You can add quick effects to an image using filters in Adobe Photoshop. Filters can also be combined to create unique results.
Apply creative filters using the Filter Gallery.
Photoshop comes with lots of filters that you can apply in combination to get an almost unlimited number of different looks on the same image. In this video, you'll learn how to preview and apply combinations of filters using the filter gallery. If you're following along open this image from the practice files for this tutorial. We only have one layer in this image. If you're working on a multi-layer image then select the layer to which you want to apply the filter. And then go up to the Filter menu. And if you come down to this area you can apply a single filter from any of these categories. But let's see how we can preview and apply combinations of filters. For that choose Filter Gallery... from this menu. That opens this big filter gallery window. With the last filter that you used applied to the open image. So, your image may look slightly different than mine. Over on the left there's a big preview. And in the middle, there are thumbnails of filters. To preview a filter on your image just click its thumbnail. And you'll find lots more filter thumbnails in these folders. I'll click the arrow to the left of this folder to open it. And I'll click on one of these filters. Now even if you don't like the look of a filter at first give it a chance, because there's a lot you can do over in the next column where you'll find controls that are unique to whichever filter you just selected. And you can experiment with these controls. What's really special about the filter gallery is that you can preview combinations of filters on your image here. To add another filter, I'll go down to the bottom of the column on the right and I'll click this Create New Filter Layer icon. You can now see that there are 2 copies of Diffused Glow applied to this image. With the top one selected I'll apply a different second filter instead. I'm going to click the arrow to the left of the Texture folder and scroll down a little and click on the Texturizer filter. With this filter, you can choose different textures to add to an image. And you have controls you can use to vary the look. Let's add one more filter to this combination. By going down to the bottom of the column and clicking this icon and then going over and selecting another filter thumbnail. Even if you don't like the look of this at first you can go back to the filter layers where there's now a new layer and click and drag that layer beneath another filter. And get a very different look. You can turn these filter layers off and on temporarily by clicking the Eye icon to the left of any one. So, there's how this looks without that last filter and here's how it looks with the filter. If you really don't like one of the filters you can delete it by selecting it here and then going down and clicking the Trash icon. When you like the preview of a combination of filters you can apply them to the image by going up to the top of this window and clicking OK. That closes the filter gallery window and takes you back to your main Photoshop workspace. Applying those filters has made a permanent change to this image. So regardless of the format in which you save the image now the filters will be baked in and non-editable. If you don't like the filters the only thing you can do at this point would be to undo. As you get better at Photoshop you may decide to give yourself more flexibility by applying filters in a non-permanent way as editable smart filters. As you'll learn how to do in the next video.
What you learned: To use the Filter Gallery
- Select a layer that contains content you want to change.
- Go to the menu bar and choose Filter > Filter Gallery.
- Try the different filters and adjust their settings for the desired result.
- Experiment with adding multiple filters in the Filter Gallery and changing their stacking
- Click OK to close the Filter Gallery and apply the filters you chose. You can also filter after you create a selection to apply filters to only the selected area.
Apply a blur filter as an editable Smart Filter.
Blurring a background image is a great way to draw attention to what's in the foreground. In this video, we'll apply a quick blur to a background. And as a bonus you'll learn how to apply any filter in a non-permanent editable way as a smart filter. Give it a try with this image from the practice files for this tutorial. First let's bring in a foreground image. Go up to the File menu, choose Place Embedded... and navigate to this image in the practice files, and click Place. To make this image smaller hold the Shift key, hover over a corner and drag inward. If you want to reposition this image click inside of the box and drag to where you want it. And you can rotate it too by moving your cursor outside of one of the corners. And when the cursor becomes a double pointed curved arrow, dragging the image to rotate it a little bit. To finish placing the image go up to the Options bar and click the Checkmark. So that's the beginning of a travel composite. If we want to draw more attention to the foreground image - let's try blurring the background image. And we'll do that by adding a filter. Go to the Layers panel and select the Background layer. Then go up to the Filter menu and before you choose a filter, choose Convert for Smart Filters, and click OK. That changes the Background layer into a special layer that will support an editable or smart filter. So, let's go ahead and apply a blur filter as a smart filter. Go back up to the Filter menu, and go to Blur and choose the Gaussian Blur... filter. In the Gaussian Blur dialog box that opens just drag the Radius slider to the right to increase the blur or to the left to decrease blur. With the Preview box checked, you'll see a preview of the blur in the image. If I uncheck that you can see how the image looks without the blur and if I check that: Here's how it looks with that blur. When you're satisfied click OK. Take a look at the Layers panel and you'll see that the background layer has a sub layer underneath it. And that's the smart filter. - the Gaussian Blur smart filter. You can apply any filter the same way. The beauty of using smart filters is that they remain editable. So even if I were to save this file and close it and then reopen it again the Gaussian Blur filter would be here waiting for me to re-edit it if I wanted to. The only thing you have to be sure to do is to save in a format that retains layers like the Photoshop or PSD format. If you do want to re-edit a smart filter just double click its name here in the Layers panel and it reopens. And you can make a change. And then click OK. So, the next time you're applying a filter think about whether you might want to change that filter. And if so apply it as a smart filter and save in the PSD format.
What you learned: To use a Smart Filter to blur a background.
- Select a layer that contains content you want to blur, like a background.
- Choose Filter > Convert for Smart Filters. Click OK. This converts the selected layer into a
layer that will support re-editable filters.
- With the same layer selected, choose Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
- In the Gaussian Blur dialog box, adjust the Radius control until you’re happy with the amount of blur in the live preview. Click OK to apply the Gaussian Blur filter.
- Note the Smart Filter that’s attached to your image layer in the Layers panel. This allows you to flexibly edit the filter settings. To do that, double-click the Gaussian Blur Smart Filter in the Layers panel, make a change in the Gaussian Blur dialog box that reopens, and click OK.
- Save the image in Photoshop (PSD) format to retain the Smart Filter layer.