You can use filters to clean up or retouch your photos, apply special art effects that give your image the appearance of a sketch or impressionistic painting, or create unique transformations using distortions and lighting effects. The filters provided by Adobe appear in the Filter menu. Some filters provided by third-party developers are available as plug-ins. Once installed, these plug-in filters appear at the bottom of the Filter menu.
Smart Filters, applied to Smart Objects, let you use filters non-destructively. Smart Filters are stored as layer effects in the Layers panel and can be readjusted at any time, working from the original image data contained in the Smart Object. For more information on Smart Filter Effects and nondestructive editing, see Nondestructive editing.
To use a filter, choose the appropriate submenu command from the Filter menu. These guidelines can help you in choosing filters:
Filters are applied to the active, visible layer or a selection.
For 8‑bits-per-channel images, most filters can be applied cumulatively through the Filter Gallery. All filters can be applied individually.
Filters cannot be applied to Bitmap-mode or indexed-color images.
Some filters work only on RGB images.
All filters can be applied to 8‑bit images.
The following filters can be applied to 16‑bit images: Liquify, Vanishing Point, Average Blur, Blur, Blur More, Box Blur, Gaussian Blur, Lens Blur, Motion Blur, Radial Blur, Surface Blur, Shape Blur, Lens Correction, Add Noise, Despeckle, Dust & Scratches, Median, Reduce Noise, Fibers, Clouds, Difference Clouds, Lens Flare, Sharpen, Sharpen Edges, Sharpen More, Smart Sharpen, Unsharp Mask, Emboss, Find Edges, Solarize, De-Interlace, NTSC Colors, Custom, High Pass, Maximum, Minimum, and Offset.
The following filters can be applied to 32‑bit images: Average Blur, Box Blur, Gaussian Blur, Motion Blur, Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Surface Blur, Add Noise, Clouds, Lens Flare, Smart Sharpen, Unsharp Mask, De-Interlace, NTSC Colors, Emboss, High Pass, Maximum, Minimum, and Offset.
Some filters are processed entirely in RAM. If you don’t have enough available RAM to process a filter effect, you may get an error message.