Filter basics

  1. Photoshop User Guide
  2. Introduction to Photoshop
    1. Dream it. Make it.
    2. What's new in Photoshop
    3. Edit your first photo
    4. Create documents
    5. Photoshop | Common Questions
    6. Photoshop system requirements
    7. Migrate presets, actions, and settings
    8. Get to know Photoshop
  3. Photoshop and Adobe services
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    9. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    10. Use the Capture in-app extension in Photoshop
  4. Photoshop on the iPad
    1. Photoshop on the iPad | Common questions
    2. Get to know the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the iPad
    4. Create, open, and export cloud documents
    5. Add photos
    6. Work with layers
    7. Draw and paint with brushes
    8. Make selections and add masks
    9. Retouch your composites
    10. Work with adjustment layers
    11. Adjust the tonality of your composite with Curves
    12. Apply transform operations
    13. Crop and rotate your composites
    14. Rotate, pan, zoom, and reset the canvas
    15. Work with Type layers
    16. Work with Photoshop and Lightroom
    17. Get missing fonts in Photoshop on the iPad
    18. Japanese Text in Photoshop on the iPad
    19. Manage app settings
    20. Touch shortcuts and gestures
    21. Keyboard shortcuts
    22. System requirements 1.x | Photoshop on the iPad
    23. System requirements 2.x | Photoshop on the iPad
    24. Edit your image size
    25. Livestream as you create in Photoshop on the iPad
    26. Correct imperfections with the Healing Brush
    27. Create brushes in Capture and use them in Photoshop
  5. Photoshop on the web
    1. Photoshop on the web | Common questions    
    2. Introduction to the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the web
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    5. Supported file types | Photoshop on the web
    6. Open and work with cloud documents
    7. Collaborate with stakeholders
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  6. Cloud documents
    1. Photoshop cloud documents | Common questions
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    3. Manage and work with cloud documents in Photoshop
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  9. Image and color basics
    1. How to resize images
    2. Work with raster and vector images
    3. Image size and resolution
    4. Acquire images from cameras and scanners
    5. Create, open, and import images
    6. View images
    7. Invalid JPEG Marker error | Opening images
    8. Viewing multiple images
    9. Customize color pickers and swatches
    10. High dynamic range images
    11. Match colors in your image
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    13. Color modes
    14. Erase parts of an image
    15. Blending modes
    16. Choose colors
    17. Customize indexed color tables
    18. Image information
    19. Distort filters are unavailable
    20. About color
    21. Color and monochrome adjustments using channels
    22. Choose colors in the Color and Swatches panels
    23. Sample
    24. Color mode or Image mode
    25. Color cast
    26. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    27. Add swatches from HTML CSS and SVG
    28. Bit depth and preferences
  10. Layers
    1. Layer basics
    2. Nondestructive editing
    3. Create and manage layers and groups
    4. Select, group, and link layers
    5. Place images into frames
    6. Layer opacity and blending
    7. Mask layers
    8. Apply Smart Filters
    9. Layer comps
    10. Move, stack, and lock layers
    11. Mask layers with vector masks
    12. Manage layers and groups
    13. Layer effects and styles
    14. Edit layer masks
    15. Extract assets
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    17. Generate image assets from layers
    18. Work with Smart Objects
    19. Blending modes
    20. Combine multiple images into a group portrait
    21. Combine images with Auto-Blend Layers
    22. Align and distribute layers
    23. Copy CSS from layers
    24. Load selections from a layer or layer mask's boundaries
    25. Knockout to reveal content from other layers
    26. Layer
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    28. Composite
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  11. Selections
    1. Select and Mask workspace
    2. Make quick selections
    3. Get started with selections
    4. Select with the marquee tools
    5. Select with the lasso tools
    6. Select a color range in an image
    7. Adjust pixel selections
    8. Convert between paths and selection borders
    9. Channel basics
    10. Move, copy, and delete selected pixels
    11. Create a temporary quick mask
    12. Save selections and alpha channel masks
    13. Select the image areas in focus
    14. Duplicate, split, and merge channels
    15. Channel calculations
    16. Selection
    17. Bounding box
  12. Image adjustments
    1. Perspective warp
    2. Reduce camera shake blurring
    3. Healing brush examples
    4. Export color lookup tables
    5. Adjust image sharpness and blur
    6. Understand color adjustments
    7. Apply a Brightness/Contrast adjustment
    8. Adjust shadow and highlight detail
    9. Levels adjustment
    10. Adjust hue and saturation
    11. Adjust vibrance
    12. Adjust color saturation in image areas
    13. Make quick tonal adjustments
    14. Apply special color effects to images
    15. Enhance your image with color balance adjustments
    16. High dynamic range images
    17. View histograms and pixel values
    18. Match colors in your image
    19. How to crop and straighten photos
    20. Convert a color image to black and white
