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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.
The Oil paint Filter new in CS6 is so easy to use and gives such good results that it almost feels like cheating. You really can't go wrong. I'd like to give you some simple ideas for working with the oil paint filter. Beginning with this image which sort of already has a "paintily" feel about it. I'm going to apply the oil paint filter. First of all I will convert to a smart object, then come to oil paint, one of my big filters, one of the above the fold filters.
And then it's really just a question of adjusting the setting until you find something that you like. If I want to go for a light application of the oil paint filter, I'm going to increase my cleanliness all the way and I'm going to take down my styliliziation see what happens when I pump that stylization up it becomes almost abstract. And then I can also reduce the amount of shine. Let's take a look at another example. The oil paint filter is fantastic for breathing new life into images that didn't quite make it.
And this is such an image so I'm going to convert this to smart object and then apply oil paint and in this instance I am going to have a heavier application of oil paint so I'm going to increase the amount of stylization. To give me a result like that. But then I might want to go a little bit further with this. I find that the blues in the image are a little bit distracting. So I want to drop out those blues.
I'm going to add a color lookup table, and there is a pre-defined color lookup table called Drop Blues which does exactly that. And I feel like that's definitely a step in the right direction. There's the before and there's the after, but there is something else I'd like to do and that is desaturate the greens. So I'm going to also add a hue saturation adjustment layer. And I'll come and use my targeted adjustment slider. Now, since I want to adjust the saturation, I will just click on the greens and then drag to the left and that will desaturate the greens. So, let's see where we've arrived at there.
There's my beginning file, there's the oil paint filter applied to it. The Color Lookup adjustment layer which is dropping the blues. And the Hue Saturation adjustment layer which is desaturating the greens. Something else you might want to try, and here's another of those images that. Without something done to it, would be just a candidate for the reject bin. But, I want to try and breathe new life into this image. I particularly do not like the color palette of this image.
So what I'm gonna do is, find a color palette I do like, and I've gone to Wikipedia and I'm using this image of the girl with the pearl earring by Vermeer. I have copied this. And pasted it into photoshop then I'm going to choose save for web and I need to save it as a... well actually i'm not going to save it but I need to choose at this point .gif or .png as my file type. Because what I want to do is export a color table so these are the colors that are being extracted from this image.
I'm gonna change that to No Dither. And I'm gonna try and, this time, work with a limited range of these colors. So, I'm gonna reduce that down to 64, and then I'm going to choose Save Color Table. And I will come and save this in my folder. I already have one that I created earlier so I'm going to call this one vermeer1. I can now cancel out of there and switch back to my less than masterful work in progress. And I'm going to convert this from an RGB image into an indexed color image.
So I'll come up to the image menu. Mode, index color. Now the reason I'm doing this is so that I can use that color look-up table that I just saved. So where it says palette I'm going to choose custom, then click on load, and then navigate to the place where I saved that look-up table. And there is my palette. I wanna make sure that I have the Dithering set to None. I can now click OK. If I want to apply the Oil Paint filter, I now have to change my image back to an RGB image.
Convert the Background Layer to a Smart Object. And then, come and choose Oil Paint from my filters, adjust these sliders to my liking. But the important point here, is that I now have a whole new color palette, which is definitely improving the look of this image. And if we see where we began, we have this very garish color palette and we're finishing up with this far more sympathetic color palette derived from Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring. So there are just some ideas and they are just the tip of the iceberg for working with the fantastic new oil paint filter.
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