Join Tim Grey for an in-depth discussion in this video The Oil Paint filter, part of Photoshop CS6 New Features Overview (2012).
I couldn't paint a picture to save my life, so I was perhaps a little more excited than most about the new Oil Paint filter in Photoshop CS6. Let's take a look at this very cool filter, that allows you to create an oil painting effect for any image. I'll start off by creating a copy of my Background Image Layer. I'll drag the thumbnail for the Background Image Layer to the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. That will create a Background Copy Layer. I'll go ahead and double-click the name for that layer, and I'll just call this Painting, and press Enter or Return to apply the name change. And then I'll choose Filter and then Oil Paint from the menu. Right away, you can see an Oil Painting Effect for the photo. Let's take a look at the various options available for this filter. The first is Stylization and I think of this as allowing us to adjust between an image that looks closer to the original versus one that is much more stylized. I'll go ahead and leave the option set to its maximum value just so we can get a better sense of the other options here as well.
We can then adjust cleanliness, in other words do we want the overall image to seem relatively clean or a little bit more detailed. I think for this image, there is plenty of detail to begin with and so a cleaner version would be more interesting. I'll set this up to a moderately high value. We can also adjust the scale of the Brush Strokes. So, relatively large strokes versus relatively small strokes. And this obviously adjusts the overall pattern for the image, I think a little bit larger value in this case might work out kind of nicely. We can also adjust the degree of Bristle Detail.
I'll go ahead and zoom in to a 100% view, so that you can get a better sense of that Bristle Detail. I'll increase it to it's maximum value and then reduce it to it's minimum value, and you can see, that we're able to see the individual fibers in the brush in the actual painting effect. We can also adjust the Lighting Effect, I'll keep the image zoomed in for the moment and adjust the shine for the lighting, in other words, the shininess of the paint. You can see this gives us a lot more relief in the image. I can also adjust the overall angle, in other words which direction is the light coming from.
I'll zoom out so you can get a better sense of that effect, and I'll rotate the Angular Direction. So I can rotate the light to match particular shapes within the image. So I can have the light shining across the ridges of the oil paint as it were, or down the valleys of those ridges. That's looking kind of interesting there, but I think I'll reduce the Shine Value a bit. So that, I think, is looking very abstract, but somewhat interesting. I'll go ahead and click OK, and we can see the final effect applied in the image. I can turn off the Painting Layer to see the original, and turn it back on, to see that Oil Painting Effect. So, a very fun tool to play with, and a great new addition for Photoshop CS6.
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