Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
In this movie I'll show you how to use Field Blur. Now, if you're working along with me and you open this image, brandnewgloves.jpg, which is found in the 30 Blur Gallery folder, it's going to initially open inside Camera Raw, because it has Camera Raw settings assigned to it. In which case, just go ahead and click the Open Image button in Camera Raw to open the photo in Photoshop. Do not Shift+Click on the button to open it as a Smart Object, because Field Blur, and the rest of the Blur Gallery, does not work with Smart Objects. Now, you may recall that this image has a pretty ratty sky, and I'll go ahead and zoom in on it to check it out.
We have got all this posterization. So what I decided to do in order to fix this problem, because I really like the snapshot, is create a kind of depth-of-field effect, and Field Blur is perfect for that. So I'll go up to the Filter Menu, choose Blur, and then choose Field Blur. In fact, you can choose any of these first three commands to bring up the Blur Gallery. But because I know Field Blur is what I want, I'll just go a head and select it. And I want to center my view by pressing Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on a Mac, and then I'll zoom in.
Now, by default, you to get one Blur control, and that's it-- I am going to go ahead move it over to this location--which might seem silly. Why bother to move it when it's blurring the entire image uniformly? Well, the truth is that you can set more than one of these pins in order to vary the blur across the image. So, I'll start with this one set to its default Blur value of 15 pixels, as you can see in the upper right-hand corner. And then I'll go ahead and reestablish the focus in Colleen's face by clicking somewhere on her nose right there. And I'll either reduce the Blur value up here in the Blur Tools Panel to 0 pixels or you can also drag inside of this ring.
So if you drag in a clockwise fashion, you'll increase the Blur at that location; if you drag in a counter-clockwise fashion, you'll reduce the blur. So reduce the blur to 0, just drag right next to the top, so you should be that exactly at noon, because that going to expand the Blur value. Instead, you want to move to about 12:15 on the dial there, and you'll get a Blur of 0, and then go ahead and release in order to see the effect. All right, now what we've done is we've created a blur that's basically traveling horizontally across the image.
So as things stand now, the right side of the image is in focus and the left side of the image is blurred. We need more control that that, so we need to lay down more pins, and you can even lay down as many pins as you like. I am going to click to set one right about there. And for the sake of expediency, I'm just accepting that default Blur value of 15 pixels. I'll go ahead and set one right about there as well, in order to blur inward into Colleen's face, because the last thing that we want is some sharp details surrounding her, because that wouldn't make any sense, that portions of this railing, for example, are out of focus and then also other portions are in focus.
Now, I'll go ahead and set a pin at this location. If you find that you're encroaching too much on the subject of your photograph, as I am in this case--notice that I'm blurring into the top-left region of my friend's head--then you just want to back it off. Now, as you drag the pin, you're not necessarily going to get the best feedback. You have the release in order to see the blur resolve. And at this point I can see that I'm still encroaching in her hair too much, so I'll go ahead and drag up to maybe about here and see what that looks like, and that ends up resolving pretty nicely.
All right, now I'm going to set another pin at this location. And now notice that we've some blurry details inside of Colleen's body, specifically on her hand. We don't want that, because she's showing off this new pair of gloves I brought her, so I want to make sure they are in focus. So I'll go ahead and click to set a pin right there on the glove and dial it down to Blur value of 0. And I'll create another pin right there on the collar, dial it down to 0 as well, and I'll set one on the shoulder right about there, looks pretty good to me, and I'll dial it down to 0.
Obviously, I'm pretty familiar with this image, and I have worked through it. What you'll find when you're approaching a new photo is that you have to click to set pins and move them around, especially when things get as elaborate as this. Now, notice that the water is coming back into focus right there. That doesn't make any darn sense at all, so I'll set a pin here and I won't change its focus, so I'll leave it set to a Blur of 15. And I'll set another one right about there I think. That should work out pretty nicely. Just a couple of more points are bugging me here. This area of water should be more out of focus, so I'll click right about there in order to set another Blur point.
Finally, I want this stretch right in between these two points to blur incrementally, so I'm going to set a pin right about there, above the collar. I want to dial it down to a Radius of 10, and then I'll release. All right, now let's say you like what you're seeing and you want to check it out in Photoshop. Then go ahead and click the OK button. But here's the caveat: you're permanently assigning your changes, and the only way to revisit your pins again in the future is to press Ctrl+Alt+F or Command+Option+F on a Mac. So you'll want to make sure, after clicking OK-- and of course, wait for the progress bar there--and checking out everything inside Photoshop, that you don't go and choose a different filter, such as Smart Sharpen for example, because then that will be the last filter applied.
You want instead take some time to evaluate the image and make sure you like it. That way if you don't like what you see, you can make modifications, and I'll show you how that works in the next movie.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.