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Grainy portraits with Paint Shop Pro

How to turn a colour portrait into a grainy mono using Corel's Paint Shop Pro X3.

|  Corel Paint Shop Pro & Painter
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Sometimes when you've taken a photo you can crop in and add noise (the digital equivalent of film grain) to produce a second photo with a whole new look and feel. Here's how using Corel's popular image editing program, Paint Shop Pro X3.

Software used: Corel Paint Shop Pro X3
Time taken: 10-20 minutes
 adding grain using Corel PSP X3

Step 1: Crop

First we use the Crop tool to remove excess areas of the original photograph. I've changed to horizontal format and cropped tight on the face, placing the eyes on the upper third. I've also rotated slightly to create a more dynamic composition.
Paint Shop Pro X3 add grain - crop: Step 1

Step 2: Adjust Saturation

Next we remove the colour as a mono grainy effect is usually better. Go to Hue/Saturation/Lightness from the menu - Adjust>Hue/Saturation>Hue/Saturation/Lightness (Shift+H). Move the Saturation slider to -100 to totally remove colour.
Paint Shop Pro X3 add grain - desaturate: Step 2

Step 3: Adjust Curves

Now to tweak the contrast using the Curves feature - Adjust>Brightness/Contrast>Curves. Click on the scale about a third of the way up from the bottom and drag the line downwards slightly to form a bend. Then click about a third from the top and drag upwards to form a mild S shape curve. This has made the light tones slightly lighter and made the dark tones slightly darker. The overall picture now has more contrast and more punch.
Paint Shop Pro X3 add grain - curves: Step 3

Step 4: Apply infrared filter

Now add the Infrared filter that's part of Paint Shop Pro's armory - Effects>Photo Effects >Infrared Film. Set both the Strength and Grain to 100% for a dramatic change and the flare to around 60% to add some of the characteristic infrared glow.
Paint Shop Pro X3 add grain - infrared: Step 4

Step 5: Duplicate layer

Duplicate the layer. Right click on the layer in the layer palette and choose duplicate from the menu. If the palette is not visible. Go to palettes in your top horizontal menu and select Layers or press the F8 key as a quick keyboard shortcut.
Paint Shop Pro X3 add grain - duplicate layer: Step 5

Step 5: Add Noise

Add noise to the new copy layer - Adjust > Add/Remove Noise>Add Noise and set to Gaussian with a value of around 80 percent. You can adjust the opacity of this new layer in the layer palette to reduce the strength of the noise layer if you prefer.
Paint Shop Pro X3 add grain - add noise: Step 5

And here's the end result.
Paint Shop Pro X3 add grain - end result

You've read the article, now go take some fantastic images. You can then upload the pictures, plus any advice and suggestions you have into the dedicated Photo Month forum for everyone at ePHOTOzine to enjoy.

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