Back in the day, I used to shoot slide film and slide film was very expensive, it was very unforgiving of mistakes, and it was obviously very difficult to share your images. But the slides, they did have a certain quality to them that digital images in some ways lack. There is a certain presence about a transparency, and part of that is due to the grain of the image. Of course, it's very easy for us to now add our own grain into our digital images.
I think the grain has, as well as giving a more analogue feel; it also gives and has some more humanizing feel. It's just a little less perfect than our digital images would be otherwise. Now, in this image, I've done some other stuff as well is adding film grain. So I just want to break this down. Film Grain is just part of the story here. I am going to Alt+Click on the eyeball of the bottom layer, and I am going to turn off the Effects and the Filters. So this is the original image which is a digital image.
This is taken at Chichen Itza in Mexico, and I want to turn on my Film Grain Smart Filter. We see I am getting a lot of grain up in the sky and some in the foreground. Also, I have a Gradient Overlay on that, which is adding a vignetting effect to the edges. Then to take it a little bit further, I have duplicated this layer, and in addition, I have added a Motion Blur blurring the foreground and the sky, but mainly the foreground, so that we give it almost like this tilt shift like effect, making it a little bit nostalgic looking as if it were taken with a very slow shutter speed and the people in the foreground are blurring because of their movement.
Lastly, I've added a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer just to desaturate things. So let's start out with the image like this, and first thing I am going to do is convert my background layer for Smart Filters, and then I am going to add a Gradient Overlay and you've probably seen me do this before; very simple straightforward way of adding a vignette to an image. I'm going to choose Multiply Blend mode, the style is going to be Radial.
I want to reverse it and then reduce the Opacity way down. Other Blend modes will work but Multiply works just fine; possibly I could choose Soft Light or Overlay as well, but I am going to stick with Multiply. Next, I am going to go to add the film grain. I can do this in two different places and the end result is the same but there's one slight difference. If I go to the Filter Gallery and choose Film Grain from there, and it's in the Artistic group, then listed under my Smart Filters, it will say Filter Gallery.
If on the other hand, I go to Artistic and choose Film Grain, it will be listed as Film Grain. So I prefer the latter just because I can instantly look at my layers panel, and know what filter has been applied. So it's just leaving a clear trace of everything that's been done to the image. So that's the reason I'm traveling a little bit further down the menu and choosing Film Grain from here. I am going to make my Preview smaller by pressing Command or Ctrl+Minus and I got the Intensity cranked all the way up, which is giving me this kind of mottling effect, which actually I like, but if you don't like it, it's the Intensity that is really causing that to happen.
So I am going to crank that all the way up. I have got the Grain set pretty high as well and I am going to maybe set it a little bit higher. Now, having done that, I want to duplicate this layer; Command or Ctrl+J and that duplicate carries with it, the same Gradient Overlay, the same Film Grain. Now in addition, I'm going to come to the Blurring group, and choose Motion Blur, and I am going to give it a Blur with an Angle of 0 and maybe 15 pixels.
Now, obviously I don't want the pyramid itself to be blurred. So what I am now going to do is add a layer Mask to this duplicate layer. Then choose my Brush tool, increase my brush size by pressing my Right-bracket and make black my foreground color. Then I can paint-in the areas that I don't want affected by the Motion Blur i.e. the pyramid, so that we restore that to the way it was, vary the size of my brush as necessary, and as necessary, switch to white as my foreground color and paint-in more of the effect.
Lastly, all I want to do is come and add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and then just to make it look a little bit more aged, I am going to take the Saturation down further and there is the end result. So here was our starting point. We have added a vignette, we have added grain, we then duplicated that whole layer, and in addition, we've added a blurring to the foreground.
Lastly, we desaturated to get it a more nostalgic feel. So this is just one of the things you can do with Film Grain, and Film Grain is by itself a relatively subtle effect. I perhaps over-egged the pudding here to make the point of how to use it and just so that the grain actually shows up on the video. But when applying it yourself, you can tone that down and make it far more subtle. But with Film Grain, we can go in all sorts of creative directions, and we are now going to look at some other ways in which we can use grain and different types of grain.
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