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Adding a grain effect

From: Lightroom 3 New Features

Video: Adding a grain effect

With this photograph, we are going to have a bit of fun and we're going to explore a new feature in Lightroom 3 which gives us the ability to add film grain to our photographs. Now before I get to the film grain, what I want to do here is simply convert this image to black and white, then maybe add bit of a toned effect to the image, and I'm just going to do this just to kind of buildup an overall effect. All right. Well let's start off by going to the Black & White panel and we'll go ahead and click on BW for Black & White and here we can modify the image in regards of brightness value of some of these different areas of photograph and I'm just modifying the sliders.

Adding a grain effect

With this photograph, we are going to have a bit of fun and we're going to explore a new feature in Lightroom 3 which gives us the ability to add film grain to our photographs. Now before I get to the film grain, what I want to do here is simply convert this image to black and white, then maybe add bit of a toned effect to the image, and I'm just going to do this just to kind of buildup an overall effect. All right. Well let's start off by going to the Black & White panel and we'll go ahead and click on BW for Black & White and here we can modify the image in regards of brightness value of some of these different areas of photograph and I'm just modifying the sliders.

Next, I'll go to the Basic panel and in the Basic panel maybe bring in some Fill Light and some Contrast and just look to try to create a really high contrast black and white type of a look. All right. Well now that I've done this, I'll close the Basic panel and I'll go to Split Toning, and again here I'm just having a bit of fun. I'll bring in some color into the ahadows and in this case just a nice little bit of tone there, either red, maybe yellow and then just a touch of color in the Hhighlights as well. All right. Well now that I have this toned black and white photograph, I want to then explore how I can add a bit of film grain.

On order to do that we need to open up our Effects panel. Now I should also point out that you obviously don't have to convert your images to black and white, but I just want to do that here again, just to build up an interesting black and white effect with some grain. All right. Well next, I'm going to zoom into 100%. To do that, I'll click on the 1x1 icon over here in the Navigator panel. This will then give me the ability to really look at how the film grain will interact with this photograph. All right. Let's use the scrollbar and scroll down here so we can focus in on the Grain.

How do these different controls actually work? Well if you increase the Amount, what you're going to do is get more and more grain. Here you can see there's a more dominant grain effect, sitting on top in the image. Well how then does Size work? Well, if you decrease the Size amount there's going to be a smaller kind of granule structure of the grain. As you increase that, the grain is going to become much larger. It also is going to become much softer. You can see how it's kind of softening the image out as the Size becomes bigger, and we can find just the right size there, either a little bit more of a crisp grain that's smaller or a little bit of a bigger grain. All right then.

Well how does Roughness work? Let's increase the Size for a moment and what we can do is with Roughness, if we decrease this, we're going to have a really uniform type of a look to the grain and here we can see that it's pretty equal across the entire image. Yeah, as we increase the Roughness it's almost like there's a different structure there, a different contrast, and again the amount of Roughness is really going to be set by how much we determine in regards to our Size and also our overall Amount.

Let's dial in an appropriate Amount for this image. Hold down Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows. That changes Grain to Reset Grain. Let's reset the grain to the default settings of zero. Next thing you typically want to do is just start to incrementally bring up your Amount. You want to take a look at how that appears in the shadows and also the highlights and then play around with the Size and see what this looks like. See if you want a bit of a softer, bigger effect or a bit of a smaller sharper aesthetic. And then with Roughness, this is going to really be determined based on how much Amount and Size you have.

Here a bit more of a uniform grain or in this case I think it's going to look much nicer to have a little bit of a pattern in there that messes up the overall structure of the grain. It feels a little bit more organic to me. A nice thing about this is we can look at the before and after. Here's before, and then here's after. And one of the things that you'll discover with grain is that it's going to smooth out the transitions from your highlights to shadows, and this was true with film grain, right, because in digital capture, when a Highlight is over-exposed there's just no detail there, but with film, a lot of times the grain would kind of carry a transition through that tonal area of the photograph.

So in this case we're getting a bit of that and that kind of adds to this overall aesthetic that we've created with this photograph. Now of course, I should point out that you can do this with color images, with any type of images, but here I just thought it would be a nice way to experiment with this photograph and perhaps a nice way to process this image by converting it to black and white, adding a bit of toning and then finishing things off by adding just a touch of film grain.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 3 New Features
Lightroom 3 New Features

53 video lessons · 9325 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 14m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 26s
    2. Comparing Lightroom 2 with Lightroom 3
      12m 27s
    3. Using the exercise files
      48s
  2. 20m 32s
    1. Introducing the Import dialog
      5m 54s
    2. Importing photos and movies from a CF card
      6m 31s
    3. Adding and importing photos from a folder
      3m 51s
    4. Synchronizing and finding missing photos
      4m 16s
  3. 34m 46s
    1. Filtering photos
      4m 0s
    2. Working with collections
      5m 1s
    3. Modifying image and thumbnail overlays
      3m 17s
    4. Crop presets and overlays
      5m 43s
    5. Using Auto Sync
      5m 33s
    6. Working with movies
      7m 13s
    7. Using Smart Collections for video files
      2m 10s
    8. Focal length filtering and Smart Collections
      1m 49s
  4. 19m 10s
    1. Setting up Flickr publishing services
      3m 47s
    2. Uploading photos to Flickr
      3m 4s
    3. Publishing to a Flickr Photoset
      3m 56s
    4. Publishing to a folder
      5m 11s
    5. Publishing to a Smart Folder or Smart Photoset
      3m 12s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. How sharpening works in Lightroom 3
      4m 48s
    2. Introducing noise reduction
      4m 45s
    3. Applying sharpening and noise reduction
      8m 23s
    4. Adding a grain effect
      4m 31s
    5. Using the Collections panel
      5m 42s
    6. The Adjustment Brush
      5m 48s
    7. The Graduated filter
      2m 10s
    8. Adding a vignette
      5m 45s
    9. Improvements to the Crop tool
      1m 59s
    10. Quickly changing crop orientation
      1m 40s
    11. Understanding the Point Tone Curve
      3m 10s
    12. Improving images with the Point Tone Curve
      4m 2s
    13. Using the Lens Correction controls
      5m 46s
    14. Enhancing images with Lens Correction
      3m 6s
  6. 5m 16s
    1. Adding audio to a slideshow
      5m 16s
  7. 11m 13s
    1. Introducing the custom print package
      3m 42s
    2. Working with the custom print package
      7m 31s
  8. 8m 46s
    1. Introducing tethered shooting
      2m 12s
    2. Working with tethered shooting
      6m 34s
  9. 7m 41s
    1. Optimizing and backing up a catalog
      2m 49s
    2. Upgrading Lightroom 2 catalogs
      2m 13s
    3. Working with legacy Lightroom files
      2m 39s
  10. 27m 21s
    1. New presets in the Develop, Web, and Print modules
      3m 26s
    2. Importing and working with CMYK images
      5m 55s
    3. Bonus workflow tips
      4m 51s
    4. Adding watermarks in the Print, Slideshow, and Web modules
      1m 20s
    5. Making creative watermarks
      3m 20s
    6. IPTC Extension metadata
      1m 16s
    7. Exporting by file size and with watermarks
      1m 51s
    8. Exporting collections
      3m 22s
    9. Ejecting an external hard drive
      2m 0s
  11. 1m 44s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 15s
    2. What's next
      29s

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