Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular graphics programs on the market, primarily because of the huge variety of tools and functions it offers the user. Adobe Photoshop has a number of approaches one can use to add graphics effects to an image.
Photoshop comes with a long list of built in filters. Just click on “Filter” in the menu and you will see various sets of filters, such as:
Artistic: Painting or drawing effects.
Blur: Custom blur effects
Noise: Dust and graininess to image.
In addition to the built-in filters that ship with Photoshop, there are a many companies that make filter plug-ins for Photoshop that you can easily add, such as Alien Skin’s Eyecandy product, that comes with filters that can create lightning, add flames, or add fur or hair. Freeware filter plug-ins available include Xero’s Filters, which have surprising effective filters like “Bad Dream.” It gives your image a softer, darker and more ominous look.
Another way to add graphics effects to your images is to use the image “Adjustments.” Just click on “Image” in the menu and then “Adjustments” and you will find several options for altering the appearance of your image. One you can choose is “Hue/Saturation.” This one will bring up a dialog box that lets you alter the color and brightness of your image. Another interesting option under “Adjustments” is “Variations.” When you click it, you get a dialog presenting a number of versions of your image, each with a different effect applied, such as “Sepia.”
If you are doing a lot of work with text or vector-like shapes, then you will want to look at the Blending Options, which you can access by clicking on the “FX” icon at the bottom of the “Layer” panel. In the menu pops-up, you can select from many types of effect,s such as “Bevel and Emboss,” “Drop Shadow” and “Outer Glow.” When you select on of these, a dialog box will open, giving you the option to adjust the settings for the particular effect you chose.
One more approach to adding effects involves using the layers. Assuming you have two layers in the document, you can select the top layer and then click on the “Blending Mode” located at the top of the “Layer” panel. You can change it from it from “Normal” to any of more than 20 other settings, such as “Overlay,” which has the effect of making the top layer seem transparent against the bottom.