    21. Adjustment and fill layers
    22. Curves adjustment
    23. Blending modes
    24. Target images for press
    25. Adjust color and tone with Levels and Curves eyedroppers
    26. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    27. Filter
    28. Blur
    29. Dodge or burn image areas
    30. Make selective color adjustments
    31. Replace object colors
  13. Adobe Camera Raw
    1. Camera Raw system requirements
    2. What's new in Camera Raw
    3. Introduction to Camera Raw
    4. Create panoramas
    5. Supported lenses
    6. Vignette, grain, and dehaze effects in Camera Raw
    7. Default keyboard shortcuts
    8. Automatic perspective correction in Camera Raw
    9. How to make non-destructive edits in Camera Raw
    10. Radial Filter in Camera Raw
    11. Manage Camera Raw settings
    12. Open, process, and save images in Camera Raw
    13. Repair images with the Enhanced Spot Removal tool in Camera Raw
    14. Rotate, crop, and adjust images
    15. Adjust color rendering in Camera Raw
    16. Feature summary | Adobe Camera Raw | 2018 releases
    17. New features summary
    18. Process versions in Camera Raw
    19. Make local adjustments in Camera Raw
  14. Image repair and restoration
    1. Remove objects from your photos with Content-Aware Fill
    2. Content-Aware Patch and Move
    3. Retouch and repair photos
    4. Correct image distortion and noise
    5. Basic troubleshooting steps to fix most issues
  15. Image transformations
    1. Transform objects
    2. Adjust crop, rotation, and canvas size
    3. How to crop and straighten photos
    4. Create and edit panoramic images
    5. Warp images, shapes, and paths
    6. Vanishing Point
    7. Use the Liquify filter
    8. Content-aware scaling
    9. Transform images, shapes, and paths
    10. Warp
    11. Transform
    12. Panorama
  16. Drawing and painting
    1. Paint symmetrical patterns
    2. Draw rectangles and modify stroke options
    3. About drawing
    4. Draw and edit shapes
    5. Painting tools
    6. Create and modify brushes
    7. Blending modes
    8. Add color to paths
    9. Edit paths
    10. Paint with the Mixer Brush
    11. Brush presets
    12. Gradients
    13. Fill and stroke selections, layers, and paths
    14. Draw with the Pen tools
    15. Create patterns
    16. Generate a pattern using the Pattern Maker
    17. Manage paths
    18. Manage pattern libraries and presets
    19. Draw or paint with a graphics tablet
    20. Create textured brushes
    21. Add dynamic elements to brushes
    22. Gradient
    23. Paint stylized strokes with the Art History Brush
    24. Paint with a pattern
    25. Sync presets on multiple devices
  17. Text
    1. Work with OpenType SVG fonts
    2. Format characters
    3. Format paragraphs
    4. How to create type effects
    5. Edit text
    6. Line and character spacing
    7. Arabic and Hebrew type
    8. Fonts
    9. Troubleshoot fonts
    10. Asian type
    11. Create type
    12. Text Engine error using Type tool in Photoshop | Windows 8
    13. World-Ready composer for Asian Scripts
    14. How to add and edit text in Photoshop
  18. Video and animation
    1. Video editing in Photoshop
    2. Edit video and animation layers
    3. Video and animation overview
    4. Preview video and animations
    5. Paint frames in video layers
    6. Import video files and image sequences
    7. Create frame animations
    8. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    9. Create timeline animations
    10. Create images for video
  19. Filters and effects
    1. Use the Liquify filter
    2. Use the Blur Gallery
    3. Filter basics
    4. Filter effects reference
    5. Add Lighting Effects
    6. Use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
    7. Use the Oil Paint filter
    8. Layer effects and styles
    9. Apply specific filters
    10. Smudge image areas
  20. Saving and exporting
    1. Save files in graphics formats
    2. Save your files in Photoshop
    3. File formats
    4. Save and export video and animations
    5. Save PDF files
    6. Digimarc copyright protection
  21. Printing
    1. Print 3D objects
    2. Print from Photoshop
    3. Print with color management
    4. Contact Sheets and PDF Presentations
    5. Print photos in a picture package layout
    6. Print spot colors
    7. Duotones
    8. Print images to a commercial printing press
    9. Improve color prints from Photoshop
    10. Troubleshoot printing problems | Photoshop
  22. Automation
    1. Creating actions
    2. Create data-driven graphics
    3. Scripting
    4. Process a batch of files
    5. Play and manage actions
    6. Add conditional actions
    7. About actions and the Actions panel
    8. Record tools in actions
    9. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    10. Photoshop UI toolkit for plug-ins and scripts
  23. 3D and technical imaging
    1. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    2. Print 3D objects
    3. 3D painting
    4. 3D panel enhancements | Photoshop
    5. Essential 3D concepts and tools
    6. 3D rendering and saving
    7. Create 3D objects and animations
    8. Image stacks
    9. 3D workflow
    10. Measurement
    11. DICOM files
    12. Photoshop and MATLAB
    13. Count objects in an image
    14. Combine and convert 3D objects
    15. 3D texture editing
    16. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    17. 3D panel settings
  24. Color Management
    1. Understanding color management
    2. Keeping colors consistent
    3. Color settings
    4. Work with color profiles
    5. Color-managing documents for online viewing
    6. Color-managing documents when printing
    7. Color-managing imported images
    8. Proofing colors

