Tagged: filter

Adding noise/grain effect to text and images right inside your InDesign document

InDesign - add noise
Adding noise to a gradient image background is something I do often in photoshop. It helps avoid color banding when printing. It can also be a nice little effect when used correctly.

While I’ve used InDesign’s ability to add noise to my drop shadows and glows using the Effects panel, I never consider the ease with which I could avoid doing it all in Photoshop… that is, until I came across this Tip of the Week from Mike Rankin over at InDesignSecrets.

Add Grain Effects to Photos and Type shows you how easy it is. And for those that do use the Add Noise feature in Photoshop, you know how much storage space this is going to save you!

Add Instagram effects to Photoshop for free

For those of you who love to use Instagram on your iPhone and wish you could have those same simple effects available to you in Adobe Photoshop – REJOICE!

Instagram Photoshop Actions

X Pro II Photoshop action compared to the original Instagram filter

Daniel Box has made a set of Instagram Photoshop Actions that come extremely close to reproducing several of the Instagram filters in Photoshop.

They’re free, so give ’em a try!

Another way to sharpen images in Adobe Photoshop

There are lots of ways to sharpen an image in Photoshop, and there’s really no right or wrong way. But there are better ways than others. I think you’ll find the following method to be interesting, and provide pretty good results. First, place a copy of the image on a second layer by hitting Command + J. Set the newly duplicated layer’s blending mode to Overlay. Now go to the menubar and select Filter>Other>High Pass. Use a starting value around 4 to 6. You can adjust the values to your liking.

Easily add vignettes to your Photoshop images

It’s a really old technique, and looks great when done properly. But adding Vignettes for some is overly complex. One of the easiest methods I’ve come across is this tip at LifeClever. But I’m lazy, so I’ll go even further into the “easy” method. With Photoshop CS2, Adobe added a nifty little filter that does, among other things, vignettes. Here’s how it works: Make sure your image is in RGB mode. Select Filter>Distort>Lens Correction… There are several sections of this filter, but we’re going to use (obviously) the Vignette portion. First thing you may want to do is turn off the grid with the checkbox at the bottom of the dialog window. Slide the Amount slider under Vignette toward darken. This adds darkness around the edges and corners of your image. Now you adjust the amount of vignetting with the Midpoint slider. Move it to the right to have less of the image darkened or to the left to have more of the image darkened. That’s it. You can also apply the same technique to a layer filled with white above your image and set the layer effect to Multiply – this will allow you to adjust the darkness later if you wish.

Does using filters in Photoshop equal bad design?

I wanted to offer a suggestion relating to the use of Photoshop filters & effects in your designs. My comments come from many years of experience in the ad business, and reflect only MY opinion and the opinion of a handful of “old-timers” I know that are also in the biz. Please take this for what it’s worth, and not as gospel. The number one thing about a design that screams “Rookie” or “Amateur” more than anything else is the (over)use of filters & effects. I remember many years ago (sometime around Photoshop 4 I guess) a filter set was released called Kai’s Power Tools. It was an absolutely incredible set of filters that did things in Photoshop that most users could only dream about with a single click of the mouse button. The “Kai syndrome,” as it came to be known, got out of control fast.

Don’t be an idiot!

Today, we have Xenofex, EyeCandy, Splat, several plug-ins from Flaming Pear and many more. These filters produce fantastic results, I have no problem with them. But just like guns, the USER is the problem, not the actual item itself. Some designers say that if the filter becomes the focal point of the design, you’re showing everyone that you have no creativity and rely on “tricks” to get attention. I’ll just say this. Use filters sparingly. Use them when appropriate, and where it really makes a difference in your design. But don’t use them simply because they’re available. A drop shadow under a photo can really enhance a design, but a drop shadow under every stinking headline, logo and phone number in an ad makes you look like an idiot. A small bevel on a web page button can look great, but giant 15 pixel bevels on every clickable link button on your site makes you look like and idiot. Don’t be an idiot – you give us all a bad name.

Fade the effect of your Photoshop filter

ps_filterfadeAfter running a filter in Photoshop, you can reduce the amount of effect the filter produced by clicking Edit in the menu bar and select Fade…. This will bring up a dialog box which will allow you to customize the settings of the filter reduction.