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Chapter 3. Noise and sharpening > Add noise with the Add Noise filter

Add noise with the Add Noise filter

Sometimes noise is a good thing. Not the “head next to a buzz saw” type of noise, but the colorful din of a street fair or the controlled commotion of a baseball game. Using noise in Photoshop can also produce such organic results, especially if you use noise to add realism and randomness to an image. If you aren't already using noise in Photoshop, you should be. If you are, keep reading to learn about what else you can accomplish with noise.

What is noise?

Noise, as defined by Adobe, adds “pixels with randomly distributed color levels.” Simply put, noise imposes a random value to the pixels that make up an image. However, the randomness of noise doesn't have to be a distraction. In fact, using noise in images often can help hide problem areas such as banding and awkward cloning. The noise filters in Photoshop, located in the Filter menu, help to reduce noise and eliminate the effects of overly noisy images. While these filters, which include Despeckle, Dust & Scratches, and Median, have positive attributes of their own, they exist to remove noise. We'll concentrate on the fun of introducing noise to your image using the Add Noise filter.


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