Filter Forge and Glamour Retouching

Mark S. Johnson has been one of my Photoshop gurus for quite some time. If you are not a subscriber to his Photoshop Workbench series on YouTube, you should be! In episode 280, Mark introduces Filter Forge, an application that offers hundreds of free filters crafted by artists from around the world.

For fun, let's apply Mark's three favorite filters to an image of Andrelica, so that the possibilities can be visualized. Lets us start, as we always do, with the beginning image:

The base image.

The base image.

The first filter we shall explore is Crayon Master v2, in Normal layer blending mode plus three other layer blending modes. All are at 100% layer opacity:

Crayon Master v2 - Normal.

Crayon Master v2 - Normal.

Crayon Master v2 - Multiply.

Crayon Master v2 - Multiply.

Crayon Master v2 - Pin Light.

Crayon Master v2 - Pin Light.

Crayon Master v2 - Soft Light.

Crayon Master v2 - Soft Light.

The next of Mark's favorite filters is Old Drawing .03. This is a strong filter, so the layer opacity has been reduced to 30% in each example: 

Old Drawing .03 - Normal.

Old Drawing .03 - Normal.

Old Drawing .03 - Divide.

Old Drawing .03 - Divide.

Old Drawing .03 - Linear Burn.

Old Drawing .03 - Linear Burn.

Old Drawing .03 - Luminosity.

Old Drawing .03 - Luminosity.

Old Drawing .03 - Vivid Light.

Old Drawing .03 - Vivid Light.

Finally, Mark likes the Watercolor Painting filter. Both examples are at 100% layer opacity:

Watercolor Painting - Normal.

Watercolor Painting - Normal.

Watercolor Painting - Soft Light.

Watercolor Painting - Soft Light.

As you can see, there are many very artistic looks possible using only the layer blending modes and layer opacities. When you consider the use of the hundreds of other filters available, as well as the use of layer masks to apply the filter to only certain parts of the image, the possibilities become endless.