Rain walkers in France.

Herb

Active member
I was kind of bored, but feeling creative, so I decided to play with some filters. I went to glass filters in Photoshop, selected frosted, moved a few sliders, and came up with this.
This was taken in a small village in France. Can't remember the name of the village. I'm sure I have it somewhere.````Rain walkers.jpg
 

JGaulard

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Uh oh, somebody's been playing with the filters. Have I ever told you about my bevel and emboss addiction? There was a time there...okay, I won't talk about it. This is actually pretty cool. It almost represents the day. You should try applying a filter as a Smart Filter and then change the blending mode to go even further. That's super fun.

 

Herb

Active member
Uh oh, somebody's been playing with the filters. Have I ever told you about my bevel and emboss addiction? There was a time there...okay, I won't talk about it. This is actually pretty cool. It almost represents the day. You should try applying a filter as a Smart Filter and then change the blending mode to go even further. That's super fun.

I often use smart filters, but have not really mastered them sufficiently. Most of the time I'll just duplicate a layer, apply the layer mask to the top layer, and work from there. I DO use a smart filter when switching over to the NIK collection, though it still can be worked successfully with a duplicate layer.I remember when I fisrst began in photoshop, I had an instructor at the Apple store tell me that in photoshop there are a million ways of doing something. I absolutely, definitely will read your article on smart filers, layer masks, and blending modes.
Without seeming to be argumentative, can you tell me if there is an advantage in using smart filters rather than a duplicate copy ?
 

Herb

Active member
Uh oh, somebody's been playing with the filters. Have I ever told you about my bevel and emboss addiction? There was a time there...okay, I won't talk about it. This is actually pretty cool. It almost represents the day. You should try applying a filter as a Smart Filter and then change the blending mode to go even further. That's super fun.

O.K. I read your article, and it opened my eyes to a few things. Please correct me if I am wrong, but from what I understand, even when you apply a smart filter, you still have to have a filter above the background, wether it be from RAW as a filter, OR as I usually do, add a duplicate layer through command J. I tried putting a smart filter on the background, and then go directly to blend mode multiply, and it won't work. It looks like that if I want to JUST use a blend mode I could either go command J, OR , add a smart filter, and then go to RAW as a filer, hit O.K without making changes, and then go to Blend mode. Am I making any sense ? I have to play around a bit with layer masks using smart objects. It works fine for me with duplicate copies ,(command J) but I'd like to try it with a smart filters.
 

JGaulard

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I often use smart filters, but have not really mastered them sufficiently. Most of the time I'll just duplicate a layer, apply the layer mask to the top layer, and work from there. I DO use a smart filter when switching over to the NIK collection, though it still can be worked successfully with a duplicate layer.I remember when I fisrst began in photoshop, I had an instructor at the Apple store tell me that in photoshop there are a million ways of doing something. I absolutely, definitely will read your article on smart filers, layer masks, and blending modes.
Without seeming to be argumentative, can you tell me if there is an advantage in using smart filters rather than a duplicate copy ?
Smart Filters are simply Smart Objects that have filters applied to them. Really, they're just Smart Objects. It's just that you get to the same place by using a different menu item. Smart Filters and Smart Objects are identical. The reason it's a good idea to use a Smart Object/Filter as opposed to a duplicate layer is because the filter becomes editable once applied. If you merely apply a filter to a copy of a layer, yes, you didn't permanently alter the original layer, but you still can't go back and edit the filter if you wanted to. Also, you can double-click the Smart Filter and apply blending modes to just that filter as opposed to the layer in question, which offers tons of flexibility.
 

