The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters
Because I was a former painter, I wanna talk to you about how you can use the oil paint filter in Photoshop. And the oil paint filter, by itself does nothing, Even remotely close... (audience laughter) To what an oil painter would do in an image. I know that 'cause I used to be one. I did acrylic and oil, mainly acrylic. But the oil paint filter is a really cool filter, that gives you kind of an oil painted look, and yeah we're gonna go into more the creative realm now. We stepped away from the practical realm. This is an effect that I do add to my photos though, and sometimes I've even been known to add this to my photos and really drop the opacity of it and just have it affect the background. So, If I wanna separate the foreground from the background in an image, and make the viewer kinda not pay as much of attention to the background as they are the foreground, I can push it back with the oil paint filter, drop the opacity and something different is going on back there, they don't r...
eally know what it is, and it gives it a smooth, kinda creamy look back there. So what I'm gonna do with this is first, I'm gonna press Command or Control + J on this background layer. I'm gonna go over to filter, and I'm gonna go to stylize and go to oil paint. See what I mean, like, I mean, maybe Van Gogh could do that but... It's just, when you stylize it, This is how stylized the paint strokes are gonna be. We move up the stylization, you see it gets really, really wicked in there. If we move this down to something normal right about middle there, it doesn't look too bad. The cleanliness is the cleanliness of the brush as it makes the stroke. The higher that is, the more digital it's gonna look. If I press this preview button, and turn this preview on, it's gonna show me on the image that I'm actually working with instead of just giving me this small preview. The small preview is good for just finding your paintstrokes so I'll bring that cleanliness down to about here. I'll bring that scale up, it's gonna make the brush size bigger. Scale is always gonna make things larger. Bristle detail is how much detail is in between each one of those bristles. And then the lighting is, how much light is hitting the paint stroke, and what direction is it hitting the paint stroke from. I tend to just keep this pretty low. If you keep it really low, it's gonna have no definition, so just a little bit of shine is good. And if I press okay, this is what I call the contrived look. It's very contrived, it's not, it's very contrived and its very digital but there's a way that we can do this with our photograph that separates our highlights our mid-tones and our shadows. For the sake of this I'm just going to show you the highlights and the shadows. And allows us to independently add different brush strokes to our highlights and different brush strokes to our shadows The cool part about this and the mind-blowing part about this is it's not actually going to use masking, it's gonna use blend if, so anything that happens underneath those layers will change the brush strokes. So cool. Check this out. We're gonna go and press Command or Control + J, and do it again, Control + J. We're gonna call this highlights. We're gonna call this shadows. This is typically something, if I'm gonna do this it's a finishing effect, it happens at the very end. With the highlights, I'm gonna come into the blend if and I'm just gonna bring this slider up to about the mid-tones, alt or option, and feather it out so that this is gonna be affecting anything that is gonna be in the mid-tones through the highlights so this slider, if this this portion of the slider hits it's just gonna basically feather from into my highlights, I'm gonna go a little bit over so we got a decent spread between those mid-tone areas. Now if I press okay I'm gonna come down to my shadows and I'm gonna reverse the blend if settings. So that's at 93 and and I'm trying to get something remotely close to that with my shadows. So double-click here real quick just to make sure I'm gonna use my color overlay 'cause that's gonna tell me okay, that's my highlight areas okay and now I'm gonna double-click in here and I'm gonna reverse it, so, let me turn my color overlay on 'cause it's easier for me to see. Come down to my highlights, get it, get it to about the mid-tones which would be 128, split it this way, split it this way, to get a decent spread of those mid-tones and then turn that color overlay off, press okay. So now the cool part. I'm gonna turn off the highlights for now, go into the shadows, and go to filter, go to stylize and go to oil paint. So now maybe Ill do something crazy here I'll just increase the... I'm gonna do two very different styles. Let's do a very unclean brush, very big unclean brush and lets even increase the amount of shine on there. That'll be on the shadows. Right about there. This is really just so you can see it, and we'll press okay. So now we'll click on our highlights, double-click here, oh sorry, and then click on our highlights, go to filter, go to stylize, go to oil paint, and do something very different. Where that'd be good. So now if we look at this image, we've got two different brushstrokes. We've got our highlights brushstrokes. We've got our shadows brushstrokes. If I were to make a new curves adjustment layer underneath here and move this... Look at that, see how its changing? You know why it's changing? 