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One of the filters that I'm having the most fun with right now in Photoshop CS6 is the Oil Paint Filter. Typically in other lessons I've been starting with an image already opened in Photoshop and then we've been converting that image to a Smart Object. But I wanted to show you if you start in Bridge and you select your image, if you choose the File menu and then Place and you place the image in Photoshop, you'll notice that Photoshop opens the image for you and it actually converts the Background layer into a Smart Object. So that might be one less step that you have to do when you're opening your images and you're working with filters.
In order to select the Oil Paint Filter I'll choose Filter and then Oil Paint. All of the options are over here on the right-hand side, but you can already see that my image looks much more like a painting. I can change the Stylization, I can also change the Cleanliness of the brush, I can change the Scale, make it larger or smaller, and I can change the Brush Detail if I want to have a more intricate painting. We can change the Direction of the lighting and we can increase the Shine which would increase the contrast so it makes it look as if the oil painting is deeper as if the paint itself is thicker.
And that's all there is to it. Click OK. When we're finished we can toggle the visibility of the Oil Paint Filter, turning it on and turning it off. And of course we could always go in and change our Blending Options. If we thought this was too heavy of an effect we can simply scale it back, click OK and we're finished. It's an excellent way to add a painterly effect to any image in Photoshop.
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