Go Back   RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Retouching
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Photo Retouching "Improving" photos, post-production, correction, etc.

How to fake film grain?

Thread Tools
Old 02-07-2010, 11:00 PM
juyahna's Avatar
juyahna juyahna is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1
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.
Reply With Quote top
Old 02-07-2010, 11:21 PM
Cuervo79's Avatar
Cuervo79 Cuervo79 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Guatemala
Posts: 372
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....
Reply With Quote top
Old 02-08-2010, 12:08 AM
0lBaldy's Avatar
0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,580
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
Reply With Quote top
Old 02-08-2010, 06:40 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 911
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.

Reply With Quote top
Old 02-08-2010, 11:06 AM
andyong's Avatar
andyong andyong is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Indonesia
Posts: 174
Re: How to fake film grain?

find some film grain image, use it as texture layer..with Soft Light or Overlay blending..
Reply With Quote top
Old 02-08-2010, 11:36 AM
flexmanta's Avatar
flexmanta flexmanta is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Spain
Posts: 339
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).
Reply With Quote top
Old 02-09-2010, 12:04 AM
holgaman's Avatar
holgaman holgaman is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 135
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
Reply With Quote top
Old 02-09-2010, 01:39 AM
chillin's Avatar
chillin chillin is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: The Golden State
Posts: 1,324
Blog Entries: 1
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)
Reply With Quote top

  RetouchPRO > Technique > Photo Retouching

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adding A More Realistic Film Grain Effect gmitchel Software 14 08-15-2013 07:57 AM
This look without a film camera? Kcupcake Photo Retouching 26 06-03-2013 04:01 PM
Film Cross-Processing Presets for Adobe Camera Raw gmitchel Software 0 05-16-2009 03:20 PM
Updated Film Grain Action and Video gmitchel Photo Retouching 0 04-01-2009 09:50 AM
movie poster grain technique filmfan Image Help 4 09-05-2008 10:44 AM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved