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									Chapter 2: Applying Filters
for Special Occasions
In This Chapter
✓ Using the Filter Gallery
✓ Applying artsy effects and brush strokes
✓ Adding distortion and noise — on purpose
✓ Breaking up an image
✓ Rendering different effects
✓ Sketching and texturizing images the easy way
✓ Putting other filters to work

P     hotoshop has dozens of filters that let you enhance your image in
      unusual ways. You can create Old Masters portraits from common snap-
shots, shatter your image into a thousand sparkling pieces, create clouds in a
cloudless sky, create stained glass, or perform hundreds of other tricks.

The big challenge in using these filters is figuring out what each
filter can do and how to apply it to the best effect. This chap-
ter builds on Book VII, Chapter 1 by introducing you to
more of those fabulous Photoshop plug-ins — and
shows you some typical applications for them. Several
Putting It Together projects have step-by-step
instructions. For the first few examples, I provide
you with the settings I used to achieve particular
looks. However, filter effects vary greatly when
applied to different images, so you have to play
with the filter controls yourself when you use these
techniques with your own images.

You can apply a filter to a layer, selection, or channel.
And you can also fade a filter, change opacity settings,
and use layer masks to soften the effects of filters. In fact,
in some cases, you may have to decrease the effect of a filter
because full strength can look overdone. On the other hand, when
applied selectively, the same filter may look subtle and sophisticated.
Although filters can be a blast to play with, you want to exercise some
restraint when applying them for a real project. Getting carried away with
the effects is easy, but the simplest effect is often the most beautiful.
530   Working in the Filter Gallery

Working in the Filter Gallery
         The Filter Gallery (a dialog box-like gizmo that Adobe refers to as an editing
         window) gives you an alternative route to access and apply filters. To put it
         onscreen, choose Filter➪Filter Gallery. In this window, you can apply multi-
         ple filters, as well as edit or delete them later. This feature has made filters
         more flexible, more user-friendly, and easier to apply.

         Follow these steps to get up and running in the Filter Gallery:

          1. Choose Filter➪Filter Gallery.
             The Filter Gallery dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 2-1.
          2. Click your desired filter category folder.
             The folder expands and displays the filters in that category. A thumbnail
             illustrating the filter’s effect accompanies each filter. To collapse the fil-
             ter category folder, simply click it again.
          3. Select the filter you want to apply.
          4. Specify any settings associated with the filter.
             You get a large preview of your image in the left side of the dialog box.
             Use the magnification controls to zoom in and out of the preview. When
             you change your settings, the preview dynamically updates itself. To
             preview a different filter, simply select that filter.
             If you want your custom settings to be the new default for the filter, sim-
             ply hold down the Ctrl key (Ô key on the Mac) while you are specifying
             your settings. The Cancel button changes to Default. After you have
             established your settings, release the Ctrl (or Ô) key. Your new settings
             then become the new default.
          5. When you’re happy with the filter, click OK to apply the filter and exit
             the dialog box. But if you want to apply another filter, leave the dialog
             box open and proceed to Steps 6, 7, and 8.
          6. If you want to apply another filter, click the New Effect Layer button
             at the bottom of the dialog box.
             Clicking this button duplicates the existing filter.
          7. Select your new filter, which then replaces the duplicate.
             Photoshop lists each of the filters you apply to the image in the bottom-
             right of the dialog box.
          8. When you’re done, click OK to apply the second filter and exit the dia-
             log box.
             You can apply as many filters as you want to your image. But, often, less
             is more.
                                            Working in the Filter Gallery                  531

                       Preview                        Filter category folders           Filter menu

                                                                                                            Book VII
                                                                                                            Chapter 2

Magnification                                                       New Effect Layer

                                                                                                               Applying Filters for
                                                                                                               Special Occasions
                                                                    Delete Effect Layer
                                                                                    Applied filters
                                                                                     Corbis Digital Stock
Figure 2-1: The Filter Gallery enables you to apply and edit multiple filters within a single
dialog box.