JGaulard

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O.K. I read your article, and it opened my eyes to a few things. Please correct me if I am wrong, but from what I understand, even when you apply a smart filter, you still have to have a filter above the background, wether it be from RAW as a filter, OR as I usually do, add a duplicate layer through command J. I tried putting a smart filter on the background, and then go directly to blend mode multiply, and it won't work. It looks like that if I want to JUST use a blend mode I could either go command J, OR , add a smart filter, and then go to RAW as a filer, hit O.K without making changes, and then go to Blend mode. Am I making any sense ? I have to play around a bit with layer masks using smart objects. It works fine for me with duplicate copies ,(command J) but I'd like to try it with a smart filters.
If you open an image in Photoshop and then go to the Filter > Convert For Smart Filters menu item, all you essentially did was convert the background layer to a Smart Object. If you applied a blend mode to that layer, you wouldn't see any change because the layer isn't "blending" with another layer. Now, if you go back to the Filter menu and apply, say, an artistic filter of some sort, you'll see that new filter listed in the filter layer that's produced below the background layer. There should be a white mask thumbnail in this new layer. If you double-click the filter name you just applied, the window will open back up so you can edit the filter again and if you double-click the small icon to the right of the filter name, you'll have the ability to edit the blend mode. It depends on your goals, but what I just gave you is the most straightforward and simple scenario.
 

Herb

Active member
If you open an image in Photoshop and then go to the Filter > Convert For Smart Filters menu item, all you essentially did was convert the background layer to a Smart Object. If you applied a blend mode to that layer, you wouldn't see any change because the layer isn't "blending" with another layer. Now, if you go back to the Filter menu and apply, say, an artistic filter of some sort, you'll see that new filter listed in the filter layer that's produced below the background layer. There should be a white mask thumbnail in this new layer. If you double-click the filter name you just applied, the window will open back up so you can edit the filter again and if you double-click the small icon to the right of the filter name, you'll have the ability to edit the blend mode. It depends on your goals, but what I just gave you is the most straightforward and simple scenario.
Gottcha I think I understand this. Can I do the same thing by converting the background layer to a smart object, and then apply the RAW filter, close out of RAW before making any changes, and the use a blending mode ? I will have the white mask from RAW filter. wouldn't I ?
 

JGaulard

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Gottcha I think I understand this. Can I do the same thing by converting the background layer to a smart object, and then apply the RAW filter, close out of RAW before making any changes, and the use a blending mode ? I will have the white mask from RAW filter. wouldn't I ?
You could do this, but the blending mode wouldn't make any difference. Remember, the blending mode that's applied to the filter, only affects that filter effect. If you simply go through the motions of applying a filter, but don't have it change the appearance of the photo, the blending mode with have nothing to impact. I'm not sure if you've read this post yet. I pretty much explain the entire process in it. I hate to keep linking to these posts because you've been doing a lot of reading as it is, but if you're interested, give it a go.

 

Herb

Active member
You could do this, but the blending mode wouldn't make any difference. Remember, the blending mode that's applied to the filter, only affects that filter effect. If you simply go through the motions of applying a filter, but don't have it change the appearance of the photo, the blending mode with have nothing to impact. I'm not sure if you've read this post yet. I pretty much explain the entire process in it. I hate to keep linking to these posts because you've been doing a lot of reading as it is, but if you're interested, give it a go.

O.K. Jay,
I read the article on smart filters, and I have but one question ( at the moment ) to ask. It may seem very basic, but I am confused. In the case where you have a photo that you wish to use the blending mode, say multiply for example, and you do not want to edit in RAW, or make any other chamges, can you please tell me what steps you would employ.
I see, by just applyinmg a smart object to the photo, no filter is added. and when you add the multiply bend mode nothing happens. Obviously I am missing something.
 

JGaulard

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Hi Herb,

I think there may be some confusion way back at the beginning of blending modes as a concept. Blending modes are meant to blend multiple layers together. Or, layers and filters. There would be no effect if a blending mode was applied to an individual layer. That layer has nothing to blend with. Also, if you converted a layer to a Smart Object, but never applied any filter to it, again, there's nothing to blend.

A long time ago, I wrote two posts that I think will get you up to speed on this. Blending modes are a little confusing to start out with, but once you get the hang of them, they're pretty easy to understand.