'Cause our curve is getting darker and lighter and as that curve gets darker and lighter these have blend if settings that are interacting with anything that gets darker or lighter under the image. So as the image gets brighter, more of our highlights brush strokes are gonna show through. As this curves adjustment layer gets darker more of our shadows are gonna come through, which would be more closely related to how a painter would paint. You know, we don't just say, "Okay I'm gonna use the same brush stroke "on the entire image". Number one, it's practically impossible and number two, it's um Van Gogh would probably be the only person that could really do that, everyone else just, it doesn't work. So that allows you to separate those highlights from the shadows, put that curves adjustment there underneath and allow you to modify underneath. Again if you wanted, because we're painting at this point if we wanted to add a something like a hue saturation adjustment layer and then click on the targeted adjustment tool grab our yellows, we could even bump up, successfully and easily, we could, we can modify the colors here. It looks like a painting so we can make a painters decision to change the colors within this image. If I wanted to be more conservative about it and show you what I would do with this to separate those areas of background and foreground, I would put these into a group, I'd click on this one down to here, press, Command or Control + G, to put them into a group, and now I have the opacity of everything that's in that group. If I drop this opacity down, everything that's in that group is gonna have a lowered opacity by default because they belong to that group. So when I lower that opacity, and I zoom in to something like the background here, here's the before, here's the after. Notice how it very subtly changes the background to a point where like, I'm not sure what's going on there but I kind of like it. So if we increase the opacity, then I added a brush here, I could brush away all the areas that I wouldn't want this to affect. So maybe I wouldn't want this to affect the tree and the foreground areas, so now we have no painting happening to those areas, make my brush a little bit larger, I just want it to happen to those trees that are behind my my focal point tree. And there's the before and the after. It's very subtle, you don't even know it's painted but there's the oil paint filter used for two very different purposes. A practical purpose and a creative purpose. It's a practical purpose 'cause I can manipulate the viewer to not focus so much behind what's going on back there without doing the typical bokeh blur and push them back, you know. This just pushes back everything back there nice and clean. Now there might come times we talk about noise reduction but there might come times where you might want to add noise for a creative effect. Let's go ahead and open up this image. So to add noise, there's a couple different things that we can do here. Let's do our typical black and white adjustment that we've talked about so many times, the gradient map. We'll just hit the gradient map and 'cause it's already set to black and white, it looks pretty good. The, the noise adding we can do that in Adobe Camera Raw, we already talked about that, how we can go into camera rolls, into the effects and we can use the add noise feature there. But there's a way that we can add noise to this that works with all the other things we've talked about, like blend modes, opacity, blend if, so if I wanted to add noise to this image we don't necessarily need, we need a pixel based layer. We can't do it on an empty layer so we need something pixel based but I don't want to do it on my background. I want to do this independently on something totally different. So what I'm going to do, is I'm going to add a new layer. I'm gonna press Shift + F and I'm gonna fill this with 50% gray. So now I just have a flat 50% gray look on my image. Now I know this because I'm a, I know whats coming, so I'm already thinking ahead. But anytime I'm doing things with sharpening or noise reduction, one of the blend modes that I really like to use, is linear light. So I'm automatically gonna change this to linear light so you can see what you're gonna be doing when you're making this noise. So I'll change this to linear light. It's not gonna do anything different because anything that's 50% gray will stay the same because it's one of those contrast blend modes where 50% gray does not get modified. So if I go up to filter, and I go to noise, and I go to add noise, now look at this grain that we're getting. It's beautiful film grain that we're getting. We can look at how much