Filters Defined

The proper use of filters can significantly extend Photoshop's capabilities. Filters can allow you to achieve what otherwise would be time-consuming results more quickly; they can even unlock options that could not be done with built-in tools. By definition, a filter must reside in Photoshop's Plug-Ins folder. Other features, such as Actions and Layer Styles, should not be confused with filters.

Filter Interfaces

A few filters have no user interface (for example, Average, Despeckle, Facet). If a filter does not have ellipsis (...) after its name, it means there is no user interface. These filters are fairly limited and will likely fall off your favorites list.

Most filters, however, will have some form of a user interface. Some filters have their own window; others use the Filter Gallery. No matter which interface you use, consider checking the Preview box option. This allows you to see the filter's results to your canvas before applying it. Here are a few more tips about using a filter's interface:

  • Click in the Preview window and drag your view. This allows you to change the preview area.

  • Use the + or - button under the Preview window to zoom in or out. Additionally, you can zoom in to the Preview window using Cmd+=(Ctrl+=) and zoom out with Cmd+-(Ctrl+-).

  • Once you're in a dialog box, fully explore it. Try adjusting all of the variable sliders one at a time. If there's a Load button, try loading presets that shipped with the product.

Using the Filter Gallery

As of Photoshop CS, Adobe changed how several filters work. Forty-seven of the built-in filters now use the Filter Gallery interface. This larger window allows for the application of multiple filters in one pass, as well as to preview the effects before applying them.

Tip: Creative Filter Use

Many filters will produce pleasantly unexpected results when used in situations they weren't designed for.

Many users wonder why only some filters are in the gallery. Adobe placed most of the filters that were meant for artistic or experimental purposes (such as the Sketch filters) into the gallery. Effects that are more surgical (such as the Smart Sharpen filter) have their own windows. The primary benefit of the Filter Gallery is that you can see the results of combination effects. Let's explore the Filter Gallery interface:


Open the file golden_gate_night.psd from the Chapter 14 folder on the DVD-ROM.


Launch the Filter Gallery by choosing Filter > Filter Gallery.



You are initially presented with a large thumbnail of the effects organized by filter submenu. You can click the Show/Hide button near the upper-right corner to make more room for the image preview.


Click the New Effect Layer button to add an effect. The added effect will be Accented Edges because it falls first in the list alphabetically. Experiment with the sliders or choose a different effect from the Effects list.


You can add additional effects by clicking the New Effect Layer button again. You can also delete or rearrange the stacking order of the effects. Changing the stacking order often results in new looks.


In order to temporarily disable an effect layer, just click its visibility icon.


When you're satisfied, click OK to apply the effect.

Understanding. AdobeR PhotoshopR. Digital Imaging Concepts and Techniques
Understanding Adobe Photoshop: Digital Imaging Concepts and Techniques
ISBN: 0321368983
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 129 © 2008-2017.
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