Graduated filters are a good way to make your photograph that little bit more interesting, especially when applied to landscape shots such as this picture of cows in their field.
By adding a graduated filter later on, using Paint Shop Pro rather than when the picture was taken, we can not only keep the original photograph as it was before the filter was applied but also try using different colours and opacities as we like, creating a wide range of effects and uses for this method.
Step 1 Create a new layer by selecting Layers>New Raster layer, then rename it to ‘Filter’. This is going to be where we place our gradient of colour to alter the image, so to do this we want to fill the area with a gradient.
Step 2 Now we need to change our fill mode from a solid colour to a gradient.
To do this click the solid black circle underneath the foreground colour in your pallet; this will open up a small drop-down menu. Select ‘Gradient’ and you should see your foreground colour change accordingly.
Step 3 Now we need to create the gradient that we want. To start customising your gradient double click on the foreground swatch of the Materials pane and a new window will open up.
In this window press the ‘Edit’ button underneath the currently selected gradient and a window where you can edit existing gradients as well as create new ones will open.
Step 4 Select ‘New’ on the window that just opened to start creating your own gradient. Name it graduated filter or something so that you can easily find it if you need to. The top bar controls the colour of your gradient; you select one of the tags along here and then either select to use the ‘Back’ colour from your pallet or choose a ‘Custom’ colour by left clicking on the swatch next to this option. The colour you assign to the arrow on the right will be at the top of your gradient, so keep this in mind.
If you are creating a two-tone gradient you can reposition the sliders to change the amount of gradient dedicated to each colour, and the diamond above the bar can be moved to change the mid-point where the colours merge.
The screenshot shows how you can change the gradient using these sliders; by bringing the pink slider across the gradient will have a larger pink section that comes down to below the half-way point from the top.
Step 5 For this particular project the following step is very important and where a lot of the diversity and customisability of this particular method comes in. The Opacity setting can be moved just as you would normally for any other tool, but in this case it controls how each end of your gradient is; you can select which end by clicking their respective tags on the line again.
Then you can adjust the sliders so that your colour fades in or out as you like; keep an eye on the preview bar at the bottom of the window and play around to see what you like. For this project it is best to have one end completely transparent and then play around with this setting depending on where you want your transition to occur. When you are done save select ‘Close’ and allow Corel to save your changes.
Step 6 Once you are back in the original Gradient window you can perform some more customisation. You can grab the arrow in the preview window to manually rotate the gradient (or use the Angle slider on the right), and by selecting the different shapes beneath the preview window you can change the type of gradient you are using. You can even decide whether you want your gradient to repeat itself using the ‘Repeat’ setting.
Depending on the type you select, different options will open up in the lower portion of the options, familiarise yourself with these, but in my picture I just want a straight gradient coming from the top of the image. Once you’re done select ‘Ok’.
Step 7 This one is rather easy; select the Bucket Fill tool (‘F’) and left click in your Filter layer. You should get a filter that obscures your image rather than enhances it at the minute, but it will be getting there.
Step 8 Now change the Layer Mode for the Filter layer until you find one that changes the colour but doesn’t overpower the original image. Good ones to try are multiply, soft light, colour and overlay, but it depends on your picture and you might like some of the other effects you can get from using different modes. You also need to play around with the layer’s opacity setting for more control over your image, just try a few combinations out and see if you find any you like.
You can then start going back and editing your gradient using to fine-tune the appearance of your filter, although you will have to clear the layer before you apply each one otherwise things will get messy. I’ve shifted my transparency so it’s higher up the image, so it only really affects the sky, giving just a slight tint to the lower areas of the image, and I used the Colour layer mode and 80% opacity to allow it to affect the lighter sky but not overpower it.