Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Creative blending and blur effects, part of Photoshop: Filters for Photography.
- [Instructor] In this movie, we will have some fun and take a look at how we can create to create a blending and blur effect with this photograph here. You can see that I have two layers in my document, the portrait, and then, on the layer above, we have the stars. What I want to do is blend these two together and we will do that by working with Smart Objects and Smart Filters, also work with blending modes for the filter and the layer itself, then finish this one off using a curves adjustment. Alright, well, let's begin with the stars layer. I'll turn on the visibility of that layer.
Go to the Filter pull-down menu and choose Convert for Smart Filters. Once we've converted it, we'll then go to our Filter pull-down menu, and here we're going to Blur and then Radial Blur. Radial Blur is, perhaps, one of the most important to use as a Smart Filter, and you'll see why in just a second. When we open this, we have this really kind of archaic teeny difficult to read box. In other words, there really isn't any preview. You can choose your blur method and your amount and then click OK until it renders it out, which it's about to do here, and that doesn't look very good.
Okay, no big deal, we just double click the Radial Blur here and we change the type of blur. What I want to do is more of a zoom and I really want to have the stars kind of zooming in off from the side, maybe over to the edge here. And, again, getting them in the right spot is just a matter of trying out different amounts and then clicking OK, and then waiting for it, and watching it render out to see if you're getting closer to what you like. Now, right now, the stars just look kind of like big streaks, but if we change our blending mode for the filter by double clicking this icon here, what that will do is open up the Blending Options dialog and when I change this to something like Soft Light, what we'll see is much more of the original stars.
We're just now seeing a little bit more of this kind of streaking effect, which is what I want to go with. So, once we've dialed that in, the next step is to change the blending mode for the layer. So, we changed the blending mode for the filter, which was the Radial filter. Now let's change it for the entire layer. So, here, with this layer, we could try out different options. We could try an option like Soft Light and see what that might do, or we could try something like Screen that would brighten things up a lot. And, actually, with this image, I think Screen's looking pretty cool.
So, now sort of the center of where the stars are coming out as right here, I want to change that. So, double click this icon and then we locate and click OK. Again, I'm trying to illustrate this idea that when you're using the Radial Blur, you really just want to have this as a Smart Filter so that you can keep testing it out, changing the amount until you get the look that you're going for. So, here, I increased the value there a little bit, changed the location, and just want to do that a little bit more, and then we'll do a little bit of masking, and finish this image off.
What this is giving for me is blending of the stars, but, also, a little bit of motion. Now, I want to bring back a little bit of the face here, so I'll add a mask to the pixel image, not the Smart Filter. Click Add Layer Mask. Grab my brush and I'm going to paint with black here. Decrease my opacity significantly down below 50%, I'll go to about 20. And brush, 0% hardness, nice big brush there. I'm just going to look to try to bring back some of the eyes, a little bit more of the face detail.
The stars were kind of overwhelming things a little bit too much there, so I want to have a little bit more of my subject in view. Okay, I think that's pretty cool. And then hit the X key if you want to bring back a little bit of stars. Looks like I took out a little bit too much of the stars. So, maybe something along these lines here. Gets us to a good spot. Now, once we have that, I want to apply one more adjustment, this time, an adjustment layer, so I'll use Curves, because Curves is a great one just for controlling the overall look in the image.
Things became a little bit too bright, so I want to darken it back down so I have a little bit more of this sort of density or depth in the photograph. So, I'm just dragging my curve point down here a little bit to try to bring down some of those darker tones. And then the white point here we could modify as well. Sometimes it's fun to sort of swing it around see if you can't find a good look. Something like that is pretty cool. Well, now that we have done that, we have gotten to the point where we are finished off this creative blending project and what's interesting about this blending is if you go back and really analyze it is we have this layer which we've blended a filter and we used a blending mode for that one and that really is what made this project work.
Between Soft Light and Normal, Normal is just more of this kind of streak. We lose all the stars, but then when we brought that to Soft light, that was pretty cool, so let me bring that back. Then, also, the other thing that really helped this project was having a blending mode applied to the actual image itself. Without that, we could do something like this, but I like to be able to see through it a little better. That was my vision at least for it. So that allows me to see through it. It brightened things up. Screen tends to do that.
And then I wanted to darken it back down. And looking at it now, I think I could even darken it a little bit more. That might be kind of cool. Bring up my black point just a touch there. And there you have it, a creative way to start thinking about how you might use filters and Smart Filters with blending modes, masking, and then, of course, any other needed adjustments as we did here. We applied one final curves adjustment and that brought us from the original photograph to our creative blending and blur effect image.
- Applying Smart Filters in Photoshop
- Correcting and enhancing a photo using Camera Raw
- Masking in Smart Filter effects
- Improving a landscape with Camera Raw Smart Filter
- Creative blending and blur effects
- Working with light and solving common problems
- Creating a fire effect