July '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 2 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 2 7 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 2 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 2 7 PIXELATE AND STYLIZE I would be remiss if I didn't mention Pixelate and Stylize in an article about filters. In general, these two submenus offer filters that break up and rearrange your image into variously shaped groups of pixels. ey divide it into either geometric or organic pixel con- figurations by faceting or dividing the content into a myriad of dots, crystal-shaped elements, or even mosaic tiles. Several of the Stylize filters don't have controls and apply their effects quickly by finding and coloring edges of the content thereby transforming a photograph into a colored contour drawing. (Fig. 9) One of the Stylize filters that is of particular interest is the Oil Paint filter that renders brush strokes from photographic con- tent. (Fig. 10) Bristle density, stroke weight and detail can all be controlled. Light direction and surface shine can also be manip- ulated. With the Oil Paint filter, it's oodles of fun transforming ordinary photos into spectacular works of art. SMART FILTERS As we've seen, the application of filters is an easy way to dramati- cally alter the appearance of an image. is can be problematic if you change your mind about the filter or want to mitigate the effect. at's why it is advisable to apply the effect as a Smart Filter. Any filter applied to a smart object becomes a smart filter, so the first step is to convert the content layer to a Smart Object. Scroll down to Convert To Smart Object in the Options menu in the Layers panel. en choose the filter from the Filter menu. Once applied, the smart filter's name appears in the Layers panel below the smart object layer to which it is applied. (Fig. 11) Because you can adjust, remove, or hide Smart Filters, they are nondestructive. To make alterations to the filter, click on its name and the filter's dialog box will be displayed for additional editing. You can apply any Photoshop filter except for Lens Blur, Flame, Picture Frame, Trees, and Vanishing Point as a Smart Filter. EXPERIMENT is article has presented the basics of Photoshop filtering. If you look at the Filter menu, you'll notice that I've barely scratched the surface of what filters have to offer. ere are dozens of filters that produce an infinite number of effects. I therefore encour- age you to play and experiment with filter combinations to dis- cover for yourself their immense potential. Keep in mind that when you're working with standard, automated special effects such as filters, they are available to every person who uses the software. Some of those effects, if applied generically, are imme- diately recognizable by anyone who's ever used them and can compromise the "magic" of the image. It's a good idea to apply these filters or combinations in unique, unusual, or not-so-obvi- ous ways. Sometimes the most effective special effect is the one that remains elusive. Practice will indicate which techniques have the best range of possibility, staying power and visual pizazz. Let your creative instincts guide you. GP Stephen Romaniello is an artist and educator who has taught computer graphics since 1990. He is Professor Emeritus and the founder of the Digital Arts program at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. Stephen is a certified instructor in Adobe Pho- toshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Premier and the author of numerous books, articles, and media on the creative use of graphics software. Stephen is the founder and CEO of GlobalEye Systems, a company that offers training and consulting in graphics software and creative imaging. Fig. 10: The Oil Paint filter renders brush strokes from photographic content. Fig. 11: Because they are non- destructive, it is advisable to apply a filter effect as a Smart Filter.

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