Photoshop CS4 Filters: How to Use the Filter Gallery

With its new improvements and features, the Filter Gallery in Photoshop CS4 can add many effects to your project. Here is how to use this tool to enhance your images.

To begin, click Filter, and then Filter Gallery. The Filter Gallery dialog box will open, and there will be three panes:

Left Pane

In this section will be your image. When right-clicking on the image you can choose your viewing options such as zoom and full screen. These options are also available at the bottom of the pane.

Also notice: Located on the right of the middle pane are two upward pointing arrows. Clicking these arrows will remove the middle pane, giving you a closer look at your image.

Middle Pane

  • Artistic. The majority of your options here will be similar to the effects of paint mediums. Examples of the filters are Colored Pencils, Pastels, Watercolors, and Sponge.
  • Brush Strokes. Similar to its name, these filters resemble painting and shading techniques. The more well-known filters include Crosshatching, Strokes, and Outlines.
  • Distort. This filter alters your image without changing any drawing properties, but instead changes the shape properties. Your options here are Glass, Ocean Ripple, and Diffuse Glow.
  • Sketch. These filters offer effects similar to the basic drawing utensils such as Chalk, Charcoal, and Crayon.
  • Stylize. There is only one choice here, Glowing Edges. This filter does precisely what it says, add a glow to you edges. No worries, you can alter the brightness and other characteristics of the glow in the right pane. I am sure
  • Texture. This section displays a variety of different filters to help your image appear more real and life-like. Some of your options are Stained Glass, Mosaic, and Patchwork.

Right Pane

Although the design of the filters themselves are pretty much set in stone, this pane allows you to change different aspects of the filter to ensure your image is just the way you want it. Depending on the chosen filter, you can alter values and properties such as smoothness, width, spacing, scaling, intensity, and the list continues. After you have made all changes necessary, click OK and you will be taken back to the main screen and your changes will be saved.

Taking advantage of Photoshop’s Filter Gallery not only guarantees a project that you can be proud of, it also helps you to become more familiar with Photoshop and its many capabilities.