Filter Limitations

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Today’s Question: Are there other Photoshop filters that behave the same way as the Oil Paint filter [in terms of the limitations addressed in the last to editions of the Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter]?

Tim’s Quick Answer: There are a handful of filters that have similar limitations, such as only working with RGB images, not working with 16-bit per channel images, or having certain display adapter requirements. However, that list of filters is relatively short.

More Detail: If you don’t have a supported display adapter or have turned off the “Use Graphics Processor” checkbox on the Performance page of the Preferences dialog, a handful of filters will not be available. That includes the Oil Paint filter mentioned above, as well as the Flame, Picture Frame, Tree, and Lighting Effects filters.

Additional filters that do not support CMYK images include the 3D and Video filter submenus, and the Lens Flare filter.

In addition, the Extrude, Tiles, and Wind filters (found on the Stylize submenu where the Oil Paint filter is found) only support 8-bit per channel images.

I’m sure there are some other variations in terms of system configuration or image modes that I’ve not addressed here. But the above filters represent the limitations I am aware of. As you can see, the affected filters are relatively few in number. I think it would also be fair to say that the filters with these limitations are not the most commonly used filters in Photoshop, which I suspect is part of the reason that they have not yet been updated with broader support. Note that some of this support also has a significant impact in terms of overall performance, such as with support for higher bit depths.