Using filters

Some filters are grayed out or unavailable? See the solution here.    

You can use filters to clean up or retouch your photos, apply special art effects that give your image the appearance of a sketch or impressionistic painting, or create unique transformations using distortions and lighting effects. The filters provided by Adobe appear in the Filter menu. Some filters provided by third-party developers are available as plug-ins. Once installed, these plug-in filters appear at the bottom of the Filter menu.

Smart Filters, applied to Smart Objects, let you use filters non-destructively. Smart Filters are stored as layer effects in the Layers panel and can be readjusted at any time, working from the original image data contained in the Smart Object. For more information on Smart Filter Effects and nondestructive editing, see Nondestructive editing.

To use a filter, choose the appropriate submenu command from the Filter menu. These guidelines can help you in choosing filters:

  • Filters are applied to the active, visible layer or a selection.

  • For 8‑bits per-channel images, most filters can be applied cumulatively through the Filter Gallery. All filters can be applied individually.

  • Filters cannot be applied to Bitmap-mode or indexed-color images.

  • Some filters work only on RGB images.

  • All filters can be applied to 8‑bit images.

  • The following filters can be applied to 16‑bit images: Liquify, Vanishing Point, Average Blur, Blur, Blur More, Box Blur, Gaussian Blur, Lens Blur, Motion Blur, Radial Blur, Surface Blur, Shape Blur, Lens Correction, Add Noise, Despeckle, Dust & Scratches, Median, Reduce Noise, Fibers, Clouds, Difference Clouds, Lens Flare, Sharpen, Sharpen Edges, Sharpen More, Smart Sharpen, Unsharp Mask, Emboss, Find Edges, Solarize, De-Interlace, NTSC Colors, Custom, High Pass, Maximum, Minimum, and Offset.

  • The following filters can be applied to 32‑bit images: Average Blur, Box Blur, Gaussian Blur, Motion Blur, Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Surface Blur, Add Noise, Clouds, Lens Flare, Smart Sharpen, Unsharp Mask, De-Interlace, NTSC Colors, Emboss, High Pass, Maximum, Minimum, and Offset.

  • Some filters are processed entirely in RAM. If you don’t have enough available RAM to process a filter effect, you may get an error message.

Apply a filter from the Filtermenu

You can apply a filter to the active layer, or to a Smart Object. Filters applied to a Smart Object are nondestructive and can be readjusted at any time.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To apply a filter to an entire layer, make sure the layer is active or selected.

    • To apply a filter to an area of a layer, select that area.

    • To apply a filter nondestructively so you can change your filter settings later, select the Smart Object that contains the image content you want to filter.

  2. Choose a filter from the submenus in the Filter menu.

    If no dialog box appears, the filter effect is applied.

  3. If a dialog box or the Filter Gallery appears, enter values or select options, and then click OK.
Note:

Applying filters to large images can be time consuming, but you can preview the effect in the filter dialog box. Drag in the preview window to center a specific area of the image. In some filters, you can click in the image to center it where you click. Click the + or – buttons under the preview window to zoom in or out.

Filter Gallery overview

The Filter Gallery provides a preview of many of the special effects filters. You can apply multiple filters, turn on or off the effect of a filter, reset options for a filter, and change the order in which filters are applied. When you are satisfied with the preview, you can then apply it to your image. Not all filters in the Filter menu are available in the Filter Gallery.

Filter Gallery dialog box

A. Preview B. Filter category C. Thumbnail of selected filter D. Show/Hide filter thumbnails E. Filters pop‑up menu F. Options for selected filter G. List of filter effects to apply or arrange H. Filter effect selected but not applied I. Filter effects applied cumulatively but not selected J. Hidden filter effect 

  1. Choose Filter > Filter Gallery. Clicking a filter category name displays thumbnails of available filter effects.

Zoom in or out of the preview

  1. Click the + or – button under the preview area, or choose a zoom percentage.

View another area of the preview

  1. Drag in the preview area with the Hand tool.

Hide filter thumbnails

  1. Click the Show/Hide button  at the top of the gallery.

Apply filters from the Filter Gallery

Filter effects are applied in the order you select them. You can rearrange filters after you apply them by dragging a filter name to another position in the list of applied filters. Rearranging filter effects can dramatically change the way your image looks. Click the eye icon  next to a filter to hide the effect in the preview image. You can also delete applied filters by selecting the filter and clicking the Delete Layer icon .

