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For a more interpretive approach to working with grain we can use the grain filter that's part of the texture filter group. In this example, I'm using speckle grain to give a grungy almost comic book feel to this picture of vintage sign and this is the end result. If I were to turn off the effect of that Smart Filter that's what the original image looks like. So there we see the grain and the original.
So I'm now going to switch to this image the starting point and the first thing I'm going to do is convert my image for Smart Filters, and then I'm going to go to the Texture group and to Grain Command+Minus or in this case Command+0 will make my image fit in window in the preview window of my filter gallery. And the grain type that I am after is Speckle and that's going to give me that type of effect.
Now I like the way it's really adding a lot of texture to the sign itself. What I don't like, however, is what it's doing to the sky. So I'm going to actually up the intensity of this and even up the contrast a bit. Let's really go for it and then click OK and now I'm going to apply a layer mask or rather a filter mask to that Smart Filter so that we protect the original sky. The good news is that I already have an alpha channel pre-prepared.
So I'm going to come to Channels panel and hold down my Command key or Ctrl key and click on that, and then I'll come to the filter mask area. I need to inverse this. I currently have to sign itself selected so I'm going to press Command+Shift+I to inverse it and then with black as my foreground color I'm going to press Alt or Option and my Backspace/Delete key and that's going to restore the original sky. So I like the way this is looking, but I would like to really work in this texture into the image a bit more.
I'd like it to feel a bit more integrated. So I need to experiment with Blend modes. Now I have only one image layer here and I have the filter applied to that as a Smart Filter, but I can change the blending mode of that filter by coming here to my filter blending options. So when I double-click on that rather then apply the speckle grain in the Normal Blend mode, I'm going to change the Blend mode to Multiply, and then we can see that really works in the grain, I think, in a more pleasing way.
There is my end result. Now we see here as we've seen before with other examples in this title that it's not just a case of applying the filter and you're done. What we need to do here is apply the filter, add a mask, and also in this particular case vary the blending mode.
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