Filters add special effects to an image, such as blurs, distortions, special colors, and more. In our beach image project we will add two filters for effects: a filter to ripple the reflection, and another filter to blur the periphery. Because there are so many different filters, the best way to learn to use them is to experiment with different filters and filter options.
Activating Smart Filters
In this workshop, we will use a feature called Smart Filters. By using Smart Filters, we can apply a filter on a separate layer, enabling everything underneath it to remain intact. With a separate filter layer, we can also return to alter the filter or hide all or part of it at any time.
NOTE: Extract, Pattern Maker, Liquify, and Vanishing Point cannot be applied when using Smart Filter.
As before, we must set the Background layer to accept special effects. Let's set to convert the beach image for Smart Filter use.
Step1. To confirm that the Background layer is selected, in the Layers panel,
Step2. To convert our image into a Smart Object, point to the Menu bar,
Click Filter, Click Convert for Smart Filters
Step3. To accept the notification, in the dialog box,
Step4. To rename the layer, in the Layers panel,
Double-Click the Layer 2 text
Step5. To name the layer, type:
Using the Filter Gallery
For today's project, we will first be using an Ocean Ripple filter on the reflection, which will give the reflection a more realistic appearance. This filter is available from the Photoshop Filter Gallery.
First, we must activate the reflection layer.
Step1. To activate the reflection layer, in the Layers panel,
Step2. To access the Filter Gallery, on the Menu bar,
Click Filter, Click Filter Gallery...
Step3. To choose the Group,
Step4. To choose Ocean Ripple,
Step5. To change the Ripple Size, in the Ripple Size field,
Double-Click the value, type: 1 Tab key
Step6. To decrease the Ripple Magnitude, in the Ripple Magnitude field, type:
13 Tab key
NOTE: Depending on individual settings, the Ripple Size and Ripple Magnitude may need to be further adjusted.
Step7. To accept these changes,
Using The Radial Blur Filter
To the periphery of the beach and sky, we will apply a softly blurred effect. As we apply Radial Blur, we will see that there are even more filters besides those in the Filter Gallery which can be accessed from the Photoshop Menu bar.
Let's apply the Radial Blur now.
Step1. To make sure the beach layer is active,
Step2. To begin applying the filter, on the Menu bar,
Click Filter, Point Blur, Click Radial Blur...
Step3. To set the blur to Zoom, in the dialog box,
Click the Zoom radio button
Step4. To set the blur amount, in the dialog box, in the Amount field,
Press & Drag the contents, type: 20 Enter
Editing a Smart Filter
Underneath the beach layer we see two sub-layers, indicating that the filter is stored here. The filter can also be edited by using these sub-layers. We want to reduce the blur effect.
Let's see how this works.
Step1. To open the Radial Blur options for the layer, in the Radial Blur layer,
Step2. To reduce the blur, in the Opacity field, type:
Using a Filter Mask to Hide Effects
Previously in this workshop, we used a layer mask to make pixels transparent. Smart Filters automatically come with masks of their own, which can be used in the same way. In much the same way, we will use the mask icon that is under the Radial Blur to hide just the bits of the blur where the birds are distorted.
We can use any painting or erasing tool on a filter's mask to show and hide the effects of the filter.
Let's erase the filter's effects on the birds now.
Step1. To select the Eraser tool, in the Tools panel,
Step2. To ensure that our foreground and background colors are correct, if necessary,
NOTE: At the end of this step, ensure that your foreground color is white.
Step3. To activate the mask attached to the Radial Blur filter, under the beach layer in the Layers panel,
Step4. If necessary, change the Eraser tool's brush size in the Options panel.
Step5. To remove the Ocean Ripple/Radial Blur effect on the birds and rock,
Press & Drag across some of the birds
NOTE: If you don't like the effect you just made, switch to the Paintbrush tool and paint the Radial Blur back in.
Step6. To set our colors to default, on the keyboard, type:
Step7. Save the file.