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Using the Film Grain and Noise filters

From: Photoshop for Photographers: Creative Effects

Video: Using the Film Grain and Noise filters

A great way to modify or change the texture or mood or feeling of your photographs is by adding some film grain. So here in this initial movie I want to share with you a few techniques that you can use in order to easily add some film grain to your photographs. We'll be working with this portrait here that I captured of one of my best friends and his son Dylan, they lived down in Costa Rica and they'd just come out of the ocean, and you can see that they are really connected, and so I want to add a bit more character or timelessness to this photograph by adding some film grain.

Using the Film Grain and Noise filters

A great way to modify or change the texture or mood or feeling of your photographs is by adding some film grain. So here in this initial movie I want to share with you a few techniques that you can use in order to easily add some film grain to your photographs. We'll be working with this portrait here that I captured of one of my best friends and his son Dylan, they lived down in Costa Rica and they'd just come out of the ocean, and you can see that they are really connected, and so I want to add a bit more character or timelessness to this photograph by adding some film grain.

To do that we want to copy our background layer, press Command+J on a Mac, or Ctrl+J on Windows, and do that twice so that we have three layers. We'll go ahead and name the top layer grain, then we'll name the second layer here noise. Next let's turn off the visibility of the top layer, and let's start off with this noise layer. If you navigate to the Filter pulldown menu, you can go down to Noise and then there underneath Noise you have the ability to select Add Noise. This is a really great way to add some grain.

With this little teeny window what I'd like to do is to try to position it over the image, so I can still kind of see the rest of the photograph. When you're working with this you'll want to use Gaussian and Monochromatic. Without Monochromatic you'll see there are all these little color artifacts and then Uniform, it'll be a bit too even. So again we want to turn on Monochromatic and Gaussian, that typically works best. Then we can use the Amount slider to increase or to decrease the size of the grain. Typically what you'll do is try to have just a subtle amount of grain, you don't want it to overpower your picture.

With this photograph I think right around 5% looks good let's go ahead and click OK in order to apply that. Then if we click on the Eye icon we can see here's the before and then now here's the after. And sometimes especially with digital capture like with this image which was captured on a Canon 5D Mark II is that sometimes the images are too perfect. By adding some film grain it kind of smooth things out a little bit and softens the image in a really nice and interesting way. All right, well now that we've looked at how we can add this by way of the Noise Filter let's also do this by way of the Grain Filter, here we'll click on grain and then turn on the visibility of that layer, and then we'll go down to our Filter pulldown menu and open up the Filter Gallery.

In this Filter Gallery underneath Artistic you'll find the option for Film Grain, you can also find this in the pulldown menu here, so if you selected a different filter previously, you can just choose this from this pulldown menu, and it'll target that icon there, and then you can start to make the adjustments. All right, well now that we have this image here let's go ahead and click and drag it over, so we can see the details. We have a Grain slider, which is similar to what we had with that Noise Filter, we can click and drag this to the right in order to increase this, but we also have the ability to work on our highlight areas.

With this image it won't really work, but let me show you how you can use these sliders. When you increase your highlight area and then your Intensity slider, you can see that what it's doing here is it's protecting this area, it's not adding grain to that part of your photograph, this is obviously too intense or too high, yet as we decrease that you can start to see how the grain isn't completely even rather it's a little bit more backed off in those areas allowing some of those highlights to come through. Now with this photograph I don't think that's very essential, but it's just worthwhile to point that out so that you can see how you can use that.

With this picture because it's pretty evenly lit, removing your highlight area and intensity in my opinion at least I think works better. All right, so I'll click and drag the Grain slider up to about 3 approximately and then go ahead and click OK. Now back in the Layers panel we can see both of these options, here is the Grain Filter applied before, and then now after, and then here is that Noise Filter. Both of these filters work in a little bit different way, so which filter is best. What I found in my own workflow is that I used the Noise Filter a lot although I also like the Grain Filter, it depends upon the photograph, so certain photographs I like to experiment with both of these to see which works best, yet either way you now have picked up a couple of techniques that you can use in order to add film grain to your photographs.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Photographers: Creative Effects
Photoshop for Photographers: Creative Effects

