Chunky noise

My biggest frustration with the Add Noise filter is that you can't specify the size of individual specks of noise. No matter how you cut it, noise only comes in 1-pixel squares. It may occur to you that you can enlarge the noise dots in a layer by applying the Maximum or Minimum filter. But in practice, doing so simply fills in the image, because there isn't sufficient space between the noise pixels to accommodate the larger dot sizes.

Luckily, Photoshop provides several alternatives. One is the Pointillize filter, which adds variable-sized dots and then colors those dots in keeping with the original colors in the image. Though Pointillize lacks the random quality of the Add Noise filter, you can use it to add texture to an image.

To create the top-left image in Figure 10-40, I chose Filter ^ Pixelate ^ Pointillize and entered 5 into the Cell Size option box. After pressing Enter to apply the filter, I pressed Ctrl+Shift+F to fade the filter, changing the Opacity value to 50 percent. The effect is rather like applying chunky bits of noise.

Pointillize, 50% Halftone Pattern

Figure 10-40: The results of applying several different Add Noise-like filters, including Pointillize, Halftone Pattern, and Grain. A percentage value indicates that I modified the Opacity setting in the Fade dialog box.

Grain, Clumped Speckled, 50%

Figure 10-40: The results of applying several different Add Noise-like filters, including Pointillize, Halftone Pattern, and Grain. A percentage value indicates that I modified the Opacity setting in the Fade dialog box.

The Gallery Effects filters provide a few noise alternatives. Filter ^ Sketch ^ Halftone Pattern adds your choice of dot patterns, as shown in the upper-right example in Figure 10-40. But like all filters in the Sketch submenu, it replaces the colors in your image with the foreground and background colors. Filter ^ Texture ^ Grain is a regular noise smorgasbord, permitting you to select from 10 different Grain Type options, each of which produces a different kind of noise. The bottom examples in Figure 10-40 show off two of the Grain options, Clumped and Speckled. I used Edit ^ Fade Grain to reduce the Opacity value for the Speckled effect to 50 percent.

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