In this video, learn how Glass Distortion can add effects similar to Photoshop's Min/Max filter, and enhance a non-photo appearance.
- [Instructor] The Glass Distortion filter is primarily known for creating the illusion of looking through patterned glass. However, it can also be used to coherently distort either the light or dark luminance values in an image. If you're familiar with Photoshop, this is similar to the Minimum and Maximum filters. The result is an enhanced, natural media appearance. In this video we'll apply it to a composited image to further move the image's style away from its photographic source.
Let's get started. The first thing I want to do is combine these two initial effects, that we've applied, to get to where we are now. So I'm going to select these two, and then cmd + g to group them, and let's just call this "simplified". And what I want to do now is go ahead, I'm going to make a copy of this, so I'm going to Select All + Copy + Paste. So I've got two of these, and this one, we're going to reduce to a single file.
We've still got the pair of them if we want to ever get back and edit those separately, but in order to apply this filter, it needs to be done to a single image. And so we'll take this, and we're going to actually collapse them together. So we'll go here and we'll say Collapse Layers. So now we've got that same pair of images but now they're as a single file and it's on this that we can go ahead and apply the glass distortion. Let's go ahead and zoom up here so we'll see this at 100%, and we're going to go to Effects + Focus + Glass Distortion.
Now, what this normally does at first, it's using the current paper as what it's making this look as if it's looking through glass that would have that pattern on it. So if I turn this up, for example, you could see the more I accentuate this effect, the more it looks like you're looking through patterned glass, and just depending on the pattern, you can get very different effects. So, this is what it's traditionally used for, and that's because it's using, in this case, the paper, so the current paper is what it's going to essentially look through in order to create this effect.
We're not going to do it that way. Instead we're going to use the image's luminance. So we're using the actual luminance within this image, and, in order to do this now, what I want to do is just turn all of this down, so we can start from zero, and let's start to turn the Amount up, and as I start to turn it up, you'll see what's happening here, in this case, is it's actually accentuating all the black side of the luminance, and so all of that stuff tends to get a little fatter.
You can also use softness here to essentially, what you're doing underneath the hood, is you're blurring this out a bit, and it can take the blurred version of the image and apply it. In this case we want the lighter end of luminance to show up, so I'm going to invert this, so that says "Oh, you want to use the high end", and now I'm just going to start to take this and turn it down a bit, and I'm looking, for example, right now, at the hand grabbers here, that are on here. See how fat they are? If I turn this on and off, see how I've accentuated that out, and just in doing so, I just love the way it's another form of simplification, like another area's right in here, this little backpack or whatever he's got on the front of his shirt.
If I turn that off, see how there's just greater detail in it, and once again we're presenting kind of an artistic way to take out some of the detail, and I just love the way it, in this case, it's just kind of fattening up the letters. So, in this case, we're kind of draining some of the photographic vocabulary out of this image, and imbuing it with more of a hand-rendered, less photographic-appearing image. Let's go ahead and say, okay, and let's back out here so you see the whole thing, and if we turn this on and off, you can just see how everything's kind of changed in a way that is non-photographic.
The Glass Distortion filter's ability to selectively fatten or shrink either light or dark luminance values enables a useful technique for stylistically altering image appearance. Play around. Change settings. Go nuts with it. Used in this manner, Glass Distortion is one of Painter's secret weapons. But don't overdo it. As used here, less is more.
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