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Noise Effect
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Noise Effect
Created by:the Prof

Tonight we are going to explore Noise and some options in the menu Colors.

First we are going to create 5 images, then duplicate them and then manipulate them with the effects.

The objective tonight is to show how both Noise and some Colors features create simple but effective background tiles that are textured. This technique will be used in later lessons when we explore other effects.

Standard Toolbar - New (image) button

Basic Set Up


New images: 100 x 100, 16 M colors, all solid color backgrounds:

  1. Make one a white background,
  2. one a black background,
  3. one a red background,
  4. one a green background,
  5. and one a blue background.

Next, once you have your five images, one at a time, duplicate them with Shift+D doing this twice so you have three of each color.

Arrange them so the colors are horizontal making a three by 5 image set up. We do this so we can compare images when we do the illustrations.

(You might use Window || Tile Horizontally so your rows and columns line up. Also, just can use flood-fill to fix the colors in each row.)


First, a very brief discussion of Noise. You might want to click on Effects || Noise to see the Noise Menu for now.

There are two basic functions of Noise: Add which adds speckles to a tile. Uniform or Random which determine the way the speckles are added to the image.

One is able to use Noise on any image or picture to give it some texture. Noise is also used to create a simple textured tile.

(The other features of Noise are Despeckle, Smoothing and Filters. These features are very useful and you want to try them on images to see how they will enhance or clarify images at times.)

Images with Noise

Let's explore now. First, on each image, add Noise with these settings:
Noise = 100%
Uniform = checked

  1. Noise is multi-colored specs.
  2. On all images other than white the specs look grey but they are in fact multi-colored.

Also, just notice that the images have different appearing textures as a result of the background color. Another thing about Noise is if you lower the percentage you can get softer looking textures; but do that later to just explore this approach.


Exploring the Colors Menu

Click on the Colors menu. There are a number of very useful features:

  1. Adjusting Brightness/Contrast will brighten or darken images or layers.
  2. We can also change images by using:
    Grey Scale
  3. We can split images into color channels and work on separate channels to alter the outcome.
    (When you split channels, you have a red, green and blue channel. You can work on each channel [image], alter it and then combine them back to an single image.)
  4. We can change Palettes (colors) and alter image transparency.
  5. We can change the depth (number of colors) in an image.

We are only going to work with changing image colors and image depth. I will leave the other features for you to explore on your own at this time.

Negative and Grey Scale

Use of Colors || Negative Image and Colors || Grey Scale

You have three columns of 5 images:

  • Column one is the original set.
  • Column two is the one we will now play with in all five images:
    Use: Colors || Negative Image
  • Column three remains as is for now.

The white background becomes black.
The black background becomes white.
The red becomes cyan.
The green becomes magenta.
And, the blue becomes yellow.

What is interesting about the negative image is that you can create some very neat looking images with this feature.

Next, in column three and on all five images use: Colors || Grey Scale.

  • First, notice that Grey Scale has reduced the depth to 256 colors.
  • Second, notice that each of the colored backgrounds are a different grey from light to dark.
  • Third, when an image is 256 colors, many PSP effects will not work on it so on all those images use: Colors || Increase Color Depth to 16 M colors.

This action does not change the drabness of the image but it does change the color depth.

Col 1: Hue = 224 and Saturation = 255
Col 2: Hue = 128 and Saturation = 128
Col 3: Hue = 14 and Saturation = 128

Use of Colors || Colorize

A very neat feature of the Colors menu is Colorize. Using this feature one is able to change the colors of images. So, on all five images in the third column, try the same values I give you now. Later, you can try other values.

Use Colors || Colorize:
Hue = 16
Saturation = 128

This creates a brown-speckled image with varying darkness of background.

Try Colors || Colorize and change the Hue by 16:
In other words, let Hue = 32, 48, 60, etc. You will run through the whole color spectrum.

Also, change Saturation. The higher value (255) will give you brilliant colors and the lower will give you softer back to grey colors.

Also note that the image coloring is shades of brown and the specs are no longer multi-colored.

This technique of using Noise, then Colorize after doing a grey scale and increasing back to 16 M colors is a quick and easy way to create different types of background tiles. Also using less noise (less than 100%) creates a softer texture effect.

Original Despeckle
Original Despeckle
Edge Preserving Median Filter
Edge Preserve Median Filter
Salt and Pepper Texture Preserving
Salt & Pepper Texture Preserve

Some Other Noise Effects

Start with the middle tile in the third column which is a rich brown color. Duplicate it 5 times with Shift+D.

Then, use Noise again on each image. However, explore a different feature for each one:

Edge Preserving Smooth, amount = 2 (default)
Median Filter, amount = 3 (default)
Salt and Pepper, speck size = 3 and Sensitivity = 4 (default)
Texture Preserving Smooth, amount = 50 (default)

What you will notice is that the speckling on the image is softened in different ways.

Standard Toolbar - New (image) button

Starry Night

A Starry Night Image

In this last illustration we will create a starry night effect with Noise.

  1. New image, 200 x 200, black background, 16 M colors
  2. Fill with noise at 100% and Uniform
  3. Grey Scale it: Colors || Grey Scale
  4. Increase color depth back to 16 M colors
  5. Use Colors || Adjust || Brightness/Contrast:
    Brightness = 20
    Contrast = 90

What you have created is a starry night image. If you vary the brightness and contrast values, you can vary the number and brightness of the white specks.

Next week, we will start to explore the 3D effects and begin with the Buttonize Effect.

- Enjoy -