Note:

To save time when trying various filters, experiment by selecting a small, representative part of your image.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To apply a filter to an entire layer, make sure that the layer is active or selected.

    • To apply a filter to an area of a layer, select that area.

    • To apply a filter non-destructively, so you can change your filter settings later, select the Smart Object that contains the image content that you want to filter.

  2. Choose Filter > Filter Gallery.
  3. Click a filter name to add the first filter. You may need to click the inverted triangle next to the filter category to see the complete list of filters. Once added, the filter appears in the applied filter list in the lower right corner of the Filter Gallery dialog box.
  4. Enter values or select options for the filter you selected.
  5. Do any of the following:
    • To apply filters cumulatively, click the New Effect Layer icon , and choose an additional filter to apply. Repeat this procedure to add more filters.

    • To rearrange applied filters, drag the filter to a new position in the applied filter list in the lower right corner of the Filter Gallery dialog box.

    • To remove applied filters, select a filter in the applied filter list, and click the Delete Layer icon .

  6. When you’re satisfied with the results, click OK.

Blend and fade filter effects

The Fade command changes the opacity and blending mode of any filter, painting tool, erasing tool, or color adjustment. The Fade command blending modes are a subset of those in the painting and editing tools options (excluding the Behind and Clear modes). Applying the Fade command is similar to applying the filter effect on a separate layer and then using the layer opacity and blending mode controls.

Note:

The Fade command can also modify the effects of using the Liquify command and Brush Strokes filters.

  1. Apply a filter, painting tool, or color adjustment to an image or selection.
  2. Choose Edit > Fade. Select the Preview option to preview the effect.
  3. Drag the slider to adjust the opacity, from 0% (transparent) to 100%.
  4. Choose a blending mode from the Mode menu.
    Note:

    The Color Dodge, Color Burn, Lighten, Darken, Difference, and Exclusion blending modes do not work on Lab images.

  5. Click OK.

Tips for creating special effects

Creating edge effects

You can use various techniques to treat the edges of an effect applied to only part of an image. To leave a distinct edge, simply apply the filter. For a soft edge, feather the edge, and then apply the filter. For a transparent effect, apply the filter, and then use the Fade command to adjust the selection’s blending mode and opacity.

Applying filters to layers

You can apply filters to individual layers or to several layers in succession to build up an effect. For a filter to affect a layer, the layer must be visible and must contain pixels—for example, a neutral fill color.

Applying filters to individual channels

You can apply a filter to an individual channel, apply a different effect to each color channel, or apply the same filter but with different settings.

Creating backgrounds

By applying effects to solid‑color or grayscale shapes, you can generate a variety of backgrounds and textures. You might then blur these textures. Although some filters have little or no visible effect when applied to solid colors (for example, Glass), others produce interesting effects.

Combining multiple effects with masks or duplicate images

Using masks to create selection areas gives you more control over transitions from one effect to another. For example, you can filter the selection created with a mask.

You can also use the History Brush tool to paint a filter effect onto part of the image. First, apply the filter to an entire image. Next, step back in the History panel to the image state before the filter was applied, and set the history brush source to the filtered state by clicking in the well at the left side of the history state. Then paint the image.

Improving image quality and consistency

You can disguise faults, alter or enhance images, or create a relationship among images by applying the same effect to each. Use the Actions panel to record the steps you take to modify one image, and then apply this action to the other images.

Improve filter performance

Some filter effects can be memory-intensive, especially when applied to a high-resolution image.

  1. You can do any of the following to improve performance:
    • Try out filters and settings on a small portion of an image.

    • Apply the effect to individual channels—for example, to each RGB channel—if the image is large and you’re having problems with insufficient memory. (With some filters, effects vary if applied to the individual channel rather than the composite channel, especially if the filter randomly modifies pixels.)

    • Free up memory before running the filter by using the Purge command.

    • Allocate more RAM to Photoshop. If necessary, exit other applications to make more memory available to Photoshop.

    • Try changing settings to improve the speed of memory-intensive filters, such as Lighting Effects, Cutout, Stained Glass, Chrome, Ripple, Spatter, Sprayed Strokes, and Glass filters. (For example, with the Stained Glass filter, increase cell size. With the Cutout filter, increase Edge Simplicity, decrease Edge Fidelity, or both.)

    • If you plan to print to a grayscale printer, convert a copy of the image to grayscale before applying filters. However, applying a filter to a color image, and then converting to grayscale, may not have the same effect as applying the filter to a grayscale version of the image.

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