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How do I achieve the film grain effect used in this image in Photoshop? I can never get it quite right.

Example of film grain effect

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  • Can you tell us what you have tried? Seems like you can just add a noise filter to the gradient. What about it can you not get right?
    – AndrewH
    May 12 at 14:09
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Convert your image to a Smart Object, and do Filter > Camera RAW Filter. Expand the Effects, and add Grain. Adjust the Size and Roughness as desired.

enter image description here

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  • How did I miss it :(
    – Vikas
    May 13 at 1:42
  • That's it! Thank you!
    – gwonk
    Aug 6 at 11:36
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The noise occurs as bigger islands than 1 pixel. To get it fill a layer with 50% grey and insert 100% noise.

Apply Gaussian Blur to the noise layer. This unfortunately may need some testing because blur isn't in Photoshop available as non-destructive effect like layer styles or adjustment layers (BTW Krita has readjustable blur). In my example the blur radius is 1px.

Insert 2 adjustment layers to get the islands with low enough contrast. Finally you must also reduce the noise layer opacity:

Adjustment layers are 1) Treshold which decide the ratio of black and white and 2) Curves which reduce contrast.

I adjusted the treshold to 50%. Both adjustment layers must have "the next image layer only" -switch ON.

Give to the blurred noise layer blending mode Hard Light and insert the image (=gradient) to the bottom. Reduce the opacity of the blurred noise layer small enough:

enter image description here

BTW. The grain can be in this version turned to apparent surface roughness. Merge the adjustment layers and the blurred noise layer. The apparent roughness is got by applying Filter > Stylize > Emboss:

enter image description here

That was zoomed in version of the image. The effect becomes milder with no zoom, so some experimenting is needed. Here's a non-zoomed screenshot. The opacity is increased to make the effect stronger:

enter image description here

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  • Some advanced answer huh :P
    – Vikas
    May 12 at 16:25
  • +1 because this answer shows how you can manually achieve lots of different types of noise and don't have to settle with what the standard filters give you. That said, in this case I would probably just use Camera Raw Filter like shown in another answer. Btw: If you turn the noise layer into a Smart Object, you can have non-destructive blur.
    – Wolff
    May 12 at 19:39
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Method 1:

  1. Create the gradient
  2. Convert the layer to Smart Object (In Windows, right click over the layer and Convert to Smart Object)
  3. Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and apply Monochromatic noise

enter image description here

Method 2:

Go to Filter > Filter Gallery > Texture > Grain and adjust available options according to your requirement

enter image description here


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