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There are many creative filters available on Photoshop with even more available as plugins from a variety of companies. And they enable you to create some unique interpetations of your images. In this lesson, were going to see how it's possible to apply a creative filter so that it only effects a particular area of a photo. I'll start by applying my filter effect to the entire image. And I'm going to use a smart filter to maximize my flexibility here. So first with my background image layer Selected, I'm going to choose filter > convert for smart filters.
I'll Click OK to acknowledge. And now you can see that my background image layer has become a smart object. Now if I apply a filter, it will be a smart filter meaning it is completely editable. Keep in mind that many of the creative filters are only available for 8 bit per channel images, so if you're working with a 16 bit per channel image, you'd want to duplicate that image and create an 8 bit per channel version first. In this case, my image is already in the 8 bit per channel mode, so I can simply choose Filter > Filter gallery to bring up the filter gallery, and then choose some interesting filter effects that I'd like to apply to this image.
I'll go ahead and change this diffuse glow, perhaps make it ocean ripple might be interesting. And then I'll duplicate and let's take a look, maybe accented edges or dark strokes, maybe ink outlines. Yeah, that looks pretty nice. Looks like a painting effect almost with some ink applied to it. I'll go ahead and adjust. The settings here for this particular filter maybe reduce the intensity of the darks just a little bit, maybe increase the lighting intensity a little bit.
And it looks very interesting so I'll go ahead and Click OK in order to apply that effect to the image. The entire image has been affected by this filter effect but I can change where the filter is visible by adjusting the layer mask that is added from my smart filer. I could use the brush tool, for example I'll choose the brush tool and change the settings here. I'll just grab a normal brush for demonstration purposes, and I'll paint with black so I'll Press x to switch my foreground and background colors so that black is my foreground color.
And then I'll adjust my brush size with the left or right square bracket keys, and I can paint with black to block the effect of the filter in specific areas of the image. Notice that I'm painting on the layer mask itself so I'm only blocking or revealing the filter effect. I'm not actually adding black pixels to the image. I could also a selection as the basis of this technique, I'll go ahead and choose the Polygonal Lasso tool. For example, and then I'll create a selection of the window itself here, I'll just Click on each of the corners, and then close my selection, and now I can fill this selected area, which again, we'll fill an area on my layer mask with black.
And that will block the filter effect. So I'll Choose Edit fill from the menu, Set the use pop-up to black, make sure the blending mode is set to normal and the opacity is at 100% and then Click OK. And now I have filled that selected area with black so that the filter effect is not visible in that particular area. It's only visible in the remainder of the image. Now, I can go ahead and deselect my selection by choosing Select Deselect from the menu. I can then adjust the transition from the area being affected to the area not being affected by changing my feather setting on the mask's panel. If I increase this value significantly, you'll see that the filter effect transitions very smoothly.
In this case, I want a relatively abrupt transition, but not one that looks like a cut out effect. So in this case, I think I'll use a feathering of about two pixels. That looks to be producing a pretty good effect in the image. Utilizing layer masks allows you to greatly extend the potential of the creative effects you apply to any photo. With just about any creative it's possible to employ a layer mask in this manner so that only a portion of the image you define is actually affected by the effect.
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