Skip to main content

Neural Filter Tips & Tricks

Lesson 7 from: Photoshop AI: Getting Started with Neural Filters

Ben Willmore

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

7. Neural Filter Tips & Tricks

Learn to get the most out of these unique filters with these powerful tips & tricks.

Lesson Info

Neural Filter Tips & Tricks

(upbeat music) Let's finish up our exploration of neural filters by exploring some tips and tricks to make sure you can get the most out of these special filters. Here I am in the skin smoothing neural filter, and Adobe's been implementing a feature that has been in Adobe Camera and Lightroom for a while, and that is with sliders that you can adjust if you've already moved the slider, that you can double click on a slider to reset it to default settings. Well, they've implemented that here in neural filters, but there are some bugs in there that are really weird. For instance, here I've reduced the smoothness. The smoothness setting would usually be right in the middle, but if I double click on the smoothness slider, instead of resetting it right to the middle and showing me what it would look like at that setting, when I double click it maxes it out at plus 50. And not only that, that's not what plus 50 would look like. If I manually adjust it and bring it to 50, you can see it's ge...

nerally impossible to get that feeling without double clicking on the slider to tell it to reset. Well, to reset it should have brought this down to zero, but it doesn't. The other thing is with blur, if I double click, it should reset it right to the middle, which is the default settings. I double click, it does pull it to the middle, but look at how blurry my face looks. I can't even get it to look that blurry if I max out the blurriness slider as high as it goes. If I were to actually bring it to the middle where it started out, this is what it would look like. It's double clicking on the slider. That suddenly gives you an odd look. So be careful of double clicking on any of the sliders that are found in any of the smart filters. It's not just these two. There are other sliders where double clicking to reset their settings is gonna give you weird looking results. So in general, I'd try to avoid that. Then let's turn that off and head down to smart portrait. And in there I have a setting pre dialed in. I remember when I described this particular filter, I think I had it where it distorted my eyes in weird ways, and I just did not like it. In this case, I've increased the anger setting to plus 42, and let's say I like what it did to my mouth, but I hate what it's doing to my eyes. Well, usually you'd have to click okay and work with layer mass and things to fix that. Well, there is something built in here to the filter itself, and that is on the left side of your screen there is a minus and a plus choice. I'm gonna choose the minus, and then I can move my mouse on top of my image, and I have a brush. I can control the size of the brush right here, and the opacity as well. And as long as I chose the minus choice, then when I paint over my image, I will remove the effect of this neural filter, and it is the same thing as me painting on the mask that I might add after I click okay. Now, there is one requirement to get this to work, and that is you must be working on a duplicate of the original image in your layers panel. So you have the original image on a layer underneath. If you don't, then instead what you'll see is the same as me choosing this where I only see the contents of a single layer, and what you'll be doing is adding to a layer mask and just hiding the layer you're currently working on, and there simply will be nothing underneath to fill in this emptiness. So before applying the neural filter, you need to duplicate the original image layer first. Then you can use this tool with a minus sign on it when you're applying a neural filter because there'll be something underneath that can fill in this empty area. And you just need to double check that this is set to its default setting of show all layers. Therefore, it's showing the layer that's underneath filling in that empty part that you were applying. Now there are other choices in here. I can hit the plus sign, and that's gonna allow me to paint this back in to say, no, do apply this area. I'll type command + Z to undo that, or I can hit the invert button up here at the top of my screen, and that's gonna reverse which area it's applying to. So now I'm only gonna get my eyes with the effect. I'll invert that once again, and you have choices up here for select subject and select sky, but I find at least the one called select subject does not work at all, and it would work if you didn't have a filter applied, but then it doesn't let you apply the filter after. So it's, I find that to be useless. I've had select sky work on occasion, and so we can choose this, but in general, most of the time I just hit the minus sign that's here. I paint where I wanna remove the filter from the image. If I paint a little too far, I hit the plus sign, and I paint it back in, and then I can fine tune that. Now when I'm done, I'm going to just click okay here. And what I'm gonna end up with is it had the choice of new layer mask. I could have just chose the choice of current layer with mask because we already had a duplicate image underneath. So this middle layer I don't need. But anyway, this is in general what you get where if you hide the bottom layer, you'd have this, and you turn it back on and it fills it in. Now when