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In this course, author Nigel French shows how to use textures to create visual interest, heighten realism, and add dimension to Photoshop artwork. The course demonstrates how to apply multiple filters and paint in effects with layer masks, combine textures with images using layer blending modes, use brushes to paint in and accentuate texture, and create brush presets by sampling textures from photographs. The course also shows how to automate the application of textures with actions.
The Craquelure Filter simulates the cracking of paint that we see on old paintings like this detail of the Mona Lisa here and we are going to apply it to this image which is an image from the Thinkstock Photo Library. Here I've applied the Craquelure Filter in differing amounts to the highlights, the mid tones and to the shadows and this, I think, is how to get the most from this filter, because if we just apply the same amount of the filter to the whole image, the cracking that it simulates is just going to look far too uniform.
Here is our starting point and our first task is to separate out the image into its Shadows, its Highlights and its Midtones. To do this, I am going to use the Color Range tool. From the Select dropdown, I am going to choose first of all Highlights, click OK, that's going to give me a selection of my highlights. Command+J or Ctrl+J will copy the highlights to a separate layer.
Come back to my Background layer, back to Color Range. This time, I'll choose Midtones, Command+J or Ctrl+J, back to the Background layer, Color Range and this time, Shadows. Okay! So now we've got those three different tonal regions and it's not got absolutely everything, but that's okay, because we would leave the Background layer on behind these three layers.
So now one by one, I am going to convert these layers for smart filters and you can see that I've added a keyboard shortcut for that and that's what I am going to use for the other two. Now I'm going to go to the Filter menu and down to Texture and choose the Craquelure filter. Now in the shadow areas, I want the Crack Spacing to be relatively low so that we actually see more cracks and I want the cracks to be deep in the shadows.
So those are the values I am going to use for the Shadows; 15, 7 and 5. Now I'll come to the Midtones where I am going to hold down my Option or Alt key as I choose Craquelure from the Filter menu. And here I want the Spacing to be a lot bigger, so that we see fewer cracks and the Crack Depth to be not quite so deep. For the Highlights, hold down the Option or Alt key; choose it from the Filter menu and Crack Spacing, a bit bigger still, not as deep as in the Midtones nor as in the Shadows.
Now to refine this and the fact that we have applied these different amounts as Smart Filters to different layers, means that we can go back and adjust the amount and I think on reflection, that's a little bit too much in the Shadows. Now what we can do is working on each of the Filter Masks that come with the Smart Filters, we can paint away some of the uniformity that we are going to get.
So I'll start with the Shadows, choose a nice big paintbrush and I've got a Brush Opacity of 50 and I am just going to tab over some of those regions just to remove or reduce the amount of cracking that we are seeing. I am going to repeat that in the Midtone region. Varying my brush size a bit, possibly varying my Opacity, press 3 to go down to 30% and then repeat the same thing again in the Highlight region.
So what we should now have is a far less uniform result than we would have got from just running the Craquelure filter on one image layer. So the point I'd like you to take away from this movie is not just about the specifics of applying the Craquelure Filter in a convincing way, but more than that this approach of applying varying amounts of a filter to different tonal regions of your image, so that you get a much more customized, more effective result and we see here that's exactly what I've done, I've broken the image out into Shadows, Highlights and Midtones and applied differing amounts of a filter to those different tonal regions.
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