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PS does not have many authoring tools (it is mostly an editor). This, however, is an exception. Using it visual noise can be generated from nothing. However, what it delivers is very basic and not much use to a digital painter. What PS needs is a decent noise function like the one that the compositing tool Nuke has. Filters may be used in isolation, but usually they are used as part of a workflow. For example, a Gaussian Blur might be used on a layer which is then set to Overlay blend mode, the result being used to pass a texture onto the layers below. Below is a simple texture made using a sequence of filter edits: :

  • The first image is a simple Noise / Noise. This, and the Clouds filter are useful for provide a semi-random 'key' onto which subsequent filters can do their thing.
  • The second filter is a Pixelate / Crystalize.
  • Then a simple Blur / Gaussian Blur.
  • Finally a Sketch / Bas Relief.

Filter workflow.png

The star field below was made using the following procedure:

  • First run a noise filter.
  • Then make a selection using the Magic Wand tool at a tolerance of 1, with anti Anti-alias turned off.
  • Make a new layer and fill the selection with white (set FG color to white then Option Delete).
  • Deselect and make a new layer filled with black.
  • Merge these two new layers.
  • You now have a star field.
  • Do this a few times and change the size of the result (Command T).
  • Arrange these star field layers above each other with the smallest ones at the bottom.
  • Set them to screen mode so that they are all visible in the composite view. Darken the smallest ones using Hue Saturation. This will create a sense of depth, with small, pale stars and bright big ones.

Variants of this I will leave up to you to discovered (e.g. using a home made twinkle brush to add some sparkle).

Filters noise 01.png