you're in the neural filter, if you forget to apply this as a smart object, a lot of people like that where you convert a layer into a smart object first, then you apply the filter and therefore it's applied as a smart filter where you can change the settings later. I didn't do that. So if you look here in my layers panel, there's no way for me to to get back to those settings and just modify 'em a little bit. Well, as long as the last thing you did when it comes to filters was apply that particular neural filter, you can still do it just fine. I'm gonna go here to my original version of my image and I'm simply gonna duplicate the layer. Then I'll take that layer and convert it for smart filters. That turns it into a smart object. So you'll find this little icon on top of it, which indicates it's a smart object. Then with that layer active, I'm gonna go to the filter menu and I'm gonna choose the top most choice that's called neural filters. Not this one. That's the one that would make you start from scratch and choose the filters you want. This, the top most choice in the filter menu, always means the last filter you applied with the exact same settings, just do it again. So I'll choose that. Because it's on a smart object now, it's gonna pop open the neural filter dialogue, but it's going to choose the filter that I'd applied, and if I look over here, it's going to remember the setting. So all I need to do then is right down here, make sure this is set to apply as a smart filter and click okay. Now what I have is the same end result right here on a smart object, and it's applied as a smart filter. And if I happen to use the masking features, all I need to do is grab that mask, drag it down to this layer to move it there, and then you can throw away the layer that you originally applied things to because you've replaced it with a smarter way of working. It's a smart object, and that neural filter is applied as a smart filter where I can double click on its name, and it'll bring me right back in. And if I were to look at the settings, I can fine tune 'em now. So maybe I wanted to go a little higher or go the opposite direction. Then if I were to go in here and use the neural filter that is called color transfer, this one or any other one where you can feed it another picture by choosing custom and hitting this little folder icon to choose a file on your hard drive, know that there is one file format that is commonly used on the internet that it will not be able to accept, and that is one that ends with the letters webp, W-E-B-P. That file extension, this does not understand, but if the same neural filter also has a little popup menu where it allows you to choose from any open document, then just click cancel here, and if you have one of those webp images, open it in Photoshop. Photoshop does understand that file format, and then if you return to the filter instead of using the folder icon, just choose it from the popup menu, and it'll work just fine. When using the photo restoration neural filter or the colorized one, you might wanna scan your family photos. And when you scan them, if you have a flatbed scanner, it would be usual to gang up more than one image to be scanned at once. Then you need to separate these into individual files. Well, you can do that quickly if you go to the file menu, and there's a choice there called automate, and that's where you're gonna find the choice called crop and straighten photos. That's gonna attempt to crop each of these individual photos. It's gonna also attempt to rotate them so they're nice and straight, and most of the time it does a pretty good job. If you look here, it did cut an image in half, but if I go to this one, it did it just fine. So if it ever messes up like this on an image, usually it'll just be kind of like one image out of a grouping that it messes up on. All you gotta do is choose undo, and the only thing you'll be undoing is cropping. You'll be back to the full image, and you can just grab the crop tool and click and drag manually to crop the one image that it messed up on. But the rest of 'em, it'll probably have done fine. The only thing that is, that when you're scanning, be sure to not allow photos to overlap. Here if they overlap, it will not be able to tell that they're separate, and it would've cropped these into a single end result. Also, don't let the images hit the edge of the scanner here. If you can't see the edge of the photograph on all four sides, it most likely will not be able to straighten the photos, so just stay away from the edges and make sure they don't overlap. Then when I apply the colorized filter, I feel the end results almost always look like you colorized a picture. There's not a sense of realism, and the main reason for that is that it puts way too much color in the dark portion of the image. Whereas in a normal color photograph, as you get into the darker and darker areas of the picture, less and less color shows up. So if when you apply the colorized filter, you had it apply onto its own layer, then here's all you need to do to lessen the amount it applies to the dark portion of the image, which will usually make your end results look more realistic. So in my Layers panel, I have two layers: the original layer underneath and the result of using the colorized filter. I'm gonna take this topmost layer, go down to the letters FX, and there's a choice in there called blending options. And with blending options, this is what we need to play with. We need to take the current layer and make the dark