How to Use the Facet Filter in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

One reason you might want to blur an image in Photoshop CS6 is to reduce dust and scratches, or to smooth away sharp edges. The Facet filter breaks up an image by using a posterizing effect. It gathers blocks of pixels that are similar in brightness and converts them to a single value, using geometric shapes. (When you posterize an image, you reduce it to a small number of tones.)

The geometric shapes make the image look more randomly produced, while eliminating much of the banding effect you get with conventional posterizing filters.

The effects of the Facet filter are subtle and best viewed at close range.

Facet is a single-step filter, so you don’t need to adjust any controls. Just choose Filter→Pixelate→Facet and evaluate your results. You can apply the filter multiple times. However, even one application smoothes out the picture and eliminates the worst of the artifacts.

If you apply the Facet filter multiple times, your image takes on a kind of pointillist, stroked look that becomes obvious. Using the filter over and over on the same image can yield quite interesting special effects.

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/ivanmateev Image #5720755]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/ivanmateev Image #5720755