So, I’ve found that the Smart Sharpening workflow described here can give really stellar results. But I’m lazy, and was interested in a way that I could adjust images without having to open them in a graphical environment, and preferably do a bunch at once. I essentially converted the steps described by gimpguru into imagemagick and ended up with something that works. I’m still testing a few different ideas, but I find it’s working reasonably well at the moment (you can judge for yourself on the basis of examples, though the flickr images will give you a better idea). But in the spirit of sharing… you can find it here.
Timings: 10 MP image, about 35 seconds
Note this will avoid name collisions presently, so if you have a 2, 4 or 8 core cpu, and you use (ls *.jpg|xargs -n 1 -P # smartsharp.pl) you can get a 2, 4 or 8x speedup, or 20, 10 or 5 seconds per image. This is really not a lot of time, and trivial compared to the amount of time you could expect to spend in the gimp doing the same thing.
Apparently someone has already tried to implement this in the gimp. This would be a nice way to try a bunch of different parameters, unfortunately it does not have a preview (and that would be very hard to do), and parameters would not be a perfect match from that one to this one, as I use a different edge detection method. And I don’t believe I can use the gimp edge detect method without quite an investment. I’ll investigate though.
Some examples: These are crops from three larger images (full size available here), the images are the original, the final and the mask generated by the script used for sharpening,.