portions of it blend in to the black and white version that's underneath, so less of the color applies. The way you do that is you take this slider, and you grab just the right half of it. You hold down the option key, alt in windows, and you pull it over. You have to hold option down because you want the slider to split into two parts. Then bring this over more towards the middle, and as you do, you'll find less and less color is applying to the dark portion of the image. You could even grab the left side and pull it over a little bit if the image is quite faded, because if it has nothing near black, you might need to move that as well. But once I get into about this range, I'm gonna start to reduce the amount that's happening in the shadows. Then I'll click okay, and now if I choose undo before the color just felt artificial. After though, it feels a little more subtle and nuanced. It looks more like how color is rendered in a real color photograph when it comes to how it affects the dark areas. Again, that was to go down here to the letters FX, choose blending options, and move these sliders here. In order to separate them into two parts, you need to hold down the option key, alt in windows, when you drag either half. Finally, we ended up creating some more complex end results once we were done applying a neural filter by duplicating the original image, sometimes putting it on top and using a blending mode. In this case, the mode called color, and other times just painting on a mask to limit where something happened. Well, on occasion, you're gonna want to apply one neural filter on top of the result of another, and you may have created something complex like these. If that's the case, just select all the layers that are there by clicking on the topmost layer holding shift and clicking on the bottom layer. Then go to the layer menu, and there's a choice called smart objects and convert that into a smart object. What that's going to do is encase those three layers that you see on our layers panel into a special little protective bubble known as a smart object. It will make it look as if it's been merged into one piece, but now you're able to come up here to the filter menu and apply another filter. It doesn't have to be a neural filter, but it can be. Maybe I just apply another style transfer to this image. I bring down the style opacity to let some of the original show through, and that's what I was looking to accomplish. I just tell it I wanna output it as a smart filter. Click okay. So now I have one effect applied on top of the others. If I turn off the eyeball for the smart filter, there's the first effect. Here's the second effect added on top of it. I can still access everything that was done to create the first effect. The only thing is it is inside this layer that's a smart object, and in order to access it, I need to double click on this thumbnail, and when I do, it will appear as a separate document. But when that separate document appears, you'll see the original layers it was created from, and I could turn off layers if I wanted to. I could modify them. I could even double click down here on the name of this neural filter and modify the settings. When you're done modifying what's there, just close that and choose save. It won't save it onto your hard drive. It will save it back to where it came from, and where it came from was in that other document, which I'll get to in a second once this is done saving. And now here we are in the document that I was on earlier, and it's updated its appearance. I can just type command + Z to show you what it looked like previously, and then I'll choose reapply, which is shift + command + Z to show you the change after updating. So now you can see it's been changed. So we've looked at every neural filter that is in Photoshop at the time of this recording. Now these neural filters, you'll notice many of them have the word beta next to their names, and that's because Adobe considers those to be a work in progress. So don't expect the results we're getting today to be the same as we might get a year from now. So the next time you explore these, you might start noticing them improving. Also, there will be more neural filters added over time. The main thing is a neural filter is a filter that uses artificial intelligence to do more than the normal filters are capable of. And I hope in this session that you ended up learning a lot more about how to use them. My name is Ben Wilmore, and I hope to see you again in another class.

Class Materials


Photoshop AI Neural Filters Practice Images

Ratings and Reviews

Chris Evans

Introducing the brand new Neural Filters and the how to get the best out of them. Ben does this with his usual ease. The examples he uses are clear and precise and the extra tips he throws in are worth the price of admission alone! Brilliant class!!!

Audrey Agin

Oh Ben you are wonderful. I will have to watch this again. Parts are Medium to Advanced and that is what I am needing. These lessons showed so many different situations that a person may come across in their photography or restoring old photos. You also showed some work arounds! Most other teachers may mention something that the topic can also be applied to, but do not show how to do it. That is so frustrating! They stop short of giving a full lesson. You go deep into your lessons, I can always find info to help me out! Thank you!

Aston Moss

Great step by step instruction with some excellent ideas as to how to enhance and completely create images.

Student Work