Artistic Effects and Filters
There are many artistic effects that you can achieve using your image editor. Image-editing software programs commonly allow the user to choose “painting” tools, such as a pointed or flat brush tip, an airbrush, or spray paint.
Go to extremes: If you want to see what a tool will do, play with it. Take it past the point that you would normally use it to see the effect it has. Spending some time with each tool will make you a much better photographer or graphic artist.
You also may be given your choice of media, from pencil and ink to crayons, chalk, and pastels. But some of the most interesting effects are achieved through the use of special filters. You can try your hand with different filters and achieve masterly results without having to take expensive and time-consuming art classes.
In film photography, a filter is attached over the camera's lens in order to alter the light before it reaches the film. In digital photography, the term
There are quite a few filters that can yield unusual effects.
Contouring filter: Contour drawing refers to drawing just the outline (contour) of a subject. When you apply contouring to your images, the results will vary widely depending on the photos you're using.
Oil painting/palette knife filter: The palette knife filter gives your photo the look of an oil painting. You can significantly change the effect by selecting a different “brushstroke size.”
Mosaic/tile filter: The mosaic filter enlarges the size of the pixels in your digital image so that they resemble tiles in a mosaic, creating an image that is somewhat abstract but still discernible. The user can adjust the size of the pixels to vary the effect.
Pointillist filter: If you have always admired the work of the famous French artist, Georges Seurat, who rendered pictures by painting a series of small dots of paint, you may enjoy using a filter that will cause your digital image to mimic an impressionistic pointillist painting. More sophisticated programs allow you to decide the size and color of the dots and how they will be dispersed. This filter requires a bit of experimentation in order to achieve the best results.
Watercolor filter: If you'd prefer an image that mimics a watercolor, choose the watercolor filter. It works especially well with subjects from nature. Use it sparingly for an ethereal feeling.
Ripple filter: Imagine tossing a stone into a still body of water and watching ripples appear on the water's surface. In the same way that ripples become visible in water, distorting the reflections on the water's surface, the ripple filter produces a distorting effect on your image. There are a number of controls you can use to cause a range of effects, from slight rippling to maximum distortion. When using the ripple filter, you will need to choose your subject wisely in order to obtain satisfactory results.
Twirl filter: When you're looking for a different way to distort an image and create a unique effect, apply the twirl filter. It will twist your image around its center either clockwise or counterclockwise, depending on which you specify. You also control the degree to which your image is twirled.
Most high-end programs allow you to see the change to your image as you make adjustments. Spend some time learning each control, as the change caused by a tool can be quite subtle. Some programs show a change on a small preview in real time, others show before-and-after comparisons in side-by-side thumbnails.