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 Show/Hide Preview Filter category folders Filter menu Book VII Chapter 2 Magnification New Effect Layer Applying Filters for Special Occasions buttons 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 Gallery: ✓ 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 Photoshop. 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 area. Book VII 4. Click OK to enter Quick Mask mode. Chapter 2 Photoshop highlights the rectangle you Applying Filters for Special Occasions Imagestate selected in color, as shown in the figure. 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 effect. 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). continued 536 Distorting for Fun continued 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 Correction. 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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