Join Abba Shapiro for an in-depth discussion in this video Using lens blur to create bokeh, tilt-shift, and selective-focus effects, part of Up and Running with Perfect Photo Suite 8.
Another useful effect inside the effect's module, is the ability to change focus. And you can get that under the Lens Blur option. So that I can get a good sense what all the different blurs do, instead of opening up the disclosure triangle, I'm going to go ahead and open up all of these images, full screen, and scroll through to see which feels the best. And I can control the boca of my lens, I can control whether it's on the sides, or if it's a round vignette, or a soft vignette, and all of these can be modified.
Let's go ahead and use a very popular focus effect, which is the tilt shift lens. I'm going to go ahead and select that by double-clicking on it. And, as you see, I have both a blur on the top, and a blur on the bottom. Now I want to position this, so it's over the boat, because that's what I want to be in focus. And then I can go ahead, and move the bottom part up, so the foreground is out of focus, and I want to make sure that the background is out of focus too. So we have a very small area in focus, which is the boat.
And I think I want to rotate it a little bit, because I want to make sure this ground is out of focus. I'm just going to tweak it just a hair, and lower it so that ground starts going out of focus. Now, I can go down and control several sliders, to control the amount of blur, which could be crazy. Or less blur, I can also select the optical quality of the blur. If there's motion blur, and so on. What's the problem with this image? Well, the foreground is nicely out of focus, and the background is nicely out of focus, and the mast of the boat is also out of focus, and that doesn't work.
So what we're going to do, is brush the sail of the boat, back into focus. I want to zoom in just to the boat area, so I'm going to go ahead and select my zoom tool, and, draw a little box directly around the boat and the sail, and as you see, this is part of the effect that,s out of focus and I don't like that. I'm going to go over here, and and select my masking brush. And the masking brush allows me to either paint out, or paint in focus. So if I go ahead right now and I paint this out, I can actually bring the boat in to focus.
But what's really hard, is I want the sail to be in focus, but not the houses. And there's a great little selection, I can go up here, and I can select what's called the perfect brush. Now, what the perfect brush does, is it actually compares the colors of the foreground and the background, so I have a nice, clean edge. The trick is to make sure that my brush is inside the sail area. Now I'm just going to go ahead and paint that up. And if I need to, I'm going to zoom in and, really blow it up a little bit.
And I don't want a lot of feather on here, because I want to make sure that I have a nice, clean edge, so I'm going to go ahead and just paint, right over, that sail. Now, it's important for me to see what part is actually masked out, and to do that, I'm going to switch from after, to a red mask overlay. And now I can see precisely, what's going to be in focus, and what's going to be out of focus. Let me hit command + minus to step out a little bit, and I want to go ahead and switch from paint out to, paint in.
And I can go ahead, and start painting out on the sides here, so that the mast stays in focus, but the background goes out of focus. Now I'm going to go ahead. Make a bigger brush. And I want to softer brush. Okay, I want to increase my feather so, I've been using the left and right bracket keys, to make my brush bigger and smaller. If I hold this Shift key, I can actually make the feather, greater or lesser with the same bracket key. So I want a nice big feather, then I'm going to go ahead, and paint out some of this area, just to make sure that we go out of focus, and this isn't sharp.
Let's go ahead and step all the way out, we'll click on Fit to Screen. And I can gently make sure the background goes out of focus, and the boat is going to stay in focus. Switch from the red mask, to after, and I can see that it's kind of working, but I just realized that I missed a good chunk of the mask, so let's go ahead and and simply zoom in because we want to be very accurate here. And I'm going to go ahead select this brush. And I'm going to, make it nice and small. Ease the paint out, and I'll go right up here. Until I stop seeing mast.
This is great. Hold down the spacebar, so I can move down a little bit lower. And I think, we're doing pretty good here. Again, if you overshoot, just hit the X key. We can bring that back out of focus, and you can spend a good amount of time doing this. And I recommend spending a good amount of time, because you want to make sure that the effect works. So this is a perfect situation where you don't want to be sloppy, and you want to make sure that everything that should be in focus, is in focus, and everything that should be soft, is soft.
Let's go ahead and fit it to my screen, and, I'm pretty happy with the foreground and background going out of focus. Maybe I'll dial down the blur just a little bit, and I think we're good to go. I'm really happy with the result here. It looks like I had great depth of field in my lens, but I'm really doing this all in post.
This is an introductory course produced by RHED Pixel to help both beginner and seasoned photographers quickly realize the benefits of Perfect Photo Suite 8. We are honored to host this training in our library.
- What is Perfect Photo Suite 8?
- What's the right version for you?
- Installing the software
- Importing media into the Layers module
- Making quick fixes with the Enhance module
- Adjusting skin tone in the Portrait module
- Applying effects presets
- Creating masks
- Resizing images
- Integrating Photo Perfect Suite with Lightroom, Photoshop, and Aperture