Here are some other helpful tips to keep in mind when you’re using the Filter

 ✓ To delete an applied filter, select it in the list in the lower-right portion
   of the dialog box and click the Delete Effect Layer button (the trash can
   icon) at the bottom of the dialog box.
 ✓ To edit an applied filter’s settings, select it in the list and make any nec-
   essary changes. Click OK to reapply. Although you can edit a particular
   filter’s settings, that edit affects any subsequent filters you’ve made after
   applying that particular filter.
532   Getting Artsy

          ✓ You can rearrange the order of the applied filters. Simply select and
            drag the filter up or down within the list.
             Rearranging the order of the applied filters changes the resulting effect
             of the filters.
          ✓ To resize the Filter Gallery dialog box, drag the lower-right corner.
          ✓ To hide the Filter menu and provide the maximum real estate for the
            preview box, click the arrow to the left of the OK button.
          ✓ You can choose any of the filters found in the Filter Gallery from the
            Filter menu itself. Choosing a Filter menu filter launches the Filter Gallery
            automatically — but not all filters are available in the Filter Gallery. You
            have to access some of them individually from the Filter menu.

         Don’t be misled into thinking that the Filter Gallery is like layer styles, where
         the styles can be removed and the underlying pixel data is returned to its
         pristine, original state. Regular filters change the pixels of an image perma-
         nently, and after you apply one, you can’t remove it. So, be sure that you
         really like what you’ve done and that you have a backup copy of that pre-
         cious family photo or critical project image.

         That being said, if you do want your filters to act like layer styles, they can. You
         can apply a Smart Filter to any layer that you first convert into a Smart Object.
         Smart Filters enable you to apply a filter nondestructively, without altering any
         underlying pixels. For more on Smart Filters, see Book VII, Chapter 1.

Getting Artsy
         Quite a few Photoshop filters produce artistic effects. You can find a large
         collection of them in the Sketch and Stylize submenus. However, the Artistic
         menu contains 15 versatile filters that you can use to add brush strokes to
         your images, wrap them in plastic, create posterlike effects, and manufac-
         ture other interesting looks.

         Many Photoshop users employ these
         filters to create images that look as if
         they were painted. What those users
         might not tell you, unless pressed, is
         that artsy filters can make terrible
         photos look better — or, in some
         cases, pretty darn good. These filters
         can disguise a multitude of photo-
         graphic sins, turning shoebox rejects
         into pretty decent digital transforma-
         tions. The photo of a clock in Figure 2-2
         is, arguably, not very interesting — and
         (worse) it’s blurry. I moved the camera Figure 2-2: This photo isn’t that interesting
         while I was taking the photo.             and is slightly out of focus.
                                                                   Getting Artsy        533

To improve this image, I employed filters on the Filter➪Artistic menu. Try
one of the following filters:

 ✓ Poster Edges: A quick application of this filter improves the photo 100
   percent. (See the left photo in Figure 2-3.) The filter not only gives the
   picture an artsy, posterlike look, but it also enhances the edges to make
   the clock’s outline appear sharper.
     I set the Poster Edges filter’s Edge Thickness to 4, bumped the Edge
     Intensity up to a value of 6 to create dramatic-looking edges, and set the
     Posterization level to 6 to allow more tones for a bit more realism.
 ✓ Rough Pastels: This filter, shown in the right photo in Figure 2-3, gives
   the look of a fine art piece created with oil pastels. I used the settings of
   8 for the Stroke Length and Stroke Detail, 100% Scale, and 20 for Relief. I
   left my light source at Bottom.
 ✓ The Dry Brush: This filter can add an even more stylistic effect, reduc-
   ing details to a series of broad strokes.
 ✓ Colored Pencil: This filter crosshatches the edges of your image to cre-
   ate a pencil-like effect.
 ✓ Cutout: This effect assembles an image from what looks like cut-out
   paper shapes, which resemble a kid’s art project.
 ✓ Film Grain: This photographic effect diffuses an image with thousands of                   Book VII
   tiny dots that simulate clumps of film grain. (Think of old home movies.)                  Chapter 2

 ✓ Fresco: This effect looks (supposedly) like pigments applied to fresh,

                                                                                                 Applying Filters for
                                                                                                 Special Occasions
   wet plaster. Okay, I guess . . . if you squint.
 ✓ Paint Daubs: This effect uses smears of color from your choice of a half-
   dozen different brush types. Very Jackson Pollock.

