Adobe Photoshop Tutorials

Photoshop 9 through CS6 Tutorials



Creating Custom Filters - Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

Vikki Olds

1 Choose an image that you want to play with to learn how to create custom filters.

2 Go to Filter>Other>Custom

3 The Custom dialog opens and is ready for you to enter values. Make sure the Preview box is ticked so you can see changes as they occur in your image.

4 Below are the settings I used to get an embossed paper type of effect.

5 The original image was a little blurry so I worked on sharpening it a little.

6 Just for fun I added more blur.

7 Gee, you didn't learn much with all that did you? Now we'll get down to business with what is happening when you enter the values into the boxes.

Significant numbers in the matrix are the center number, the scale and the offset.

Each pixel in the original image is re-calculated according to the numbers you enter into the matrix. As you enter numbers into the matrix you'll notice a lightening and darkening of the image depending on whether you enter positive or negative numbers.

What is happening is that Photoshop first multiplies the value of each pixel in the image by the number in the center of the matrix. Then it multiplies the brightness values of the surrounding pixels by the values in the matrix. The total of the products are divided by the scale value and then adds the offset number to get to the new brightness. This is done for every pixel in the image.

Of course the above image is way too bright. There are several ways of clearing this up. One way is to adjust the Scale and Offset.

Just changing the scale has given us back some of our saturation and darkens the image a bit. Adding a number into the Offset for this particular image will adjust the contrast up or down.

Valid values that can be entered for the matrix are from -999 to 999. The scale accepts values from 1 to 9999 and the offset will accept values from -9999 to 9999. You can save and load custom filters that you have created so you don't have to remember or write down what you've done when you've got an effect that you like.

The key here is to play and see what you can come up with. After practicing a bit you'll get an idea of what you need to do to get the effect you are looking for. This is a powerful tool and gives you the opportunity to create effects that no one else has.

Have fun!


Copyright 2003, Vikki Olds, All Rights Reserved

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