Jay
 

Herb

Active member
Hi Herb,

I think there may be some confusion way back at the beginning of blending modes as a concept. Blending modes are meant to blend multiple layers together. Or, layers and filters. There would be no effect if a blending mode was applied to an individual layer. That layer has nothing to blend with. Also, if you converted a layer to a Smart Object, but never applied any filter to it, again, there's nothing to blend.

A long time ago, I wrote two posts that I think will get you up to speed on this. Blending modes are a little confusing to start out with, but once you get the hang of them, they're pretty easy to understand.



Jay
I understand pretety well what you said in your last post, about needing a filter for blending mode to work. what I am puzzled about is this. You start off with a background, apply the smart object with the idea of next, applying a blend mode. What I usually do after this, is copy the layer, command J, because as you said, obviously blend mode won't work without a filter. Doesn't this dublicate layer serve as a filter ? It seems from what you say, you have another way of obtaining the filter after you make the smart object. I'm going to re read your article again. Perhaos I am missing something. Hey ! I hope I'm not driving you nuts over this.
 

JGaulard

Member
Staff member
Pro Member
I understand pretety well what you said in your last post, about needing a filter for blending mode to work. what I am puzzled about is this. You start off with a background, apply the smart object with the idea of next, applying a blend mode. What I usually do after this, is copy the layer, command J, because as you said, obviously blend mode won't work without a filter. Doesn't this dublicate layer serve as a filter ? It seems from what you say, you have another way of obtaining the filter after you make the smart object. I'm going to re read your article again. Perhaos I am missing something. Hey ! I hope I'm not driving you nuts over this.
Hi Herb,

You're not driving me nuts at all. I just want to make sure you understand all this. I think I'm sort of confused with what you're asking. I'll try answering your questions one by one here:

Okay, you don't need a filter for a blending mode to work, in principle. You can blend a filter with a layer via a Smart Object. This is what I went over in one of those posts I linked to. The fact is, you need to be blending something into another layer, whether that be a filter or a layer itself. If you weren't blending something with another layer, there would be no blending, per se. If you applied a blend mode to a single layer in a Photoshop file, as you know, nothing would happen because there's no blend occurring.

Regarding the duplicate layer being the filter, yes, in theory, the duplicate layer could act as a filter in as far as an effect being produced. If you had two duplicate layers in your file and you applied a blend mode to the top one, you'd see an effect. The top one would become semi-transparent, based on which blend mode you chose and alter the appearance of the bottom layer.

Here's what you should do to get this concept down pay. Open a photo up in Photoshop. Then, create a new layer and fill in it in white. Make that white layer the bottom layer. You may need to unlock the background layer to move the white layer to the bottom. Then, click to select the top, original, image layer and then apply a blend mode to that layer. Go through the list to see what each blend mode does to that top layer. You should see the effects change. For instance, one blend mode will remove all whites from the top layer and another one will remove all blacks. If memory serves, those two modes are Multiply and Screen. I may have that backwards.

Smart Objects aren't mandatory when working with blending modes. They're only necessary when you'd like to apply a filter to a layer and then apply a blending mode to just that filter. A duplicate layer isn't a filter. It's an entirely new layer. Filters are like dust you blow on top of a layer. You'd be applying a blend mode to only the dust.

Here's another tip. Open an image in Photoshop and then convert that image layer to a Smart Object. Then, apply a filter, such as Artistic > Cutout, to it and then double-click the small Blend Mode icon to the right of the Smart Filter in the layers panel. Then, run through those blending modes to see their individual effects.

I think we're getting caught up on the Camera Raw as a Filter idea. All that is is another way to jump back and forth between Camera Raw and Photoshop. It's not really a filter. When the Camera Raw effects or modifications are wrapped inside a Smart Object, those effects can be construed as a filter.

I hope this helps. If it's getting confusing for you, I think it might be best to study up on each concept, such as what is a filter, what is a blend mode, what is a Smart Object and so forth. That might help a bit, but I'm always here to answer questions. Don't feel like you're driving me crazy or anything. You're definitely not.
 
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