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Mezzotint is an old printing technique and if you've seen the Wall Street Journal the way they used to reproduce their halftones is, I don't know it that's a mezzotint, but it's kind of reminiscent of the mezzotint like effect. That's where we're going for here. Now this may not be an authentic mezzotint, but it's going to be an interesting effect. That's what we're after. One way we are certainly not going to create the mezzotint is by using Photoshop's Mezzotint filter, because it really isn't very good. Let's just see what this would do to it though.
If I run this filter it's in the Pixelate group. I'd make it grayscale first. So let's say we do that, and then we do that. I'm not crazy about that. It's not very effective. It's always just a mush. So we need to control how we're making this mezzotint. So I'm going to set the image back to the way it was when we came in and to start out we're going to make the image black and white. Since I think most mezzotints would be monochromatic, and then we're going to limit the number of gray values by posterizing it.
Now how many gray values you choose is really going to depend upon the kind of image that you have. I think I'm going to with 10. It looked about right. When we posterize we get this nasty sort of choppy stuff that goes on around the different brakes and tone. And I'm going to try and alleviate that somewhat by applying a Gaussian Blur filter to the image. Just to be on the safe side I'm going to unlock that Background layer and Convert It for Smart Filters and then come and add a Gaussian Blur which would just smooth those edges.
I'm going to leave that at what it is 1.1. So now what I want to do is make a duplicate of this. So I'm going to come to the top of my layer stack and I'm going to hold down Command+Option+Shift+E or hold down my Alt key and choose Merge Visible, and that's going to merge everything on to that separate layer. Now at this point we really do need to flatten this or copy.
In fact, that's probably a good idea. So just to be on the safe side I want to come to duplicate this and I'm going to Duplicate Merged layers Only so that we get just that version, and then I'll make this into a grayscale and then from a grayscale we're going to go to a Bitmap. When we make it into a bitmap we'll use this method Diffusion Dither and it'd look like that. It looks weird when we make it into a bitmap, but now having made it into a bitmap when we turn it back into grayscale using our size ratio 1:1, that's the effect that we get.
So there is our end result achieved through a combination of making it monochrome, using the black and white adjustment layer, posterizing it to limit the number of gray values, blurring it to soften the edges around where those gray values transition from one to the other, stamping everything on to one layer, and then duplicating that as a separate image. Then when we'll got here what we did was we went to the Image menu and we chose Bitmap>Diffusion Dither and then from making into a bitmap we turned it back into grayscale and this is the effect that we get.
It may not be an authentic mezzotint, but I think it's a nice effect nonetheless.
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