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Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters
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Using Smart Filters


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Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters

with Tim Grey

Video: Using Smart Filters

When you're applying most filters in Photoshop you have a variety of options for changing the behavior of that filter. The particular settings will depend upon the filter you're using, but most filters include some options for altering the behavior of that filter. If you apply filter as a Smart Filter, you retain the ability to go back and modify those settings at any time. Let's take a look at how you can use a Smart Filter in order to apply a filter that retains maximum flexibility. I'm going to start off by making a copy of my background image layer, so that I always have that background image layer to go back to in case I don't like the effect or I decide to get rid of my filter effect layer altogether. I'll go ahead and drag the thumbnail for the Background Image Layer down to the Create New Layer button, the blank sheet of paper icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.
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  1. 1m 24s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
  2. 16m 23s
    1. Adding a single filter
      3m 21s
    2. Using the Filter Gallery
      4m 51s
    3. Using Smart Filters
      4m 2s
    4. A flexible filter workflow
      4m 9s
  3. 36m 0s
    1. Creating an ethereal effect with Clarity
      2m 13s
    2. Creating a black-and-white interpretation of an image
      3m 12s
    3. Adding a monochromatic tint effect
      2m 27s
    4. Using a gradient map preset
      2m 42s
    5. Creating a gradient map preset
      7m 48s
    6. Adding a vignette
      3m 17s
    7. Adding film grain
      5m 25s
    8. Oversharpening
      3m 17s
    9. HDR tone mapping
      5m 39s
  4. 37m 47s
    1. Creating a filtered edge effect
      4m 6s
    2. Producing a dreamy look with Surface Blur
      3m 4s
    3. Iris Blur with a twist
      4m 32s
    4. The Tilt-Shift blur effect
      3m 52s
    5. Creating an oil paint effect
      4m 36s
    6. Adding selective motion blur
      4m 36s
    7. Adding lens flare
      5m 21s
    8. Adding a lighting effect
      5m 6s
    9. Adding an ethereal glow
      2m 34s
  5. 24m 21s
    1. Applying a wild curve
      3m 1s
    2. Playing with blend modes
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a painterly effect with Find Edges
      2m 41s
    4. Creating a sketch effect
      5m 26s
    5. Crystallizing pixels
      3m 6s
    6. Getting extreme with Mezzotint
      3m 42s
    7. The Solarize filter
      2m 25s
  6. 38m 38s
    1. Smearing with Liquify
      7m 0s
    2. Going fish-eye with Polar Coordinates
      3m 38s
    3. Using the Spherize and Pinch filters
      3m 18s
    4. Using the Ripple, Twirl, Wave, and ZigZag filters
      5m 45s
    5. Getting blocky with Mosaic
      2m 44s
    6. Creating huge pixels with Pointilize
      3m 0s
    7. Creating tiles
      3m 42s
    8. Creating blocks with Extrude
      4m 29s
    9. Mapping the image with Trace Contour
      2m 44s
    10. Creating a stylized wind-blown effect
      2m 18s

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Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters
2h 34m Intermediate Oct 11, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Working with the Filter Gallery
  • Creating a black-and-white effect
  • Applying a vignette
  • Adding motion blur
  • Creating a painterly effect with Find Edges
  • Smearing with Liquify
  • Mapping the image with Trace Contour
Subjects:
Photography video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

Using Smart Filters

When you're applying most filters in Photoshop you have a variety of options for changing the behavior of that filter. The particular settings will depend upon the filter you're using, but most filters include some options for altering the behavior of that filter. If you apply filter as a Smart Filter, you retain the ability to go back and modify those settings at any time. Let's take a look at how you can use a Smart Filter in order to apply a filter that retains maximum flexibility. I'm going to start off by making a copy of my background image layer, so that I always have that background image layer to go back to in case I don't like the effect or I decide to get rid of my filter effect layer altogether. I'll go ahead and drag the thumbnail for the Background Image Layer down to the Create New Layer button, the blank sheet of paper icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

That will create a background copy which I can use to apply my filters to. But I want to first prepare this layer for the application of Smart Filters. And what that really means, is that I will convert this specific layer to a Smart Object. A Smart Object is Photoshop's way of encapsulating an image layer along with a variety of different effects, in this case filter effects that we can then modify later if desired. So, making sure that the Background Copy Layer is the currently active layer on the Layer's panel, you can simply click the thumbnail if you want to be sure.

I'll go to the Filter menu and then choose Convert for Smart Filters. When I choose that option, I'll receive a confirmation message. I can simply click OK, in order to apply that change. Converting my background copy layer into a smart object as indicated by the small icon at the bottom right of the thumbnail. Now, when I apply any filter effect, it will be applied as a smart filter, which means I can always go back and fine tune things later. Let's go ahead and choose a particular filter, from the menu. So, I'll go to the Filter menu, and in this case I'll choose Stylize followed by Tiles.

It's not really critical which particular filter I'm using, the key is that I'm applying a filter to a smart object layer. And so, this filter will be applied as a Smart Filter. When I choose that command from the menu, you'll see that I get a set of options available to me. I'll just accept these values. I have a number of tiles set to 20, and the maximum offset at 10%, with the empty area filled with the background color, which happens to be black at the moment. I'll go ahead and click OK, and that filter will be applied, but notice if you look at the Layers panel that we now have a Smart Filters option underneath my Background Copy Layer and if we scroll down we'll see that we have the tiles filter.

If I want to change the settings for that filter, I can simply double-click the name of the filter itself. So, I'll double-click the name tiles here and perhaps I'll change the number of tiles to 15 and click OK, and you can see now I have larger tiles in the image, and I could continue going back as often as I'd like to fine tune the settings for the filter with absolutely no penalty in terms of image quality. And that's all because we're utilizing a Smart Filter. We're applying the filter to a smart object. In addition to being able to go back and modify the settings for the filter that I've applied, I can also tone down the filter.

I'll double-click on the Adjustments button at the right of the tiles filter effect, and that will bring up a Blending Options dialog, and here I can change the blend mode which would alter the overall effect of the filter, but I can also change the opacity. I can reduce the effect if I'd like, so in this case, taking that textured pattern that was added and reducing its strength, reducing the opacity, revealing the unaltered image. So, I'll go ahead and reduce that opacity and click OK, but much like the filter effect, I can modify that at any time. So, I can go back to my filter settings and adjust those if I'd like. I can also go back to my blending options, and perhaps increase the opacity just a little bit.

The point is, that because I'm using a smart filter I have maximum flexibility as far as being able to go back and fine tune the settings later.

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