Clarify Photoshop Plugin
CC 2017 Update: Latest release is 100% compatible. Download update below.
- Photoshop: CS4 or Higher
- Operating System: Windows or Mac
- Current Version 1.2.2
Download is for a trial or to update
Clarify is an advanced sharpening and clarifying plugin. It has a wide range of applications. It can sharpen with less edge artifacts and halos then the Photoshop’s unsharp mask feature. It also can add clarity and edge contrast to an image. It combines several layers of a high pass filter technique to really add depth and “pop” to your images.
The user has complete control over the radius of the clarity, edge contrast, and details sharpening. In addition the highlight and shadow sharpening can be handled independently to further help avoid halos. The fine details sharpening also has an optional edge mask to avoid adding noise to smooth areas.
There is also a built in adjustable color preservation feature. Often sharpening or clarifying can alter color, especially around .jpg compression artifacts. With Clarify, this is not even a problem at all.
Clarify can really bring out image details while avoiding excessive artifacts and haloing. By combining clarity, contrast sharpening and detail sharpening your images will almost come to life. Clarify does not use standard sharpening techniques. Instead it builds multiple contrast maps which are overlayed onto the image. The results are much better than applying single layer sharpening.
100% zoom shown below
The clarity, edge contrast, and sharpening radius are all resolution independent. They are applied proportional to the image size. This way, the same settings will yield similar results, regardless of image size. The presets can be applied to images of much different size and the results will look the same. Each unit of measurement is 1/10,000 of the longest dimension of the image. So, if your image is 10,000 pixels in the longest dimension then each unit of measurement will be 1 pixel. Therefore, if you apply a clarity with a size of 200, then the radius of that adjustment is 200. However, if the image is sized down to 1000 pixels in the longest dimension then each unit now represents 0.1 pixels and the clarity radius of 200 now represents 20 pixels. however, the radius is the same in proportion to the image size.
For the example below, the size was reduced by about 468%. Clarify was applied using the same settings to both the original and downsized versions. As you can see, the final results look identical.
Contrast Sharpening really adds depth and detail to your image. It is similar to adding clarity but more localized to the image edges. This is done using the localized edge contrast setting. This is really good for adding details without the haloing effect. Even for images that are already in focus, Clarify can add depth and detail without creating halos or sharpening artifacts.
The above image was upsized by 200% from 21 megapixel (5616 x 3744) to 84 megapixel (11232 x 7488). After it was enlarged, it was then sharpened with Unsharp Mask and with Clarify to achieve a similar level of sharpness. A masking level of 3 was used for Unsharp Mask. The details, edge contrast, preserve color and edge mask settings were combined for the image that was sharpened in Clarify. You can see noticeably less haloing and color artifacts the the Clarify image.
The Dragan effect has become very popular over the last few years. This effect is really just an exaggeration of edge contrast and clarity. There is a built in preset for this effect. For an even stronger effect, Clarify can be ran twice with the same preset. The image below was created by running the filter twice. The first time, it was applied at 100% strength. The second time it was applied at 40% to add to affect from the first pass.