Ten Great Photoshop Filters

/■/lost of the chapters in this book explain technical stuff — you know, # W w workflows, file management, raw conversion, overall corrections, editing, and printing. Really, it's fun stuff if you're a photographer; we need to do all those things! Once in a while, however, we need to have some fun with our photos. I'm not talking about cheesy hacks like moving body parts around images of politicians downloaded from the Internet (though those can be a hoot), I'm talking about applying some cool effects to use on your own photos, using Photoshop filters.

Some filters — in particular, the Liquify filter — are simply outrageous. You can do some quick morphing of photos of friends and family (and get in a lot of trouble in the process) or focus on bringing out the sensitive artist in you, adding strong or subtle effects to your images. I often use some of the Artistic filters to enhance portraits and landscapes in the direction of fine art. Then sometimes a silly impulse strikes, and . . .

A-Morphing We Witt Go

One of the goofiest Photoshop filters (well, actually, maybe the only really goofy filter) is the Liquify filter. This is the utility you can use to enlarge ears, shrink eyes, and mess around with other parts of your image. You don't have to use it on photos of people, you can always "morph" other types of photos too. You'll want to be careful though, morphing people can get you in trouble!

But onward: Start out with a decent photo like the portrait shown in Figure 14-1. Then figure out some fiendish ways to mess it around with the Liquify tool. I decided to transform this normally silly guy into a Vulcan, ears and all!

Be sure to create a new layer you can use to apply your filter to the image before you choose your filter. If you don't like the effect that the filter applies, you can always delete the layer and create another one to start over.

You can get to the Liquify filter by choosing FilterO Liquify. Figure 14-2 shows the image in the Liquify window. I used both the Forward Warp and Bloat tools to hack away at the eyes, nose, and ears, quickly transforming this normally wacky guy into a seriously troubled Vulcan. (Actually, I think it's a big improvement. Don't tell him I said so.)

Bloat tool Pucker tool Trim Clockwise tool

Forward Warp tool Brush Restore to original

Forward Warp tool Brush Restore to original


Turbulence tool Mirror tool

Figure 14-2: Liquify filter.

Getting Artsy with the Chalk & Charcoal Filter

Ordinary photos suddenly take on an antique feeling when you apply the Chalk & Charcoal filter. This filter transforms a normal color image to appear drawn with chalk or taken as a nineteenth-century photograph. Figure 14-3 shows an original photo before this filter does its work.

Access the Chalk & Charcoal filter by choosing FilterOSketchOChalk & Charcoal. Figure 14-4 shows the Chalk & Charcoal filter, with the altered image displayed in the Image Preview area. Adjust the charcoal and chalk effects by moving the Charcoal Area or Chalk Area sliders to the right (to increase the effect), or to the left (to decrease the effect).

Figure 14-3: Original photo.

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Increase charcoal effect Sketch filter choices Click to save Increase chalk effect

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Figure 14-4: The Chalk & Charcoal filter window.

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