Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Photoshop: What Is A Filter?

Filters are another big feature for Adobe Photoshop (and other similar products). The software comes with several sets, but you can also download filters (from third-parties and Adobe) as plug-ins to enhance your Photoshop experience. (If you install plug-ins, use a trusted source, and follow Adobe's directions for installation.)
Filters are special effects that will change the appearance of your canvas. Some categories include artistic filters, blur filters, brush stroke filters, distort filters, noise filters, pixelate filters, sharpen filters, render filters, sharpen filters, sketch filters, stylize filters, texture filters, and lighting filters.

You can access your filters in the FILTERS menu at the top of your screen. Here are some tips from the HELP provided with Photshop 7.0:
To use a filter, choose the appropriate submenu command from the Filter menu. These guidelines can help you in choosing filters:
  • The last filter chosen appears at the top of the menu.
  • Filters are applied to the active, visible layer.
  • Filters cannot be applied to Bitmap-mode or indexed-color images.
  • Some filters only work on RGB images.
  • Some filters are processed entirely in RAM.
  • Gaussian Blur, Add Noise, Dust & Scratches, Mediam, Unsharp Mask, Solarize, and High Pass filters can be used with 16-bit-per-channel, as well as 8-bit-per-channel images.
RGB is a setting for your image. This is how we digitally see images on the screen (and television). It stands for RED GREEN BLUE. The alternative is CMYK, which is how images are interpreted in printing. (And that is CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK.) If your image is in CMYK you'll have to change the file RGB in your IMAGE menu.

Be sure not to save filtered work over your original filter. Try each filter out as your explore Photoshop to get a better idea of how the filters work.

And be sure to relax and have fun!

Additional Resources:
Adobe Photoshop Filters

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