Digital Textile Design – Tutorial 1 – Using Filters in Photoshop

Hi everyone, I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump recently, but have been throwing myself into books. This caused me to pick up an old book that I had from university, called ‘Digital Textile Design’ by Melanie Bowles and Ceri Isaac.


I’ve decided to see if I can work through it, which in turn, I’m hoping will inspire me to do the same with the other creative books I have.

The first tutorial is ‘Using Filters in Photoshop’. I’ve decided to use roses that I have photographed for this task, just as the example shows, and so that I can easily compare my work to the work in the book.

First thing I did was open 5 different photographs of roses that I have taken, then I created a new page in Photoshop to create a collage. I selected the size as A3 (as we were always taught to use that size at university) and rotated it to landscape. I then cut out roses from the 5 separate photographs using the lasso tool and then selecting ‘cut’ from the edit menu and pasted them individually on my A3 page, resizing and adjusting as required.

My finished collage:

Rose collage

The first filter we are asked to look at is the ‘Cut Out‘ filter. You can adjust the settings on the filters by using the sliding scales to see which you feel work better for your image. For the Cut Out filter, I used:

Number of levels – 7
Edge simplicity – 4
Edge fidelity – 3

Cut out filter

The next filter we are asked to look at is the ‘Coloured Pencil‘ filter.

The settings I used for this were:

Pencil width – 3
Stroke pressure – 11
Paper brightness – 44

Coloured pencil

The third filter we look at is the ‘Soft‘ (on my version of Photoshop its called ‘Smart Blur’) filter, allowing you to soften the edges of your collage. This didn’t make a huge difference to my image, so I had to crank the slider right up to see any effect really, however slight it is…

The settings I used for this were:

Radius – 88.8
Threshold – 100.0
Quality – High
Mode – Normal


The fourth filter we look at is the ‘Vintage‘ filter. We do this by adding a grain texture. Again, I struggled to make much difference, so had to increase the intensity and contrast quite high.

The settings I used for this were:

Intensity – 100
Contrast – 77
Grain type – Regular


The fifth filter is ‘Pop Art‘, which we create by using the ‘Colour halftone’ filter found in Pixelate filters. Unfortunately we don’t get a preview of what it will look like, there isn’t a slider to adjust for this filter, so I just randomly typed in the numbers below.

The settings I used for this are:

Max Radius – 6 (Pixels)
Screen angles (degrees)
Channel 1 – 111
Channel 2 – 140
Channel 3 – 99
Channel 4 – 333

pop art

The sixth filter is ‘Pixelate‘. I quite like this effect. I’ll probably play about with this filter and other designs in the future.

The settings I used for this are:

Cell size – 44


The seventh filter is ‘Embroidered Effects‘. This is created by using the ‘Stained Glass’ filter in ‘Textures’.

The settings I used are:

Cell size – 36
Border thickness – 6
Light intensity – 2

Stained glass

The eighth filter is ‘Abstract Distortion‘. Which can be created by using the ‘Wave’ filter in the distort section.

The settings I used for this are:

Number of generators – 11
Wave length
Min – 120 Max – 279
Min – 1 Max – 160
Horizontal – 21% Vertical – 76%

Abstract distortion

The ninth and final filter is ‘Silk-Screen Effect’. Which you create by using ‘Posterize’.

The settings I used are:

Levels – 3

Silk-screen effect

What did I think? I particularly like the ‘Pixelate’ filter, and the ‘Cut Out’ filter. I was disappointed with the results of a few of the filters that didn’t show much difference, but I believe that was probably because of the colours of the roses that I chose were quite similar. I imagine a vast array of colours will produce a more dramatic effect.