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Photoshop has become an indispensible tool for photographers, designers, and all other creative professionals, as well as students. Photoshop CS4 Essential Training teaches a broad spectrum of core skills that are common to many creative fields: working with layers and selections; adjusting, manipulating, and retouching photos; painting; adding text; automating; preparing files for output; and more. Instructor Jan Kabili demonstrates established techniques as well as those made possible by some of the new features unique to Photoshop CS4. This course is indispensable to those who are new to the application, just learning this version, or expanding their skills. Example files accompany the course.
There are lots of individual filters in Photoshop. You could apply them one-by-one or you could apply them in combination to get some really unique effects. When you're going to be applying decorative filters in combination, I suggest you use the Filter Gallery, which allows you to preview multiple filters and see how they'll look with each other or individually, before you apply them to an image. In another movie, I showed you another filter feature called Smart Filters. Smart Filters allow you to go back and re-edit whatever filters you apply.
So in this movie, we are going to combine the Filter Gallery with Smart Filters. So that we can go back and reopen the Filter Gallery if we need to. Here is how it works. The first thing I am going to do is prepare this photo layer to take Smart Filters. So I'll go the Filter menu at the top of the screen and I'll choose Convert for Smart Filters and I'll click OK. I can see from the symbol on this layer that this is now a Smart Object. Then I am going to go up to the Filter menu and here I can see lots of categories of filters.
I could select a single filter from one of these categories, but then I wouldn't be able to preview how it looks in conjunction with other filters. So instead, I'm going to go to Filter Gallery. And that opens this large dialog box. On the left side is a preview of my image. In the middle column, you have lots of folders, each of which has a triangle next to it. If I click on any one of those triangles, I can see thumbnails of the filters in that particular category. When I select one of those filters, like this Note Paper filter, I see on the right-side controls for customizing that filter.
And the filter is listed here in this list of filters. And if the eye icon is turned on, which I can do by clicking here, I can see a preview of the filter on the image. So that's the general setup. I don't really like the way that this Note Paper looks. I would like to try something else instead. So I am going to come into the thumbnails and click on some other ones and see how they look. As you can see, as I click on the different thumbnails that original filter in the list is changing and the appearance of the image is changing over here, and the controls are changing over here.
I don't really like anything from this Sketch area. So I am going to click the triangle to the left of the Sketch Folder and close it and I am going to try something from this Distort area. I'll of trying Diffuse Glow. That's the first one I've seen that I kind of like. So I would like to work with this one and see if I can change its settings to make it look a little better on this image. First of all to give myself more room to work and to see a bigger preview, I am going to click this north facing arrow right here, and that closest the column with folder thumbnails. That's okay because I also have in this drop-down menu every one of the filters that's in that middle-column.
So I could choose other filters from here, when I'm ready to do that. For right now, I'll work with Diffuse Glow. The one thing I don't like about this effect are all these little gray dots. These are controlled by this Graininess slider. I am going to move that way over to left to reduce the amount of simulated grain in the image. Now I actually like the way that looks, with just that amount of Glow in the flowers and that amount of a Clear. The other two parameters that are controlled by these sliders. So I'll leave everything as it is and now I'll think about what other kind of filters I want to add in combination with Diffuse Glow.
What I would like to do is try to make this look more like a painting. So I am going to try to find an underlined Texturizing filter to stimulate the look of canvas. So the next, step is to go to the bottom of this right-hand column and click the Add Filter button that gives me a second copy of Diffuse Glow. With that new Diffuse Glow layer highlighted here, the one in gray, I am going to go up to this menu of filters and all the way down to choose the Texturizer filter, to see how that one looks in combination with Diffuse Glow.
You can see them both listed here now. Actually I think that looks pretty good. I might take down the Relief a little bit so that the defect isn't as strong. Maybe put it right there at 3, and the Scaling which effects the size of the effect, I kind of like it at 100%, so I'll leave it there. I can see how the light looks coming from a different direction other than top. Let's see how it looks coming from the bottom. That's fine. I am going to accept those modifications to the defaults and I'm going to go with this combination of filters.
I'll click OK and now I can see that combination of filters, Diffuse Glow and the Texturizer filter, applied to the image. Keep in mind that I am zoomed out to only 50% on this image. If I zoom in to 100, I think I'll see a bit stronger effect with that canvas. But for now, I want to take a look over at the Layers panel. There you can see that the Filter Gallery has been applied as a Smart Filter. That means several things. First of all, the Filter Gallery with its combination of filters has not directly changed any of the pixels on the underlying photo layer.
And secondly, I can reopen the Filter Gallery at any time to tweak what I have down there. So if I double-click Filter Gallery up it comes again, and I can change something here. Maybe I'll increase the Relief of this effect and say OK. So this combination of using the Filter Gallery along with Smart Filters is really powerful. It lets you experiment with countless combinations of filters and customize the results to your liking, before you go to the trouble of applying filters that permanently change a photo. And even after you do apply them, the Smart Filters feature allows you to go back in and re-edit the results.
Give this powerful combination a try on your own photos.
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