In This Chapter
Understanding how filters work
Applying filters repeatedly or selectively
Fading a filter's effects
Working in the Filter Gallery
Having fun with filters
Filters have a long and glorious history, ranging from performing essential tasks (such as removing abrasive particles from the oil in your car's engine) to even more important tasks involving the pixels in your images in Elements. In both cases, filters (also called plug-ins because they can be installed and removed independently) take your pixels and manipulate them in both useful and just frivolous and fun ways. They can correct less-than-perfect images by making them appear sharper or by covering up flaws. Or, they can enhance your images by making them appear as though they're painted, tiled, photocopied, or lit by spotlights. The results are something to be admired.
This chapter introduces you to the basics of Photoshop's filter facilities and starts you on the road to filter proficiency.
All filters do a simple thing in a seemingly complicated way. Deep within a filter's innards is a set of instructions that tells Elements what to do with a particular pixel in an image or selection. Elements applies these instructions to every pixel in the relevant area by using a process that the pixelheads call convolution (creating a form or shape ...