Useful Digital Skills for Artists

Imaging Skills

Print& Scan

Web Skills

Cynthia Beth Rubin

Using Filters Creatively in Photoshop

Filters in Photoshop should be used with care. They can be used to enhance image quality, but some lend themselves to gimmicky effects.

1. These are found in the FILTER menu.


Go to Select All, then to Edit in the Menu, then down to TRANSFORM

2. Gaussian Blur and Reduce Noise.

  • Gaussian Blur brings up a dialog box; use this for more control, and begin with low numbers
  • There is no need to use Blur or Blur More.
  • Images taken from video, including Digital Cameras, may require "De-Interlacing" under Video
  • Using these filters in combination with Levels or Curves can produce cleaner images, especially if the size of the image has been changed (interpolated up or down)



original image


3. Unsharpen Mask.

  • Unsharpen Mask brings up a dialog box; use this for more control.
  • There is no need to use Sharpen or Sharpen More.
  • Use these filters in combination with SATURATION (under Hue, Saturation) to produce clearer images


  • Under FILE, go Down to SAVE.
  • Get in the Habit of SAVING as you go along

4. Try Filters that Simplify (such as Cutout under Artistic)

Caution: Filters can produce trite results quickly - use them wisely!

Examples of Artistic Filters



artistic filter

6. Use the "Texturizer" with your own textures.

  • The Texturizer Filter (Under Texture) puts the texture of one image onto any other image in a repeating pattern.
    • This is very boring with the canned textures.
    • This can be exciting with your own textures.
  • Resize the source image so that it fits under the destination image, or make it a small repeating texture, by following the instructions here.
  • Desaturate the source Image (under IMAGE, go to ADJUST, then Desaturate). This will give you a grayed image.
  • Adjust the contrast of the grayed image using Levels, Curves, or Brightness-Contrast. (Under Image, Adjust)

    SAVE the Gray Texture with a New Name.


7. To Create a Repeating Pattern or Texture

Follow instructions here