green we want to add by increasing the amount that, I don't know about you, has anyone ever stuck their tongue on a 9 volt battery? (woman laughs) I have, when I was a kid my brother dared me to do it. That, that's the feeling of sticking your tongue on a 9 volt battery. Okay, so we'll just bring that amount down to about 10%. We can change this from uniform to Gaussian. Gaussian blur gives you a little bit more of a random pattern rather than a uniform pattern and we want that to be monochromatic 'cause we don't want color noise. If we're adding noise, I do not want to add color noise. And we'll press okay. Now linear light is one of those blend modes I started with a really high amount of grain that I added to this and quite honestly I don't really like it too much, but the reason why I started with that is because I know that fill controls linear light. So I can adjust the calculation that's happening on this film grain by modifying my fill. So if I bring my fill down, it helps blend that in a little bit better. About, I'll just do about 50%, call that the baseline from now on. Now because this is a pixel based layer if I press alt or option and click on it this is what it looks like with that linear light blend mode on there we just change it back to normal and bring our fill up to 100. That's what that grain actually looks like so let's change that back to linear light, drop that fill to 50%, and then turn all that stuff on underneath. This is a pixel based layer, it's a pixel based layer made up of noise. What we can do is we can go to filter we can go to blur, we can go to Gaussian blur and we can blur the noise to make it look more like grain. So something like 0.5 pixels will be perfect to make it look more like grain. Now one thing that happens with grain, and look at this, we've got a beautiful grainy black and white photograph, very Paris-esque. One of the things about grain is that grain would find its way typically in things that were, when you're looking at your image that you printed, you wouldn't see grain on paper white. No grain exists on paper white 'cause the grain would actually come from the chemicals that create the negative, that are that are the crystals I should say, on the negative that are absorbing the amount of light. So if they didn't, if they didn't get filled with any light, then they wouldn't print you wouldn't get that grain printed. So what can we do if we don't want grain on white? I just double-click in here, use all the things that we've talked about so far. Double-click, go into our our blend if, say okay grain, don't apply yourself to areas that are white. Press alt or option, split and feather, paper white is now protected. We'll get a nice gradual increase in there almost as if, we're emulating the exact same thing that would happen, if crystals were accepting noise just like they would on, on a piece of film. Press okay, zoom in. You might not be able to see a difference, but because it's blend if, anything that's happening underneath this layer if I click on this background, and add a curves adjustment layer just to show you this, bring this up, notice how there's no grain and anything that's white. That grain is being protected. And its being protected on the fly, that's because blend if is always working on that top layer to protect anything that's light underneath. So if we zoom out real quick, bump that up, ooh that's not good, bump that up a little bit, darken our dark stone. We now have a beautifully stylized black and white image that went from this to this and still has that film grain type of effect. If we printed it, it would look like film grain and it wouldn't necessarily look like noise. So we talked about a lot of stuff with filters. Mainly what I wanted to show you here is how you can use filters in your workflow, and not be afraid of using those filters, but just remember there are some filters that are creative, some filters that are practical. When you break them down like that you will be more apt to use them. They can only be work on, they can only be used on pixel based layers, they can't be used on some of them can be used on vectors but remember you're gonna have to rasterize that subject which then takes all the vector qualities out. They cannot be used on adjustment layers because adjustment layers are a calculation that knows no bounds, so filters can't be used on those. We broke apart those filters, we talked about noise reduction, we talked about sharpening, we talked about using the oil paint, using it the right way. But all, what I really want you to pull together from all of this is not necessarily what filters did we use but how do we use them. We use them as their own individual layer and if we're going back to that cellphone analogy, what are the apps that we can plug into that layer to make it blend better with everything that's happening underneath. All right, so that concludes our lesson on filters. If you'd like to follow me, you can follow me at http://www.f64.co/cl, F 64 Academy, and the next lesson we'll be talking about editing video in Photoshop.