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In Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.
The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.
Photoshop has three new ways to blur your image, but unfortunately they don't work as Smart Filters. So if I want to work in a nondestructive manner, I will need to duplicate the background and I can do this by using Cmd+ or Ctrl+J. Then I will select Filter>Blur and we'll start with Tilt-Shift. The Tilt-Shift, the Iris, and the Field Blur all come up together, and you choose which one to apply by clicking on the checkmark on the right-hand side. So we'll begin with Tilt-Shift.
In the center you can see there's a pin. If I click-and-drag on that center point, I can reposition the Tilt-Shift. Outside there's a circle. If I click where the circle turns from white to dark and drag, I can add more or less blur. Of course, I can also use the slider here in the panels on the right. There are two dots, one above and one below, which I can click on and rotate. But I don't have a lot of control just because they're so close together.
So if reposition my cursor out here somewhere, it looks like I would drop a secondary pin for another Tilt-Shift effect. And in fact, if I click, that will happen, but I will tap the Delete key now to remove that, go back to my original by clicking on the pin in the center, and then I want to show you that if you click-and-drag in this area, then you can rotate the Tilt-Shift outside of just clicking right by these little points in the center, because it's just too hard to control.
You make a little move here and you can see it kind of flips all over the place. If I click-and-drag out further from the center, then I have a lot more control and the rotation is a lot smoother. Now the distance between the solid white lines and the dotted white lines is the fade range. I can click-and-drag in order to elongate this, so that it's a more subtle graduated blur from the solid line and then moving outwards. In addition, I can move the solid lines. If I wanted to start this farther away, I could or I can even bring it in closer to the center.
We can do the same on the other side. You will notice that each of these move independently of one another. So we will go ahead and bring that out a little further and then click-and-drag away from the center in order to rotate this, so that it follows the same line as the parking sign. In addition, on the panel here, you will notice that I have an option for Distortion, and I can click-and-drag to distort this more or less. Let's take a look at the Iris Blur. I'll uncheck the Tilt-Shift and then click on the Iris Blur and use the disclosure triangle to toggle down the blur.
Here, we've got a circular blur. I can position my cursor anywhere over the outside of the circle and drag to make the circle larger or smaller. If I click-and-drag on the square, it will change the shape of the circle making it more rectangular. Once I've made it more rectangular, if I position my cursor near these smaller dots, I can click-and-drag in order to rotate that. Then I can use the same pin in the center to move the entire Iris Blur or to increase the amount of blur or decrease it.
We also have these four pins in the middle. If I click-and-drag in, you can see that I'm moving the fade range for the blur. Click-and-drag out, you can see that it now fades only between this area, so it's much more abrupt. If I hold down the Option key, I can drag these independently, so I don't always have to have a circular or rectangular shape. If I move two of these in, we can see that this area is far more blurred, than the area opposite it.
So that's the Iris Blur. Let's uncheck that and turn on the Field Blur. Now when you select the Field Blur, you automatically get at pin and that pin is blurred. I think a lot of people will be confused by this, because they'll think, well, I don't want my whole image to be blurred. But in fact, you can set down as many of these pins as you want, and not just here, you can set down as many pins as you want in the Iris Blur and the Tilt-Shift Blur as well. Let's move this one to the upper left.
Then I'll click to add another one and let's say that I want this area blurry as well. But this area up here, I might want to selectively bring into focus. So I can click there to add another pin and then we can use the slider here to make it more or less blurry. I can click again down here in the lower left and sharpen or blur that area. So obviously I'm creating something very unrealistic here, but that's an aesthetic choice. If I tap the M key, we can see the mask that Photoshop is creating in the background.
You can see where the mask is white, we're seeing the field blur. Where the mask is lighter gray, we are not seeing that and the area is sharper. If I take off the blur completely and we tap the M key again, you can see that this is now black. So black will always hide, and white will always show the blur. And of course, once you've laid down these pins you can still move them around. As I move them around, and we tap the M key, you can see that Photoshop is automatically changing the mask.
If I tap the P key, I can see the preview of it before, tap it again, and we get after. If I tap the H key and hold it down, it'll hide the pins, and then when I let go off the H key, they'll reveal themselves. So there you are. Three excellent new techniques in order to selectively blur your image in Photoshop CS6. So remember, this is one of the few places in Photoshop where you can't use a filter as a Smart Filter. So if you want to use a non-destructive workflow, be sure to duplicate your background or duplicate the layer that you want to apply the blur to, before you start playing with the filter.
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