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How to fake film grain?

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Old 02-07-2010, 10:00 PM
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juyahna juyahna is offline
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Smile How to fake film grain?

I want my picture to look something like this going from a clear digital photo. I've tried playing around with the film grain effects, but they don't give me the look I want. I was thinking of layering some textures over the top, but I don't know where I'd find ones that I could use. I was also wondering how I could achive that muted color. Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2010, 10:21 PM
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Cuervo79 Cuervo79 is offline
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Re: How to fake film grain?

Muted color mix a slight desaturation technique (the way of your choise, hue/saturation, b&w, channel mixer) with curves (play with the color channels). As to the grain....
I can't see the grain in that example since the photo is too small, mostly I see dust and kind of patch of "dried water". Normally you can experiment with adding noise either make a copy of the photo add black and white noise and then play with the opacity and blending options of the layer, or do the same with a layer painted in black or white.

O yeah and welcome to retouch pro....
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:08 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: How to fake film grain?

juyahna, Welcome to RetouchPRO Hope you enjoy your stay here and make lots of friends. Poke around, ask questions, have fun!

Member gmitchel (Mitch) has provided a very nice action to add pretty realistic grain on a separate layer: Adding A More Realistic Film Grain Effect ..Just adjust opacity to suit
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:40 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: How to fake film grain?

For noise I would go for:

1) Open your pic and create a new layer set to overlay and fill its with 50% gray (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+N and set there these values).
2) Add noise, around 15 in the amount.
3) Blur the noise to get the desired grain size.
4) Apply contrast if needed.

Always that you add contrast to the noise layer, make sure you do it in equal parts for the lights and shadows, otherwise you will enlight/darken your picture.

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Old 02-08-2010, 10:06 AM
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andyong andyong is offline
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Re: How to fake film grain?

find some film grain image, use it as texture layer..with Soft Light or Overlay blending..
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:36 AM
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Re: How to fake film grain?

Quantum3's tecnique is the best one. BUT, noise in a paper photo does not affect shadows in the same way as it affects highlights, and it's also completely different to digital noise. To simulate film, the best way is to create that overlay blurred gaussian noise layer, but use the a channel to create a mask (eg. red for portraits).
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:04 PM
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holgaman holgaman is offline
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Re: How to fake film grain?

The best method I've seen for creating film grain in digital is using Silver Efex Pro from Nik. It has presets that simulate different black and white films with their tonal range and grain structure. You can also create your own grain independently of the presets using sliders to control the size, contrast, randomness, etc. of the grain. I used to like the grain you could get from Alien Skin Exposure, but looking closely at it, all that does is lay a bunch of fairly uniform gray squiggles over the photo. Grain doesn't look like that. Silver Efex Pro really looks like the grain is incorporated into the photo, like it came from film. You can download a free trial from
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:39 AM
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chillin chillin is offline
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Re: How to fake film grain?

You could use an aged film filter to create a noise on a white background, next remove the white & blend the noise in.
See sample, its a transparent png file.
Attached Images
File Type: png agedfilm.png (94.7 KB, 37 views)
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