67 video lessons · 19657 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 3m 0s
    1. Welcome
      59s
    2. Using the exercise files
      53s
    3. What you need to know before watching this course
      1m 8s
  2. 23m 0s
    1. Using Color Balance and Curves to create vivid color
      5m 16s
    2. Creating vibrant and exciting color: part 1
      5m 7s
    3. Creating vibrant and exciting color: part 2
      5m 57s
    4. Increasing color, saturation, and glow with blending modes and filters
      3m 28s
    5. Using Apply Image to enhance color
      3m 12s
  3. 31m 38s
    1. Creating Instagram-like effects with actions
      4m 46s
    2. Improving the impact of color with curves and color balance
      3m 36s
    3. Advanced color toning
      7m 29s
    4. Creating a more uniform color palette
      5m 4s
    5. Setting yourself apart with artistic color
      4m 28s
    6. Creating an edgy, muted, high-contrast look
      6m 15s
  4. 21m 25s
    1. Adding light for emphasis
      5m 26s
    2. Using adjustment layers to brighten and add color
      4m 31s
    3. Using the Lighting Effects filter
      5m 31s
    4. Removing an object from its environment
      2m 37s
    5. Creating a realistic shadow for an object
      3m 20s
  5. 22m 43s
    1. Understanding why blur matters
      1m 38s
    2. Using Field Blur in a traditional way
      2m 23s
    3. Creating "impossible" focus and blur with Field Blur
      4m 35s
    4. Creating Iris Blur effects
      6m 3s
    5. Adding Tilt-Shift Blur effects
      3m 24s
    6. Adding Tilt-Shift to a cityscape
      4m 40s
  6. 19m 46s
    1. Adding pan motion to a photograph
      3m 57s
    2. Creating a radial spin effect
      5m 17s
    3. Adding a radial zoom blur
      5m 12s
    4. Using selections and masks to create a zoom effect
      5m 20s
  7. 14m 9s
    1. Creating a subtle and realistic lens flare
      6m 1s
    2. Increasing drama by using multiple lens flare adjustments
      4m 20s
    3. Enhancing color and tone to make the Lens Flare effect come to life
      3m 48s
  8. 22m 57s
    1. Building creative effects with HDR toning
      6m 10s
    2. HDR toning and layer blending
      5m 33s
    3. Masking HDR toning into specific areas of a photo
      7m 29s
    4. Adding texture and snap to black-and-white images with HDR toning
      3m 45s
  9. 16m 44s
    1. Building a dynamic digital infrared effect
      4m 54s
    2. Combining infrared and HDR toning
      5m 23s
    3. Creating infrared with contrast and sharpness
      6m 27s
  10. 14m 53s
    1. Using the Film Grain and Noise filters
      4m 26s
    2. Creating a more realistic grain effect
      5m 44s
    3. Adding grain to a Smart Object
      4m 43s
  11. 30m 7s
    1. Adding grain and creating a sepia tone
      4m 38s
    2. Burning and dodging a sepia-toned image
      4m 53s
    3. Blending back some original color and adding a border
      4m 23s
    4. Creating a sepia tone and blending in texture
      3m 55s
    5. Adding film grain and more texture
      4m 44s
    6. Creating a distinct color and tone
      3m 36s
    7. Burning and dodging a vintage photo
      3m 58s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Adding a prebuilt edge
      4m 40s
    2. Hand-painting a border or edge
      5m 44s
    3. Adding borders using custom shapes
      4m 48s
    4. Working with a real film edge
      3m 12s
    5. Adding external frames and borders
      4m 19s
  13. 17m 32s
    1. Building a creative effect with blending and adjustments
      5m 40s
    2. Combining clouds with a portrait for an imaginative effect
      7m 22s
    3. Blending images and graphics together to add visual interest
      4m 30s
  14. 13m 16s
    1. Finding and installing custom brushes
      4m 50s
    2. Using and modifying custom brushes
      5m 23s
    3. Experimenting with custom brushes
      3m 3s
  15. 22m 53s
    1. Why use Photoshop plug-ins?
      1m 4s
    2. Adding borders with PhotoFrame from onOne
      6m 9s
    3. Creating effects with Exposure by Alien Skin
      6m 9s
    4. Enhancing color with Color Efex Pro by Nik
      4m 49s
    5. Using Topaz Adjust to improve colors
      2m 55s
    6. Using VSCO Film with Camera Raw
      1m 47s
  16. 40s
    1. Goodbye
      40s

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