Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating blur effects that follow a path, part of Photoshop for Photographers: 2014 Creative Cloud Updates.
This photograph is really all about motion and speed. And so what I want to do, is I want to create a path blur effect which sort of creates a little bit more sense of a speed and makes the photograph a little bit more of an illustration of this concept. In order to do that we'll be going through a few steps. We'll start of by converting this layer to a smart object layer. So that we can re-edit the path blur. We'll first create one type of a path blur. Then we'll work on a little bit of masking, and look at another option as well.
All right. Let's dive in. This all begins by navigating to the Filter Pull-down Menu. And here we'll choose Convert For Smart Filters. The reason why we're taking this stuff first is because it'll give us flexibility later. Whenever you use smart filters, you can always go back and change your settings later. So let's take this stuff, begin filter, then convert for smart filters. Now you can see we've a smart object layer, the icon on the layer changes. Next step, is to go to the Filter Pulldown Menu, choose Blur Gallery, and then path blur.
I should also point out that it's a good idea to work with smart filters whenever you're using a new feature, because you may not exactly know how to use it well, and this will give you flexibility to change your mind later. All right again Filter Blur and then Path Blur. This will open up our dialog and here we have the blur being applied and this is a basic blur with some default speed amounts, et cetera. We can change the characteristics of this by clicking and dragging these points around. And here I'll just bring one of these points near the hand and then one of them back behind the hand over here.
Let's zoom in on this, so we can actually see this a little bit better. Well, what I want to do is sort of have this blur effect which is coming off of the edge of the subject. I don't want it to be blurry on the front of the image, so we'll click on our first end point here and just decrease that end point speed. Then we'll click on the end point on the left, and we can increase that a little bit more. See how it's sort of pulling that off in that direction. And in this way, we have this blur effect, without a lot of effort I should say which is, sort of pulling that back edge off of the image.
Yet I don't like the blur on the front, or in this area of the photograph. In order to correct or change that, what we can do is simply click OK to apply these settings. Because it is a smart object player we can always go back and change them. And here we can begin to work on the Mask. Click into the Mask for this filter which you can see here, which is our. Pass blur, here's a before, and then here now, is the after. We can then grab our brush. And the brush that we'll want to use will be a brush which is, maybe about this size.
Let me go back to the mast so I can see the size of my brush. Actually looks pretty good, maybe around 100. Make sure there isn't any hardness. And then next, we want to paint with black. Now if we paint with black at 100% opacity, say over the face, what you'll start to see is you can bring the focus back into that area. Well, that's what I want to do, I want to have this leading edge nice and sharp. And then the trailing edge is where I want the blur to appear. If you want a bit more of a tapered effect, you can decrease the opacity, let's go down to 30 or 40%.
And paint over these areas and what we'll start to see is it will slowly become more blurry. And in this case I'm just creating a little bit of this effect so, a little bit of that leading edge is coming in a bit more clearly. All right well, without a lot of effort, we have an interesting blur effect, because we used those path blur controls. And if we want to customize these even more, just double click the name of the blur which you applied. In this case, our blur gallery, or filter we applied which was in our blur gallery. And here we can go in and say well let's speed this up, let's say we want more, maybe we want a little bit of a different angle, we want this.
this, this point up here to come back a little bit. We want to create a touch more drama. Well, we can do all of that, and we control all of these characteristics of the blur by using the settings, which we've talked about. Now, in this case, this effect looks somewhat interesting, but let's say we want to try something else out. Something a little more photo-realistic. Well here in this pull-down menu, we can choose an option like Rear Sync Flash, let's try that one out. With rear sync flash, what we can do is we can click on our endpoint, in this case I'm going to decrease it on this side, and go to the other endpoint, and here I will increase it.
And you can see how we have this look starting to be dialed into the photograph. Yet really what's happening for this look is it's going in the wrong direction. Let me increase this end point so you can kind of see it. It's moving forward. I want that to move in the other direction. We'll just click and drag these points around. We can start to see how now we have these streaks kind of coming off of the subject almost like he's a superhero of some sort. And we have this sort of illustrative type of a look. You can change the taper here.
By decreasing the taper, you can have a more of a stretch there, or you can have less. And really ,how far you go with all the settings are subjective and really up to you and to the type of effect you want to create. Now, as you start to work on, your controls and creating this look, always keep in mind you can go back and work on your mask as well. For example, it's too blurry on the hair, and on this part of the shirt, no biggie, just click OK, then, once your back here, after, it's apply these settings.
Go to the mask. Grab that brush of yours. If you want to paint with black. You can just paint this away. In this case, I'm going to paint away the blur effect on his pants there and also on his hair. I just really want it coming, sort of off that edge. And maybe that extra edge there of the arm too. And you can remove the blur from the areas which you don't want it. Speaking of that. If we zoom out. We need to analyze the overall photograph. The motion on the subject I think is kind of interesting but we also have blur motion on the track.
That doesn't really make sense because the track is somewhat standing still. Maybe you want, what we want to get rid of this. Well here lets increase the opacity up to 100. And we'll choose a larger brush and go ahead and just paint over that. And in this way, what we're doing is bringing more attention to the subject's blur and less attention to the blur that we're seeing in the rest of the image. You don't obviously have to do this all the time. But there may be situations where going in and masking out the blur in certain areas, can help you create effect which will help to look, or make the image look its best.
Here I'm just going to mask away these areas. And I'm just doing this quickly and I think that looks pretty good. Now, let me zoom back in so we can see the subject a little bit better. And in this case in order to see the before and after we can click on the eye icon. Here it is, there is our before. And then, click on that eye icon again. Then we can see the after, after we have applied this path blur as a Smart Filter.