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Adobe Photoshop filters Tutorial


Adobe Photoshop filters Tutorial

In this post we are going to look at 10  most important Adobe Photoshop filters that every Photoshop users should know. These 10 filters should be mastered by those who aspire to make career in digital art. If you have used Photoshop before you may know that it comes with wide range of tools and filters which can be used to create amazing effects.

In this article, we’re going to look at 10 Photoshop filters that I think every user should know. We’ll talk about what they do, and more importantly, why you should get to know them all.

1. Gaussian Blur

Go to Menu -> Filters -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur

As an artist , I have used it every time in my digital art. It is amazingly simple blur filter which gives you control over precisely how strong of a blur you want to apply. It soften edges and spreads the color across the canvas.

Now, Open a texture and paint a block of color with round soft brush.


Large Circle of blue

Go to Menu -> Filters -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur


Apply Gaussian Blur of around 100px to soften the “light” up.

Color diffused by Gaussian blur

Use this filter to add a faked depth of field to a photo, to soften certain gradients and to add certain glow effects to type.

Blending Mode changed to overlay

It can also be used to add vignette  effect to your photo. For vignette effect click here

2.  Noise Filter

Go to Menu -> Filters ->Add Noise

Pattern Without Noise

I had used the Reduce Noise and Despeckle filters on some photographs before, but I couldn’t figure out why anyone would even want to Add Noise . Eventually, though, I got with the program.

When creating certain type of digital art , adding a little bit of controlled noise is good technique to add an extra bit of texture.

Refer to example below

Next, we apply just a little bit of monochromatic noise, with a uniform distribution.

Pattern after adding monochromatic noise

Pattern now has just that much more texture and depth to it. It has more of the appearance of a photograph than the large, unbroken and coloured spaces of a vector pattern.Too much noise will quickly destroy the design. Fortunately, we have the Undo command, and the power of non-destructive editing, which I will get to below.

3. Clouds

Go to Menu -> Filters ->Render -> Clouds

This is great way to add another texture to your work. This filter can be used to add smokey effect , fog ,mist to your scene. When you apply cloud filter it will take foreground and background color and create a texture out of those two colors.


Simple cloud render

If we set the blending mode to multiply over a nice red-to-black radial gradient background, we get the beginnings of a nice, dark red smokey effect.


Smokey Effect after changing blending mode to multiply

4. Texturizer

Go to Menu -> Filter -> Texture -> Texturizer

This filter is similar to cloud filter.But it has few more options. There are four different types of textures that you can choose from – Brick, Burlap, Canvas and Sandstone.You can also adjust the scaling of texture , relief and Light direction.



Texturizer filter  actually needs to work on something. You just start by filling the canvas with a solid colour, but you can apply texture to a photograph or other graphical element too.

5. Lens Flare

Go to Menu -> Filter ->Render -> Lens Flare

Lens Flare is a tool to be  used very carefully. A poorly executed lens flare can leave a design looking  amateurish. Still, if it is executed properly, it is an incredibly useful filter.

Simple Lens flare with black Bg

Take a plain black layer and render a lens flare onto that. Then,  use some sort of blending mode in order to better apply the lens flare to whatever you are working on. For example, here is a simple black layer with a 105mm Prime flare.

Blending mode changed to Color Dodge

We created  the Clouds filter and set the lens flare layer to Color Dodge to get this:


6. Spherize


Go to Menu -> Filter ->Distort -> Spherize

It is one of the awesome distortion filter. When we apply this filter it appears that the image is wrapped around the sphere.It is very specialized kind of filter which is not used as much as other filters.


Normal Stone Texture

Make a circular selection in the middle of the texture, create a clipping mask to hide all of the excess texture that we won’t need. Then, apply a Spherize filter. I would use a strength of about. If we add a simple Inner Shadow effect layer style, here’s what we get:

After applying Spherize

7. Polar Coordinates

Go to Menu -> Filter -> Distort -> Polar Co ordinates

This is a cool filter, which you can do a lot of interesting things with. When you use the Rectangular to Polar option, it basically compresses your image, the twists it around the canvas’ center point. It really isn’t the easiest thing in the world to explain, so let’s look at an example.


Vertical Black Strips

From this simple set of vertical lines, we apply a Polar Coordinates filter, and we get something like this:


Final Product after applying Polar Co ordinates

The filter is bit tricky but awesome though.


8. Lighting Effects

Go to Menu -> Filter -> Render -> Lighting Effect

This filter allows you to give lighting effects to your scene.There are also a ton of different options, including three types of lighting, the choice of colour, intensity, and many others. The filter also comes with several presets, which you can use as they are or as a starting point for creating your own custom lighting.

Now, here are three different lighting effects on the same image, each using one of the different presets.


9. Offset

Go to Menu -> Filter -> other -> Offset


It is used to shift pixels on canvas. This is normally used to create repeating patterns in Photoshop. When you apply this filter you are given a choice of how much you want to offset your image in both vertical and horizontal directions.For example, here is an image of a lovely young woman that was made available as a free download from iStockPhoto some weeks ago


Before applying offset


Now, if we apply an offset of 250px and 250px, we get a result like this:


After Applying Offset

It may not look good on this photo but it is used to create seamless textures.


10. High Pass

Go to Menu -> Filter -> Other -> High Pass

It is a very good technique to achieve  good, controlled  sharpening of your images.Duplicate the layer that you are wanting to sharpen and run a High-Pass filter on it. If we do this on the same image that we used for the offset, we get something like this:


After applying High Pass

Set a blending mode to Overlay and you see the image is sharpened.


Changing the blending mode to Overlay Right image is unchanged

You may also try soft light blending mode…

I hope you enjoyed this post, and maybe learned about a filter or two you hadn’t used before. 

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Amod Mantri

Co-Founder and Content Writer
Amod drinks lots of coffee and writes articles. A student by day , blogger by night. When a team needs a gum to hold itself together , he is there to chew it.
photoshop filters


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