Create a ghostly television distortion from any photo. In this Photoshop tutorial, you’ll learn how to use the Grain and Shear filter to create this ghostly effect. This tutorial uses the Smart Filter feature from Photoshop CS3 but it can be done with older versions of Photoshop as well (by not using Smart Filters).

Preview of Final Results

White Noise Photoshop Tutorial


White Noise Photoshop Tutorial


Step 1: Open a photo into Photoshop

Load a picture into Photoshop. This can be done by accessing the File menu and selecting Open.


Step 2: Convert to Smart Object

First, we’re going to convert the layer to a smart object. By converting the layer to a smart object, the filters that we’ll apply later will become smart filters; always editable like layer styles. If you’re not using Photoshop CS3, you can skip this step. You may want to duplicate the layer by pressing Ctrl+J to keep a backup of the original image as a layer.


Step 3: Use the Grain filter

To create the stippled pattern of the photo, we’ll use the Grain filter. Open the Filter> Texture menu and select Grain. In the Grain filter settings, set the intensity and contrast to 50. Then, set the grain type to stippled. If you’ve never used the Grain filter before, scroll through the list of grain type to see what this filter can do. You can get a good variety of different grains for your photo.


Step 4: Add a distortion

To create the television distortion, we’ll use the Shear filter. Open the filter> Distort menu and select Shear. The Shear filter lets you distort the image along a curve. In the Shear filter settings, add several points to the line by clicking on the line where you would like the dot. Then, drag the points towards the left or right to distort the image. There is a thumbnail-size live preview below that you can look at while you make the adjustments.

Step 5: Add a blur

If you look closely at 100%, you can see that the grain is very sharp and unrealistic. Fixing this is simple; just add a little blur with the Gaussian Blur filter. Open the Filter> Blur menu and select Gaussian Blur. Set the radius setting to 3 and click OK.


Final Results

Original Photo

White Noise Photoshop Tutorial

White Noise Photoshop Tutorial

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