Apply specific filters

Load images and textures for filters

To produce their effects, some filters load and use other images, such as textures and displacement maps. These filters include the Conté Crayon, Displace, Glass, Lighting Effects, Rough Pastels, Texturizer, Underpainting, and Custom filters. Not all of these filters load images or textures in the same way.

  1. Choose the filter you want from the appropriate submenu.
  2. In the filter’s dialog box, choose Load Texture from the Texture pop-up menu, and locate and open a texture image.

    All textures must be in the Photoshop format. Most filters use only the grayscale information of a color file.

Set texture and glass surface controls

The Rough Pastels, Underpainting, Glass, Conté Crayon, and Texturizer filters have texturizing options. These options make images appear as if they were painted onto textures such as canvas and brick, or viewed through surfaces such as glass blocks or frosted glass.

  1. From the Filter menu, choose Artistic > Rough Pastels, Artistic > Underpainting, Distort > Glass, Sketch > Conté Crayon, or Texture > Texturizer.
  2. For Texture, choose a texture type or choose Load Texture to specify a Photoshop file.
  3. Drag the Scaling slider to increase or reduce the size of the texture pattern.
  4. Drag the Relief slider (if available) to adjust the depth of the texture’s surface.
  5. Select Invert to reverse the shadows and highlights in the texture.
  6. For Light Direction (if available), indicate the direction from which the light source sheds light on the texture.

Define undistorted areas

The Displace, Shear, and Wave filters in the Distort submenu and the Offset filter in the Other submenu let you treat areas undefined (or unprotected) by the filter in the following ways:

Wrap Around

Fills the undefined space with content from the opposite edge of the image.

Repeat Edge Pixels

Extends the colors of pixels along the edge of the image in the direction specified. Banding may result if the edge pixels are different colors.

Set To Background (Offset filter only)

Fills the selected area with the current background color.

Apply the Dust And Scratches filter

  1. Choose Filter > Noise > Dust & Scratches.
  2. If necessary, adjust the preview zoom ratio until the area containing noise is visible.
  3. Drag the Threshold slider left to 0 to turn off the value so that all pixels in the selection or image can be examined.

    The Threshold value determines how dissimilar the pixels should be before they are eliminated.


    The Threshold slider gives greater control for values between 0 and 128—the most common range for images—than for values between 128 and 255.

  4. Drag the Radius slider left or right, or enter a value in the text box from 1 to 16 pixels. The Radius value determines the size of the area searched for dissimilar pixels.

    Increasing the radius blurs the image. Use the smallest value that eliminates the defects.

  5. Increase the threshold gradually by entering a value or by dragging the slider to the highest possible value that eliminates defects.

Apply the Displace filter

The Displace filter shifts a selection using a color value from the displacement map—0 is the maximum negative shift, 255 the maximum positive shift, and a gray value of 128 produces no displacement. If a map has one channel, the image shifts along a diagonal defined by the horizontal and vertical scale ratios. If the map has more than one channel, the first channel controls the horizontal displacement, and the second channel controls the vertical displacement.

The filter creates displacement maps using a flattened file saved in Adobe Photoshop format. (Bitmap mode images are unsupported.)

  1. Choose Filter > Distort > Displace.
  2. Enter the scale for the magnitude of the displacement.

    When the horizontal and vertical scale are set to 100%, the greatest displacement is 128 pixels (because middle gray produces no displacement).

  3. If the displacement map is not the same size as the selection, specify how the map fits the image—select Stretch To Fit to resize the map or Tile to fill the selection by repeating the map in a pattern.
  4. Choose Wrap Around or Repeat Edge Pixels to determine how undistorted areas of the image are treated.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Select and open the displacement map. The distortion is applied to the image.

Apply the Color Halftone filter

  1. Choose Filter > Pixelate > Color Halftone.
  2. Enter a value in pixels for the maximum radius of a halftone dot, from 4 to 127.
  3. Enter a screen-angle value (the angle of the dot from the true horizontal) for one or more channels:
    • For Grayscale images, use only channel 1.

    • For RGB images, use channels 1, 2, and 3, which correspond to the red, green, and blue channels.

    • For CMYK images, use all four channels, which correspond to the cyan, magenta, yellow, and black channels.

    • Click Defaults to return all the screen angles to their default values.

  4. Click OK.

Apply the Extrude filter

  1. Choose Filter > Stylize > Extrude.
  2. Choose a 3D type:
    • Blocks creates objects with a square front face and four side faces. To fill the front face of each block with the average color of the block, select Solid Front Faces. To fill the front face with the image, deselect Solid Front Faces.

    • Pyramids creates objects with four triangular sides that meet at a point.

  3. Enter a value in the Size text box to determine the length of any side of the object’s base, from 2 to 255 pixels.
  4. Enter a value in the Depth text box to indicate how far the tallest object appears to protrude from the screen, from 1 to 255.
  5. Choose a depth option:
    • Random to give each block or pyramid an arbitrary depth.

    • Level-based to make each object’s depth correspond to its brightness—bright protrudes more than dark.

  6. Select Mask Incomplete Blocks to hide any object extending beyond the selection.

Apply the Trace Contour filter

  1. Choose Filter > Stylize > Trace Contour.
  2. Choose an Edge option to outline areas in the selection: Lower outlines areas where the color values of pixels fall below the specified level, and Upper outlines areas where the color values fall above.
  3. Enter a threshold (Level) for evaluating color values (tonal level), from 0 to 255. Experiment to see what values bring out the best detail in the image.

    Use the Info panel in Grayscale mode to identify a color value that you want traced. Then enter the value in the Level text box.

Create a Custom filter

  1. Choose Filter > Other > Custom. The Custom dialog box displays a grid of text boxes into which you can enter numeric values.
  2. Select the center text box, which represents the pixel being evaluated. Enter the value by which you want to multiply that pixel’s brightness value, from –999 to +999.
  3. Select a text box representing an adjacent pixel. Enter the value by which you want the pixel in this position multiplied.

    For example, to multiply the brightness value of the pixel to the immediate right of the current pixel by 2, enter 2 in the text box to the immediate right of the center text box.

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for all pixels to be included in the operation. You don’t have to enter values in all the text boxes.
  5. For Scale, enter the value by which to divide the sum of the brightness values of the pixels included in the calculation.
  6. For Offset, enter the value to be added to the result of the scale calculation.
  7. Click OK. The custom filter is applied to each pixel in the image, one at a time.

    Use the Save and Load buttons to save and reuse custom filters.

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