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We're going to take a look at two different techniques that can be used to add noise or grain back into an image. This is great for not only creating just an aesthetic effect, but you can also use it to match grain between a series of images. That are taken at different times or with different cameras in order to make them match. Now, in this case, we'll just be applying it to this image, but before we apply our filters, we want to make sure they're non-destructive. So we use the contact sensitive menus or Ctrl+Click on Mac or Cmd+Click on Windows and Convert to Smart Object. Now, I want to make a duplicate of this smart object, because we're going to apply these two different effects and then compare them. So, I'll use the keyboard shortcut Cmd+J or Ctrl+J in order to make a copy. I want to make sure that the lower layer is selected, and I'm going to hide the top layer, and we'll go ahead and rename the lower layer by double-clicking on it and then we'll call this one Add Noise.
Tap enter return to apply that and then from the filter menu we'll select noise and add noise. You have an Amount slider that you can add more or less noise and you can see right here in the Add Noise dialog, we have a preview area and, in fact, if we position our cursor over the image area. You can see that the cursor turns into a square, and anywhere that I click in my image area will be the area that becomes previewed over here in the Add Noise area.
So it's just kind of nice if you don't want to zoom in to 100% in your image, you can at least get a little preview over here in the filter dialog. However, we can use the keyboard shortcut Cmd Plus or Minus on Mac or Ctrl Plus or Minus on Windows, in order to zoom in while we're actually in a filter. And we can use the space bar to temporaily access the hand tool and then move around to see a different place in our image. Now this amount is a little bit too much but I'm going to leave it really high while we change our distribuation from uniform to Gausian.
You might actually be seeing a lot of color noise. I had the monochromatic option checked on. But if we uncheck that. Here is the difference between Gaussian and uniform. I actually prefer the uniform noise when I'm trying to emulate a traditional film grain. That gauzy and just looks a little too sharp for me, it's a little too crunchy. I'll change it to uniform, I'll take the amount way down here, may be to about 22% or so and I'll turn on monochromatic. That will give me just the grayscale noise, removes all the color. We'll click OK.
And now if I want to make this softer, because right now it really is quite harsh, I will change the Blend mode. Again, we haven't talked that much about Blend modes. In order to change this, on the right of where it says Add Nose, where it has the filter name. We're going to double click on that icon. And then we're going to change the blend mode down to soft light. We can see how that just really reduces the effect of the filter. It's still there, but it just seems to blend a lot better. Click OK. Now if we want to toggle this on and off we can click on the Eye icon, right next to the Filter name so that's before and that's after.
We can see how that filter's adding not only noise but also a little bit of contrast to the image, because we set that Blend mode. In soft light. Let's compare this to another way to add noise. I'll select the layer on top and we'll double click that to rename it. And this is going to be called add rain, tap enter return to apply that name and let's makes sure that's visible by toggling the eye on. Now under the filter menu this time I'll select filter gallery.
Now in a previous video, we hid the list of the filters with the previews. So if we want to see that, we can click on this triangle right there. And here they are. We want to add the grain textures, so I'll scroll down. And under the texture area, we can see that there's a grain filter. As soon as I select that, we have our options here on the right-hand side. So we've got different intensities of grain and contrast as well as different grain types. So we can choose to have little sprinkles of grain, we can have just regular standard grain, or come down here to a softer looking grain.
And then, there's a lot of other ones that you can go ahead and navigate through. I tend to go back and forth between the soft and the clumped options most of the time. Since clumped is a little more dramatic, we'll go ahead and add it here. It's adding a little too much contrast, so let's just back off on that a bit. And the intensity is a little much as well, so I'll decrease that. Now you might be concerned that all of the grain here is in color. But we can take care of that in a minute. Unfortunately, there's no way to just check it on as monochromatic. But we can do that in a minute with the Blend modes. So I'll click OK.
And then to the right of the name of the filter, we'll double-click on the icon. And I'll change the blend mode here to luminosity. Luminosity tells Photoshop to only display the greyscale values of the filter so we can see that the color and the noise disappears. We'll click OK. And then if we want to see the difference between adding grain versus adding noise, we can toggle the eye icon next to the add grain, so now we are looking at the add noise layer.
Toggle it on again, that's the add grain filter. So you can see they are very different looks. One last thing that I want to do from the bottom of the Layers panel. I just want to add a photo filter adjustment layer. And, I'm going to use the default warming filter here. I might want to increase the density a little bit. And we can choose whether we want to preserve the luminosity. Right now, you can see that the density isn't changing very much in the sky, over there in those lighter areas. But, if I uncheck luminosity The image does seem to dim down a bit. And that's because Photoshop is adding this warming color on top of those brighter values.
So again that's just an esthetic choice, you can either toggle that on or off. We'll go ahead and collapse the Properties panel. Zoom out to fit in Window by using Cmd+0 on Mac or Ctrl+0 on Windows. And now we can preview the photo filter by toggling on and off the eye icon to a before and after. So defending on the effect that you like you can use either of these two methods to apply either noise or grain to your image. Although I use them in the more artistic manner here to change the mood of the image you can use these techniques in more pragmatic projects as well...
Such as seamlessly compositing images.
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