Figure 2-3: The Poster Edges filter (left) and the Rough Pastels filter (right) help.
534   Stroking Your Image with Filters

          ✓ Plastic Wrap: This filter can produce a wet look, particularly when you
            apply it to a selection and then fade the filter so it doesn’t overpower
            the detail in your image.
          ✓ Watercolor: This nice pastel effect diffuses an image while adding an
            interesting, watery texture.

Stroking Your Image with Filters
         You can find more stroking filters on the Brush Strokes submenu, along with
         some interesting texturizing filters that can spruce up less-than-perfect pho-
         tos and add a new look to even your best shots.

         Choose Filter➪Brush Strokes to find the stroking filters that can provide
         hours of fun, including

          ✓ Ink Outlines: Adobe describes this filter as producing the look of a cor-
            roded ink drawing.
          ✓ Spatter: This filter generates the look you might get from a sputtering
            airbrush, as shown in Figure 2-4. I set my Spray Radius to 25 and my
            Smoothness to 10.
          ✓ Accented Edges: Use this filter to make a subject jump out from its back-
            ground by emphasizing the edges of all the objects in the picture.

                                                                                      Corbis Digital Stock
         Figure 2-4: The Spatter filter gives this portrait a nice painted texture.
                                            Stroking Your Image with Filters                 535

Putting It Together

      Creating Exotic Edges for Your Images
      An attractive border can give your image an edge. If you want an edgy look or want to take
      your work right to the edge, you can apply this technique faster than you can say, “Over-
      worked metaphor!” Photoshop lets you apply deckled looks and other effects to the borders
      of your image by using any of several plug-ins built right into your trusty Filters menu.

      Follow these easy steps to the edge of image immortality:

      1.   Choose a photo that you think could
           use a decorative border and open it in
      2.   With the Rectangular Marquee tool,
           select the portion of the image you’re
           framing, as shown in the figure.
      3.   Double-click the Quick Mask Mode
           icon in the Tools panel. In the Quick
           Mask dialog box that appears, choose
           Selected Areas in the Color Indicates
                                                                                                       Book VII
      4.   Click OK to enter Quick Mask mode.                                                          Chapter 2
           Photoshop highlights the rectangle you

                                                                                                          Applying Filters for
                                                                                                          Special Occasions
           selected in color, as shown in the
      5.   Choose Filter➪Blur➪Gaussian Blur,
           set the Radius, and click OK.
           To give the image a softer edge when
           the selection is deckled, I’ve set the
           Radius to 30.
      6.   Choose Filter➪Brush Strokes➪
           Sprayed Strokes.
      7.   Adjust the Stroke Length and Spray
           Radius sliders to acquire the desired
           The higher the resolution, the higher
           the value you may need. In this case, I
           moved the Stroke Length and Spray
           Radius sliders to the max of 20 and 25 (respectively).
536   Distorting for Fun

          8.   Select your desired Stroke Direction
               from the drop-down list.
               I selected Right Diagonal for my image.
          9.   Click OK to apply the effect to the
               Quick Mask selection.
               After application, the edges of the
               quick mask overlay (highlighted area)
               appear frayed, as shown in the figure.
        10.    Press Q to exit Quick Mask mode.
               A selection border with ragged edges
               appears around the selection.
        11.    Press Ctrl+C (Ô+C on the Mac) to copy
               the selected area, and then press
               Ctrl+V (Ô+V on the Mac) to paste it
               into a new layer.
        12.    Create a new layer and fill it with the
               color you want for the background.
               I filled my background with white.
        13.    In the Layers panel, move the colored
               background layer underneath your
               deckled image.
        14.    Choose Layer➪Flatten Image. When
               prompted, if you want to discard
               hidden layers, click OK.
               The finished image appears, as shown in the final figure.

Distorting for Fun
         With a couple exceptions, Photoshop’s Distortion filters twist, turn, and
         bend your images in surprising ways, turning ordinary objects into wavy
         images, pinched shapes, and bloated spheres.

