Fading a filter

In many cases, you apply filters to a selection or image at full intensity — meaning that you marquee an area using a selection tool, choose a filter command, enter whatever settings you deem appropriate if a dialog box appears, and sit back and watch the fireworks.

What's so full intensity about that? Sounds normal, right? Well, the fact is, you can reduce the intensity of the last filter applied by choosing the Fade command. This command permits you to mix the filtered image with the original, unfiltered one.

In Photoshop 6, the Fade command appears on the Edit menu instead of the Filter menu; the new placement makes sense because Adobe expanded the Fade feature in Version 5.5 to enable you to apply it to brush strokes and other edits in addition to filter applications. But the result of the command — as well as its keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+F) — remains the same as in versions past.

As shown in Figure 10-5, the Fade dialog box provides you with the basic tools of image mixing — an Opacity value and a blend mode pop-up menu. To demonstrate the wonders of Filter ^ Fade, I've applied two particularly destructive Gallery Effects filters to the colossal marble head — Filter ^ Stylize ^ Glowing Edges and Filter ^ Sketch ^ Note Paper. In the second column of heads, I pressed Ctrl+Shift+F and lowered the Opacity of the two effects to 30 percent. The right-hand images show the effects of two blend modes, Lighten and Overlay, with the Opacity value restored to 100 percent.

Glowing Edges Lighten

Glowing Edges Lighten

Figure 10-5: Press Ctrl+Shift+F to mix the filtered image with the unfiltered original. Now, is it me, or is Constantine on Note Paper the spitting image of Rambo? That's got to be keeping some art historian awake at night.

Note Paper 30% Opacity Overlay

Figure 10-5: Press Ctrl+Shift+F to mix the filtered image with the unfiltered original. Now, is it me, or is Constantine on Note Paper the spitting image of Rambo? That's got to be keeping some art historian awake at night.

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