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In this one of-a-kind workshop Tim shares his favorite techniques for using Adobe Photoshop's effects and filters to create imaginative, out-of-the-ordinary images. He starts with simple things like black-and-white interpretations, monochromatic tints, vignettes, and film grain, then moves on to more dramatic effects like Surface Blur, Tilt-Shift Blur, Oil Paint. From there, head into "wilder territory," as Tim explores some experimental ways to stylize and distort your images.
There are four filters in Photoshop that produce a relatively similar result to each other. And so, in many cases, when I'm considering one, I'll actually evaluate all four of these filters. Let's take a look at the effect. Generally speaking, the effect we're going to produce works best with a somewhat abstract image. An image where there's just a texture or a pattern, for example. This photograph happens to be a scene of rolling farm fields that was captured with a relatively slow shutter speed panning across. So, the camera is moving during the exposure and so we have this blur effect.
I'm going to start off by creating a copy of my Background Image layer. So, I'll drag the thumbnail for that Background layer down to the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. But since I'm going to be evaluating four different filters, I'm actually going to create four copies of this image. And when I mean copy, I don't mean a copy such as the background copy, I mean a duplicate of the entire, in this case, two-layered image. So from the Image menu, I'll choose Duplicate, and then I'll click OK, just accepting the default of having the word Copy appended to the file name. And then once again, I'll chose Image Duplicate.
And click OK once again, and Image Duplicate one last time and click OK. So now, I have four individual copies of the image, the exact same image all of them including that Background Copy layer. And I'll simply apply different filters to each of these. So, I'll start with the first image, and then I'll we'll go the Filter menu and choose Distort followed by Ripple. That will bring up the Ripple dialog, which is a very simple dialog. We can adjust the amount or the intensity of that ripple effect, as well as the overall size of the effect.
In this case, I'll go ahead and use the large option, and then maybe make a relatively strong setting for the Amount slider. And then, when I think I have a pretty good effect, I'll click the OK button in order to apply it to the image. And you can see we get this distorted sort of wave pattern within the image using this particular filter. I'll go ahead and choose the next image, the second image here. And then once again, go into the Filter menu, and the Distort sub-menu. But this time, I'm going to use the Twirl option. You'll notice that the dialog is somewhat similar.
We don't have a lot to choose from as far as settings. In fact, just one setting, the Angle slider. And this determines how strong an effect or how much twirl we're going to get in the image. We can use a very low setting, so we have just a little bit of distortion. Or even a negative setting to twirl in the opposite direction. You'll notice that we have a preview here. We can certainly zoom out to get a better sense of the overall effect in the photo. We also have a sense of the shape of that tool at the bottom left of the tool dialog. I will go ahead and play with the setting just a little bit and may be some more around there we'll work out nicely. And then, I will click the OK button to apply that filter effect. I will go ahead and switch to the third copy of my image here, and then go to the Filter menu once again and choose Distort.
And this time, I'm going to use the Wave option. And you can see from the Preview that the effect is very similar to what we saw with the the ripple effect. But we can adjust the number of wave generators as well as the wavelength that we'd like to use the amplitude of the wave. And notice, we can set both a minimum and a maximum. So, we can adjust a variety of different settings for the waves that we're creating. I'll go ahead and leave the amplitude at a relatively modest setting here. And we can also adjust the wavelength. Again, we have minimum and maximum values for that effect. So, we're sort of getting almost this cross section of a mountain type of effect.
And as I adjust the number of generators, you'll see once again that that has a fairly significant impact on the overall shape of the effect. We can also, by the way, adjust the type of waves that are being applied to the image so we have sign triangle and square effects. So, you could choose among those, and you also have an option for randomize. You can click the randomize button and just get a series of random settings for the Wave filter, but this is looking pretty cool. So, I'll go ahead and click OK. And then, we'll go to the final copy of the image. And from the Filter menu, under Distort, this time I'll choose Zigzag. And you can see we have a mesh pattern indicating the effect, giving us some sense of the effect.
We can also zoom out to get a better sense of the effect on the actual image and then we can determine the strength of the effect. Both positive and negative, as well as the number of ridges within that image. So within the mesh pattern that we're creating, you'll notice that in this case I'm getting something of ripple effect, sort of like if a pebble had been dropped into a pond. And we've got concentric ripples going outward from that center point. And of course, that makes perfect sense since the style is called Pond Ripples. But we can also choose around center as well as out from center. I'll zoom out just a little bit more so that we can see those particular effects in the image, but in this case, I think we'll stick with pond ripples. I'll maybe strengthen the effect a little bit more and perhaps reduce the number of ridges, just a little bit, and then I'll click OK. And there's our pond ripple effect.
So, we can go through each of those filters in turn, looking at the effect in the four copies that I created for my image. And while they're all very different from each other, there's a similar underlying tone with each of them in terms of how they're warping the photo. So once again, we have the Ripple filter, the Twirl filter, the Wave filter, and finally the Zigzag filter. So, somewhat similar in their overall operation, and yet very different in a lot of respects as far as that final effect. But because of their general similarities, I do tend to evaluate all four of these filters when I'm considering any of them for a particular image.
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