         The first exception? The Diffuse Glow filter distorts images only to the extent
         that it imbues them with a soft, romantic, fuzzy look that can make the
         sharpest image look positively ethereal.

         I’ve never figured out why Adobe dumped this useful filter into the Distort
         submenu, but there it is. (And here it is applied to a girl in Figure 2-5.)
                                                           Distorting for Fun      537

                                                                                         Book VII
                                                                                         Chapter 2

                                                                                            Applying Filters for
                                                                                            Special Occasions
                                                           Corbis Digital Stock
Figure 2-5: Give your photo a heavenly aura with the Diffuse Glow filter (left).

The second exception was the Lens Correction filter when it resided under
the Distort submenu. It got moved out and supersized in CS5. This awesome
filter fixes distortions caused by the camera lens. Choose Filter➪Lens
Correction. In the dialog box, you will find Auto Correction and Custom tabs.
Make it easy and try the Auto Corrections or move right to the Custom set-
tings and manually make corrective adjustments.

Here’s the lowdown on the new Automatic Correction settings:

 ✓ Correction: Select the problem you want to correct. Find explanations of
   each in the Custom tab information. Note that if the corrections extend
   or contract your image beyond its original dimensions, choose Auto
   Scale Image. Choose how you want your edges filled from the Edge pop-
   up menu — with black, white, transparency, or extended with pixels
   from the image.
 ✓ Search Criteria: Choose your camera make and model, as well as your
   lens model. Choosing the correct equipment will assist Photoshop in
   making more accurate corrections.
538   Distorting for Fun

          ✓ Lens Profiles: Select a matching profile. For zoom lenses, right-click
            (Control-click on the Mac) and choose the most similar focal length. If you
            don’t find your lens profile, click the Search Online button to find profiles
            uploaded by other photographers. If you want to save a profile for later use,
            click the Lens Profiles pop-up menu and choose Save Online Profile Locally.

         Here are the settings under the Custom tab:

          ✓ Geometric Distortion: Correct abnormalities such as barrel and pin-
            cushion distortions, in which straight lines appear (respectively)
            bowed out or in. Select the Remove Distortion tool and drag on the
            image — or you can also drag the Remove Distortion slider.
          ✓ Chromatic Aberration: Got colored fringe around your subjects?
            Photographers call this nastiness chromatic aberration. Fringe, aberra-
            tion, whatever it’s called — get rid of it by using the Red/Cyan or Blue/
            Yellow Fringe sliders. The Move Grid, Hand, and Zoom tools can help
            make your adjustments more user-friendly.
          ✓ Vignette: If your images suffer from vignetting, in which the edges are
            darker than the center, slide the Amount slider to specify the amount of
            lightening or darkening. Slide the Midpoint slider to specify the width
            affected by the Amount.
          ✓ Transform: Correct perspective issues, often caused by tilting your
            camera when shooting, by using the Transform sliders of Vertical and
            Horizontal Perspective. Adjust the Angle to rotate the image to compen-
            sate for camera tilt or tweak your perspective adjustments. You may also
            use the Straighten tool to rotate a tilted image, as shown in Figure 2-6.
            Drag along the line in your image that you wish to straighten. Finally, to
            eliminate blank areas in your image created by correcting geometric
            distortions, use the Scale setting, which will crop off those areas.
          ✓ Preview/Show Grid: Choose whether to see your image with or without
            a grid overlay (of which you can specify the size). Many problems, such
            as perspective issues, are easier to fix using a grid as a guide.
          ✓ The Move grid, Hand, and Zoom tools: Can help make your adjust-
            ments more user friendly. You can also control your magnification using
            the zoom controls in the lower-left corner of the dialog box.

         The Lens Correction filter works with 8-bit and 16-bit images only.

         You can fix several photos simultaneously by batch-processing them with
         the Lens Correction automated command. Choose File➪Automate➪Lens

         Other filters of this ilk can produce wavy images, add pond ripples, pinch
         images, or transform them into spheres. Check out Figure 2-7 to see distor-
         tions of a wall clock.

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