A Filters Tour
With so many filters to choose from, it can be tough to get a handle on what they all do. That’s why several filters—those in the Artistic, Brush Strokes, Distort, Sketch, Stylize, and Texture categories—summon a large window called the Filter Gallery (Figure 16-2) when you choose ’em from the Filter menu (if you don’t see some of these categories in the Filter menu, the box on Repopulating the Filter Menu explains how to display them). It has a nice big preview of your image on the left (you can zoom in or out by clicking the + and – buttons below it), a list of all the filters in these categories in the middle (with cute little preview thumbnails), and the specific settings associated with each filter on the right. Sweet!
Several filters automatically open the Filter Gallery, and while you can open it manually by choosing Filter→Filter Gallery, don’t. If you do, any filter you run gets the generic name of Filter Gallery in the Layers panel. To make Photoshop name the filter properly, choose its name from the Filter menu and let it open the Filter Gallery instead. For more on this filter-naming conundrum, see the box on Repopulating the Filter Menu.
Once the Filter Gallery opens, you can test drive a filter by clicking its name and then tweaking its settings; Photoshop updates your image preview accordingly. You can even run additional filters while you’re in the Filter Gallery by clicking the “New effect layer” button at the window’s bottom right (Photoshop includes ...