How to Use a Spot Filter in PhotoImpact Pro

Ulead System's PhotoImpact Pro is one of the most user-friendly and reasonably priced photo-imaging software available in the market today. Equipped with most of the sophisticated tools you would find in Photoshop, this software provides quick solutions for your photo editing needs. One of the advantages of photo editing software is that it lets you create effects, which would otherwise be possible only by attaching certain additional accessories to your camera like a lens filter.

PhotoImpact Pro has a Spot Filter feature, which enables you to bring a certain area in your photo into sharp focus while turning the remainder into a blur. This effect can give an artistic edge to your image and make it look more alluring. The follow steps explain how to use a Spot Filter in PhotoImpact.

Step 1: Go to Express Fix and Open Your Photo

Initialize PhotoImpact, and click on the ExpressFix button. On the Express Fix screen, click on File on the top menu bar and then open the photo you need to work with. Click on the Dual View tab so that the before and after images will be side by side.

Step 2: Open the Spot Filter Dialogue Box

In the top menu bar click on "Effect", then select "Photographic" from the drop down menu and click on "Spot Filter". This will bring up the Spot Filter Dialogue Box on your screen.

Step 3: Choose Layout of the Dialogue Box

In the left column of the Spot Filter dialogue box, you will find the list of four types of spot filters, which are Sand, Grain, Soft and Color. The right column shows the boxes for controlling the various aspects of the filter like area, strength, color and edges.

Step 4: Choose the Type of filter

Depending on the type of textured effect you want to create, you will be choosing from the four types of filters. The Sand spot filter will create a hazy texture around the area you have selected, whereas Grain will give it an uneven and bumpy look. Soft spot filter gives a smeared and blurred effect, while the Color spot filter will generate a particular color that you have selected, around the boundaries.

Step 5: Choose the area and Spot Radius

In the dual view, the left panel is the "before" image, and you will see a red dot with a circle of broken lines. Dragging this red dot, you can encompass the area you want in sharp focus with the circle of broken lines. You can adjust the numeric value in the Spot Radius box to increase or decrease the circle area.

Step 6: Adjust Other Attributes of the Filter

Adjusting the numeric value in the "Edge softness" box, you can increase or decrease the sharpness of the blur at the edges of the spot area. The "Filter amount" box lets you adjust the brightness or strength of the filter area. With "Color Strength," you can choose the amount of saturation you want for the effect.

Once you are done with all your selections and adjustments, click on the OK button to apply the Spot Filter.