. Highlight the recipe to edit from the list in the Process Recipes dialog (or create a new recipe), located under the Output Tool tab.
  3. From the Basic tab, set the image size using the Resolution/Scale options as desired.
  4. Enable Recipe Proofing, and set the viewer magnification to 100% initially.
  5. Go to the Adjustments tab in the Process Recipe tool.
  6. From the Sharpening fly-out menu, select Output Sharpening for Print. The tab’s tools will change and include sliders for Amount, Radius, and options for Distance.
  7. Specify the viewing distance, if known, and click on the Distance fly-out menu to select units (inches or centimeters), otherwise select % of Diagonal and, as a general rule, select 100% or 150%. 
  8. Set threshold first and increase if noise is visible. Then adjust the amount using the slider or the up/down arrow keys, while looking at the effects on-screen (while soft-proofing) at 100% and then at 50%.  When halo artifacts or aliasing become visible or distracting, lower the amount and/or threshold in small steps until they’re acceptable.
  9. The settings are automatically saved so they can be used again. However, it is recommended that the settings are saved as a component of a new recipe, so that they’re less likely to be accidentally overwritten.

Applying screen sharpening (web)

After applying capture sharpening and creative sharpening, the on-screen image will typically look sharp. However, you can use the output sharpening for screen option to counteract any softening effects caused by downsizing images for the web or email.

  1. Select the image variant or variants in the browser.    
  2. Highlight the recipe to edit from the list in the Process Recipes dialog (or create a new recipe), located under the Output Tool Tab.
  3. From the Basic tab, set the image size using the Resolution/Scale options as desired.
  4. Enable Recipe Proofing.
  5. Go to the Adjustments tab in the Process Recipe tool.
  6. From the Sharpening fly-out menu, select Output Sharpening for Screen.
  7. The tab’s tools will change to replicate those found under Details Tool Tab and include sliders for Amount, Radius, and Threshold.
  8. Adjust the sliders or specify the value and evaluate the effects on-screen (while soft-proofing) at 100%. Set the radius and threshold if necessary, then adjust the amount. When halo artifacts or aliasing become visible or distracting, lower the radius, and/or amount if necessary until they’re acceptable.
  9. The settings are automatically saved so they can be used again, however, it is recommended that they are saved as a component of a new recipe, so that they are not overwritten accidentally. 

Apply capture and creative sharpening only

Select the Disable Output Sharpening option, when you want to leave any capture sharpening and creative sharpening applied to the variant in place.

  1. Select the image variant or variants in the browser.
  2. Highlight the recipe to edit from the list in the Process Recipes dialog (or create a new recipe), located under the Output Tool Tab.
  3. Select the Adjustments tab in the Process Recipe tool.
  4. From the Sharpening fly-out menu, select No Output Sharpening.
  5. When you need to apply the same setting to similar images, this option can be saved as a component of a new recipe.

Disable sharpening

When a client or printing service would prefer to add their own sharpening settings to your images, you can remove any sharpening previously applied in Capture One from your JPEG, PSD or TIFF files on export. Note, this setting disables diffraction correction, lens falloff and selective sharpening applied as a local adjustment, however clarity applied to the variant is not disabled.

  1. Go to the Output Tool Tab.
  2. Select the Adjustments tab in the Process Recipe tool.
  3. From the Sharpening fly-out menu, select Disable All.

Adding or removing any cropping

When preparing variants for output, Capture One allows you to choose if you would like any previously applied cropping to be included in the processing instructions.

Besides being convenient for temporarily removing the crop without either permanently deleting it, or creating another variant, this feature is especially useful when submitting the same image with and without any previously made cropping applied. To do so, you simply create two identical Process Recipes, differing only in the option to ignore or respect the crop.

If you intend to supply a PSD file, Capture One allows you to process a variant with the crop-selection as a path that can be edited later in Photoshop. Note this is only available for variants to be processed as a PSD file, and that format must be selected in the recipe first, otherwise the option will be grayed out.

  1. Go to the Output Tool tab. 
  2. Select the Adjustments tab in the Process Recipe tool.
  3. From the Crop drop-down menu, select from the following:
    • Respect crop, to include any previously applied cropping
    • Ignore crop, to disregard any cropping to the image
    • Export to path (PSD), to include a path during output (PSD file only)
  4. Selecting the option will automatically save the choice to the recipe.