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Stylize filters

    The Stylize filters produce a painted or impressionistic effect on a selection by displacing pixels and by finding and heightening contrast in an image. After using filters like Find Edges and Trace Contour that highlight edges, you can apply the Invert command to outline the edges of a color image with colored lines or to outline the edges of a grayscale image with white lines. (See Using the Invert command.)

    Diffuse (Photoshop)

    Shuffles pixels in a selection to make the selection look less focused according to the selected option: Normal moves pixels randomly, ignoring color values; Darken Only replaces light pixels with darker pixels; and Lighten Only replaces dark pixels with lighter pixels. Anisotropic shuffles pixels in the direction of the least change in color.

    Emboss (Photoshop)

    Makes a selection appear raised or stamped by converting its fill color to gray and tracing the edges with the original fill color. Options include an embossing angle (from -360° to lower (stamp) the surface, to +360° to raise the surface), height, and a percentage (1% to 500%) for the amount of color within the selection. To retain color and detail when embossing, use the Fade command after applying the Emboss filter.


    Gives a 3D texture to a selection or layer.

To use the Extrude filter:

  1. Choose Filter > Stylize > Extrude.
  2. Choose a 3D type:
    • Blocks creates objects with a square front face and four side faces. To fill the front face of each block with the average color of the block, select Solid Front Faces. To fill the front face with the image, deselect Solid Front Faces.
    • Pyramids creates objects with four triangular sides that meet at a point.
  3. Enter a value in the Size text box to determine the length of any side of the object's base, from 2 to 255 pixels.
  4. Enter a value in the Depth text box to indicate how far the tallest object appears to protrude from the screen, from 0 to 255.
  5. Choose a depth option:
    • Random to give each block or pyramid an arbitrary depth.
    • Level-based to make each object's depth correspond to its brightness--bright protrudes more than dark.
  6. Select Mask Incomplete Blocks to hide any object extending beyond the selection.
  7. Find Edges (Photoshop)

    Identifies the areas of the image with significant transitions and emphasizes the edges. Like the Trace Counter filter, Find Edges outlines the edges of an image with dark lines against a white background and is useful for creating a border around an image.

    Glowing Edges

    Identifies the edges of color and adds a neon-like glow to them.


    Blends a negative and a positive image--similar to exposing a photographic print briefly to light during development.


    Breaks up an image into a series of tiles, off-setting the selection from its original position. You can choose one of the following to fill the area between the tiles: the background color, the foreground color, a reverse version of the image, or an unaltered version of the image, which puts the tiled version on top of the original and reveals part of the original image underneath the tiled edges.

    Trace Contour (Photoshop)

    Finds the transitions of major brightness areas and thinly outlines them for each color channel for an effect similar to the lines in a contour map.

To use the Trace Contour filter:

  1. Choose Filter > Stylize > Trace Contour.
  2. Choose an Edge option to outline areas in the selection: Lower outlines where the color values of pixels fall below the specified level, and Upper outlines where the color values fall above.
  3. Enter a threshold (Level) for evaluating color values (tonal level), from 0 to 255. Experiment to see what values bring out the best detail in the image.
  4. Use the Info palette in Grayscale mode to identify a color value that you want traced. Then enter the value in the Level text box. (See Using the Info palette (Photoshop).)


    Creates tiny horizontal lines in the image to simulate a wind effect. Methods include Wind; Blast, for a more dramatic wind effect; and Stagger, which offsets the wind lines in the image.