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Filters are a part of Adobe Photoshop often misused or overlooked by designers. Author Nigel French teaches a creative approach to filters, explaining how to combine them both with other filters and with the Photoshop masking and blending tools for maximum visual impact. Plus, learn how to use filter blending modes, filter masks, and how to stack filters to create unique filter combinations.
Here I'm going to use the Fragment filter to achieve this line drawing effect that we see on the right-hand side. Let's take a look at the finished version. All we need to do is apply fragment, and the key here is that we apply the Fragment filter with the Divide Blend mode. So, to the beginning file. This version is a little bit murky looking. So before I get to apply fragment, I want to brighten things up a bit. I'm going to convert my layer to a Smart Object, and then apply a Shadows Highlight adjustment. Now, Shadows Highlight is not strictly a filter.
But when you apply it to a Smart Object, that's how it behaves. I'm going to open up the shadows by 50%. And you can see there we have Shadows Highlight now listed as a Smart filter, and I can revisit that. I can just as I can with any filter, I can change the blending mode of that, etc. I'm now going to duplicated that layer, Cmd+J, and I will delete the Shadows Highlight from the top most copy, and then go and apply the Fragment filter.
Which is in the pixelate group. That doesn't look very promising. But as soon as I double-click on the Filter Blending mode button and change that to divide, we get this interesting effect. Now we need to refine this a little bit. What I would like to do is have some of the color version show through. So, I'm going to add a layer mask to the topmost layer, and then choose my brush. And I'm working with one of these natural media brushes. I'll use that one.
And then, I'm going to come to my Brushes panel, where I just want to change the angle of the brush. Simply because I think it works better at this angle for this image. And then, increase the size of that brush. And then painting in black, I can reveal some of the color of the original layer beneath. Now, we have some taxis down in the bottom right-hand corner. And it is a law that whenever you have a yellow taxi in an image, you have to reveal them as being yellow taxis. So, I'm going to do that.
We now see that in the line drawing, I've still got some residual color, which I'd like to remove. So, I will do that by adding a Black and White Adjustment layer. But of course, that's also now making everything black and white. I'll come and fix that in just a moment. I'm going to use the maximum black preset to make those lines stronger. And then, I'm going to limit the effect of this adjustment layer by holding down the Option or Alt key. And clicking on the line that separates it from the layer below, making it into a Clipping Mask.
And there is our effect. So essentially, it's all about using the Fragment filter in the Divide Blend mode.
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