Sketch filters

Bas Relief

The Bas Relief filter transforms an image to appear carved in low relief and lit to accent the surface variations. Dark areas of the image take on the foreground color, light areas use the background color. You can set relief detail and smoothness.

Chalk & Charcoal

The Chalk & Charcoal filter redraws an image’s highlights and midtones with a solid midtone gray background drawn in coarse chalk. Shadow areas are replaced with black diagonal charcoal lines. The charcoal is drawn in the foreground color, the chalk in the background color. You can set stroke pressure, and the charcoal and chalk areas.


The Charcoal filter redraws an image to create a smudged effect. Major edges are boldly drawn, and midtones are sketched using a diagonal stroke. Charcoal is the foreground color, and the paper is the background color. You can set the charcoal thickness, level of image detail, and light/dark balance.


The Chrome filter gives the image a polished chrome surface using highlights as high points and shadows as low points in the reflecting surface. You can set the level of chrome surface detail and smoothness.


After applying the Chrome filter, use the Levels dialog box to add more contrast to the image.


The Comic filter (Filter > Sketch > Comic) creates the impression that the image was hand-created by a comic artist. The final outcome can be adjusted to include the level of detailing that you need. The main controls are to change the range of colors (Soften), the number of colors reproduced (Shades), how the colors transition from one to another (steepness), and the vividness of the colors (Vibrance). In addition to this, you can adjust the thickness of the pen strokes that are used to outline shapes.

Conté Crayon

The Conté Crayon filter replicates the texture of dense dark and pure white Conté crayons on an image. The Conté Crayon filter uses the foreground color for dark areas and the background color for light areas. You can set the level of foreground and background emphasis, and texture options. Texture options make images appear as if they were painted onto textures, such as canvas and brick, or viewed through glass blocks, for example.


For a more realistic effect, change the foreground color to one of the common Conté Crayon colors (black, sepia, or sanguine) before applying this filter. For a muted effect, change the background color to white with some foreground color added to it.

Graphic Novel

The Graphic Novel filter (Filter > Sketch > Graphic Novel) creates the impression that the image was sketched for the graphic novel genre of artwork. Graphic novel artwork is restricted to shades of grey, and black and white. The adjustments you can make to the outcome include the overall amount of whites in the image (Darkness), the amount of details available in the outcome (Clean Look), the contrast levels (Contrast), and the thickness of the strokes used to define shapes and outlines.

Graphic Pen

The Graphic Pen filter uses fine, linear ink strokes to capture the details in the original image and is especially striking with scanned images. The filter replaces color in the original image, using the foreground color for ink and background color for paper. You can set the stroke length and direction, and the light/dark balance.

Halftone Pattern

The Halftone Pattern filter simulates the effect of a halftone screen while maintaining the continuous range of tones. You can set the halftone size, contrast, and pattern type.

Note Paper

The Note Paper filter simulates the texture of handmade paper by combining the effects of the Emboss and Grain filters. Dark areas in the image appear as holes in the top layer of paper, revealing the background color. You can set the image balance, graininess, and relief.

Pen and Ink

The Pen and Ink filter (Filter > Sketch > Pen and Ink) simulates artistic sketching to its closest form. To ensure that you get the best effects, adjust ink-related settings to preserve details (Detail), the thickness of artistic strokes (Width), the saturation of darker aspects (Darkness), and the contrast levels (Contrast). You can also manipulate the Pen settings to introduce a dominant color in the image with settings like choice of color (Hue), contrast values (Contrast), and degree to which the color must be filled (Fill).


The Photocopy filter simulates the effect of photocopying an image. Large areas of darkness tend to copy only around their edges, and midtones fall away to either solid black or white. You can set the level of detail and darkness.


The Plaster filter molds the layer into a 3D plaster effect, and then colorizes the result using the foreground and background color. Dark areas are raised, light areas are sunken. You can set the image balance, smoothness, and light direction.


The Reticulation filter simulates the controlled shrinking and distorting of film emulsion to create an image that appears clumped in the shadow areas and lightly grained in the highlights. You can set the density, foreground, and background levels.


The Stamp filter simplifies the image so that it seems made with a rubber or wood stamp. You can set the smoothness, and the balance between light and dark. This filter works best with black-and-white images.

Torn Edges

The Torn Edges filter reconstructs the image as ragged, torn pieces of paper, and then colorizes the image using the foreground and background color. You can set the image balance, smoothness, and contrast. This filter is particularly useful for images consisting of text or high-contrast objects.

Water Paper

The Water Paper filter uses blotchy daubs that appear to be painted onto fibrous, damp paper, causing the colors to flow and blend. You can set the paper’s fiber length, brightness, and contrast.

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