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Many of the filters in Photoshop, are creating an interpretation of the pixel values within your photo to produce a creative result. But some of those filters actually essentially create new pixels. In many cases just larger pixels sometimes with an interesting shape, to produce some sort of mosaic type of effect. And the pointillize filter, is one that does exactly that. It creates an interesting mosaic type of pattern. Let's take a look at this relatively simple filter, that can produce a rather wild and interesting effect. I'll go ahead and start by creating a copy of my background image layer, just by dragging that layer down to the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the layers panel.
And then I'll go to the Filter menu, and under Pixelate, I'm going to choose Pointilize. that will bring up the Pointilize dialog, where I can adjust only one setting. The cell size. I'll go ahead and zoom out on the image so that we can see the full preview. And in this case, you'll see that because of the large cell size, essentially I just have a few blocks within the image. Not something that even remotely resembles the original. I'll go ahead and reduce the value for cell size down to a very small value. And you can see that we get a little bit more of a pixelated appearance within the photo, essentially using relatively large pixels to represent our original pixels.
Now of course if I zoom out, you'll see that you can roughly make out the subject here. It sort of looks a little grainy or noisy, but we still can see the overall subject. In most cases I prefer to take the value up just enough that it becomes a little more abstract. If you know what the photo looked like, you certainly would recognize it. But if you weren't familiar with the image, then you might not be able to tell what the subject in the image actually was. And of course, if we go even larger, then things get even more abstract. So generally speaking, I'll use a reasonably small setting.
But that's not to say you can't get an interesting result with a very large setting. Certainly more abstract, but an interesting result nevertheless. For this image, I think I'll use a moderately low setting, perhaps somewhere. Right around in there where the image is still somewhat visible, somewhat identifiable but not exactly obvious in terms of that effect. I'll go ahead and click OK with that setting established and you can see a very abstract sort of mosaic effect using relatively large pixels with a little bit of an, abstract shape in order to produce a very interesting image.
And of course, as always, I can reduce the opacity if I want to allow the original image to show through just a little bit. But with this filter, in my mind that tends to create a little bit of a messy appearance in the photo. So I tend to leave it just as it's abstract version. But of course, that's just me. You can certainly play with this filter and any of the filters in Photoshop in any way you like. The key is to embrace these interesting and unique filters, play around with them a little bit, and find out which images they're going to work with best. And of course which filters and other effects you like most for your images.
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