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If you ever stumbled upon the Mezzotint filter in Photoshop, you might have assumed that it really had no place in a photographic image. But actually, you can use it as part of an overall effect that can be quite interesting for certain images. I'll start off by creating a copy of my Background Image layer. So, I'll drag the thumbnail for that layer down to the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. And then, I'm going to convert this layer to a Smart Object so that I have a little bit more flexibility for the filter. I'll go to the Filter menu and choose Convert for Smart filters. And then I'll click OK to confirm that change, and now my background copy is a Smart Object.
So, when I apply filters, they will be applied as Smart filters, so I can go back and change the settings for those filters at any time. I'll then go to the Filter menu and I'm going to choose Pixelate, followed by Mezzotint, and that will bring up the Mezzotint dialog. But there's only one control available to us, and we can't even adjust the degree of change. We can simply choose the pattern that's going to be used to alter the image. So, you see we have a series of options for dots. We also have I have some options for lines, and we have some settings for strokes.
And essentially, our only control is the overall size of those features. I'll go ahead and use the Medium Dots settings here and then I'll click OK in order to apply that effect. Now obviously, this is a rather dramatic result, but we can use that to our advantage. I'm going to go ahead and change the Blend mode for this layer to the Overlay Blend mode. And that will cause a contrast enhancement in the underlying image. So, we're using the texture of that Mezzotint filter in order to alter the appearance of the underlying image.
Now, if I wanted to tone down the effect, I could certainly reduce the Opacity setting at the top right of the Layers panel. But I think that I like this strong effect. In fact, I think that I might also add a vignetting effect to darken up the corners of the image in order to dramatize this already rather dramatic interpretation of the photo. So, I'll go ahead and choose Filter followed by Lens Correction. That will bring up the Lens Correction dialog. I'll make sure that all of the Auto options are turned off. And then, I'll go to the Custom tab. And I will reduce the value for amount under the vignette section in order to darken up those corners.
I can also adjust the midpoint pulling the adjustment, the darkening of the edges further into the center of the image, or further away from the center. In this case, I'll drag to the left a little bit and maybe darken up that amount setting just a little bit more as well. I'll then click OK to apply that effect. And you'll see now that under Smart filters, I have two filters that I've applied to this image, the Mezzotint filter as well as the Lens Correction filter. I can turn off the visibility for either of those if I'd like at any given time, just by clicking on the Eye icon to the left of the name of that filter.
And I can also change the settings for the filter at any time. I'll double-click on the Mezzotint filter, for example. I'll receive a message letting me know that I won't be able to see the full preview when I'm working with Smart filters on a Smart Object. I'll go ahead and click OK. And then, I can change the setting for the Mezzotint filter, if I'd like. We'll go ahead and take a look and medium lines, for example. I'll go ahead and click OK. And that will apply to the image and actually, that's kind of working a little bit better. I think that texture is interesting for the brick wall, as well as for the metal here in the foreground.
So, I think I'll leave that option set as it is. Now, in this case, obviously a very dramatic interpretation of the photo. But it gives you a good sense of how you could potentially use a filter that you might otherwise assume. It really wasn't going to be very useful for a photographic image.
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