Figure 9.1

Watercolor is one of 15 artistic filters.

Extract...

xsex

Filter Gallery... Liquify...

tfffi* xtrffix

X9SV

Pattern Maker...

Vanishing Point.

Filter Gallery... Liquify...

Pattern Maker...

Vanishing Point.

Blur

Brush Strokes

Distort

Noise

Pixelate

Render

Sharpen

Sketch

Stylize

Texture

Video

Other

Blur

Brush Strokes

Cutout... Dry Brush... Film Grain... Fresco... Neon Glow... Paint Daubs... Palette Knife... Plastic Wrap... Poster Edges... Rough Pastels... Smudge Stick... Sponge... Underpainting.. Watercolor...

Distort

Noise

Pixelate

Render

Sharpen

Sketch

Stylize

Texture

Video

Other

Digimarc

The Watercolor filter works most effectively on pictures that have large, bold areas and not a lot of detail. Because it also tends to darken backgrounds and shadows, it's best to start with a picture that has a light background. The photo in the figures that follow features some very white flowers. When you select the Watercolor filter (or virtually any other Photoshop filter, for that matter), you open a dialog box like the one shown in Figure 9.2. This Filter Gallery has a thumbnail view of your picture and a set of sliders that enable you to set the way in which the picture is converted. Many of the filter dialog boxes also show you the list of available filters and a thumbnail-sized sample of the effects they produce. If you click and drag on the thumbnail image, you can slide it around to see the effect of your settings on different parts of the photo. Most Photoshop filters have dialog boxes and settings very much like this one. After you have tried even one, the rest will be just as easy.

Filters can take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more to apply. If you don't see the effects of the filter on the thumbnail view immediately, look for a progress bar in the status bar at the bottom of the filter window. It grows as the computer calculates and applies the Filter effect. When the bar is filled, the effect is in place.

Brush detail varies from 1 to 14, with 14 giving you the most detail, and 1 being a sort of Jackson Pollock splatter effect. Depending on the nature of the picture you are converting and your own preferences, you might want to start experimenting with settings around 9 to 12. Shadow intensity can be adjusted from 0 to 10, but, unless you are looking for special effects, leave it at 0. The Watercolor filter darkens shadows too much, even at the 0 setting. By the time you move it past 3 to 4, the picture is almost totally black. Texture settings vary from 1 to 3. These are actually quite subtle, and you might wonder whether they have any effect at all. They do, but the effects are more noticeable combined with less detailed brush settings. In Figure 9.3 (and in the Color Gallery), I've gathered samples of different brush detail and texture settings so that you can see the differences.

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