The Digital Darkroom
A Gallery Of Filters; Something For Everyone In Photoshop CS


The new Photoshop CS has a greatly expanded Filter section. One of the new filter options is called Filter Gallery. The Filter Gallery is so extensive it just boggles the mind! In order to give you a little introduction into this feature-rich area of Photoshop, I've put together this little exercise that will turn an outdoor scenic picture into a canvas oil painting. This exercise uses four of the six sections in the Filter Gallery.

Start with a nice outdoor scenic photo. I'm using a shot taken at St. Lucia by my daughter during one of her recent trips there (#1).

I find that I like the results a little better if I start by increasing the color saturation a bit. So, in #2 I went to Image to Adjustments to Hue/Saturation and in #3 I set the Saturation up to 50. You can experiment with different levels if you like.


Next, go to Filter to Filter Gallery (#4). In the Filter Gallery, click on Distort (#5). And then click on the thumbnail image called Glass (#6). That will bring up a dialog box (#7) where I set Distortion at 2; Smoothness at 2; Texture at Canvas; and Scaling at 50 percent. There's lots of room here for making your own choices on all of these settings. Feel free to experiment.

After that, we need to call up a New Effect Layer by going to the bottom of the dialog box and clicking on the New Effect Layer icon (#8).

After you have invoked the New Effect Layer, click on Artistic (#9), then click on the Paint Daubs icon (#10). In the dialog box for Paint Daubs (#11) I have set Brush Size at 3; Sharpness at 0; and Brush Type at Simple. Again, experiment with other values to see how this tool works.


We will now call up a third New Effect Layer by going to the bottom of the dialog box and clicking on the New Effect Layer icon.

Next, click on Brush Strokes and then click on the Angled Strokes icon (#12). In the dialog box for Angled Strokes (#13) I have set Direction Balance at 50; Stroke Length at 10; and Sharpness at 5. Feel free to experiment with other settings.

Finally, we are going to call up the fourth and last New Effect Layer by once again going to the bottom of the dialog box and clicking on the New Effect Layer icon (#8).


Next, click on Texture and in the Texture window click on the Texturizer icon (#14). In the Texturizer dialog box (#15) I have set Texture at Canvas; Scaling at 90 percent; Relief at 5; and Light at Top Left. You can now go to the top of the window and click on "OK" to apply all four of these effects (#15).

The picture that you will get after you click on OK is a very richly saturated image. You may like it just fine that way (Final #1). In order for you to see the canvas pattern that will be in the actual printout, I have included a close-up section of Final #1, see Final #1 Close-Up. I hope the neat canvas texture will be visible in the magazine reproduction of these images.

If the picture is too richly saturated for your taste, you can reduce the saturation by making a duplicate copy of the Background (drag the Background Layer into the "Duplicating icon" that is next to the little trash can at the bottom of the Layers Palette). See #16. Then, with the top, Background Copy Layer highlighted, go to Image to Adjustments to Desaturate (#17). Next, go to the Layers Palette and reduce the Opacity of the desaturated (top) layer to about 40 percent (#18). Now, your finished picture will look like Final #2, which may be a bit more like an oil painting. But, as with all artistic renderings, art is in the eye of the beholder. So, whatever settings you want to use in order to obtain the effect that you like is OK!

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Final #1

Final #1 close-up.

Final #2