Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video Creative blurring along a path, part of Photoshop CC 2019 Essential Training: Photography.
- [Instructor] We're going to spend a few moments creating motion in this image using the Path Blur filter. Now, the image was photographed while I was on a Zodiac, so it would have been very difficult to keep the iceberg sharp and have a long exposure where I could get the water moving. But we can do that in post. So, with the background layer targeted, I'll choose Filter and then Convert for Smart Filters. Then, I'll choose Filter, and then Blur Gallery, and then Path Blur.
Photoshop automatically adds a path in my image. Yours may or may not be showing these red endpoints. If I want to turn them off I can uncheck the Edit Blur Shapes. So, this path determines the speed and the direction of the blur. So for example if I click on the white dot next to the arrow and I drag this up, we can see that the direction of the blur now goes at this angle. In this case, I want to keep it horizontal so I'll drag it back down.
I can lengthen this. I can also move the center point of the blur by clicking and dragging in order to change the direction of the blur. But again, I want it horizontal, so I'll use Command + Z to undo that. In the Blur tool area, we can use Speed to either increase or decrease the speed of the blur. I don't want this to be too quick, so I'll leave it down around 60%. If I want to change the shape of the blur, then I'll turn on the Edit Blur Shapes.
We see the additional red interface here. I can click on either of the dots in order to change them, and when I reposition them, it's changing the shape of the blur. So I like to think of this as if I'm in a car and the car is the speed of the blur. So the car's direction is that blue line. While I'm sitting in the car, if I pan my camera with the scene, if I pan it perfectly horizontal, then I won't have any blur shape.
But, the moment that my camera maybe goes a little bit lower, or a little higher as I blur, that's the blur shape that I'm creating. All right, so even though I do like kind of the ripples that it makes in the water here, I don't want it in this example. So I'll make sure that they're both horizontal. I also know that I want to add in a little bit of noise because right now this blur is affecting the entire image. But I'm going to isolate it using the smart filter mask so that the iceberg is not affected.
And I know that the original image has a little bit of noise in it. So, with my noise option set to Grain, because the original image was a digital camera capture, I'll increase the amount to maybe around 12% or so. I can always come in and reedit this at a later date, so it's not a problem if I need to make adjustments. I'll click OK and we can see, I have the motion that I want in the water. But I don't want the motion in the iceberg.
So, on the Layers panel I'm going to target the smart filter mask. I'll tap the G key in order to select the gradient. I'll tap the D key to get the default for the mask. We can see here that my gradient goes from white to black. White is going to show me the blur, black is going to hide it. So, I'm going to draw a very short gradient, starting right about at the edge of the iceberg where it touches the water, and dragging up.
That's going to hide the blur from the iceberg. Now I also want to add this sky to the image, so let's target it on the Layers panel. I'll use the Filter menu and choose Convert for Smart Filters. Then, return to Filter, Blur Gallery, and Path Blur. I'll hide the Edit Blur Shapes, increase the length of the path by clicking on the white circles at either end and stretching them out.
And then, I'll add a bend to it by clicking on the center point, and dragging up. I'm going to add a little bit more speed so that we get a nice blur so that it looks like the clouds are moving out in the sky. Again I'll add a little bit of grain. Probably near 12% just like we just did, and click OK. Now, I only want the sky to appear where there's sky in the original image. So let's hide that for a moment.
I'll target the original photograph, but before I start to make my selection, I'm going to disable the filter. Because if I tap the W key right now in order to select quick select, and I click and drag in my image area, you can see that it selects not only the sky, but also the iceberg, which is not what I would expect, because there's a pretty definite line between the iceberg and the sky.
Well, there's a pretty definite line, because I've masked out the blur gallery. If I hold down the Shift key and we click on the smart filter mask, really that's not a fine line. So Photoshop is trying to make my selection based on the blurred image. So in order to toggle that off, I'll click the eye icon next to Blur Gallery so that we get our sharpened version. I'll deselect using Command + D, and this time when I use my Quick Select and I drag in the sky area, it does a much better selection.
I do see two small areas here that I want to change, so I'm gonna tap the L key in order to switch to my Lasso tool. And, because I have the sky selected, and it's selecting too much, I actually want to remove this iceberg from the selection. So I'll hold down the Option key. You can start anywhere in the iceberg, and just take that area, as well as this area out of my selection. Excellent, now I can click on the eye icon next to the Blur Gallery in order to make it visible.
I'll hold down the Shift key and click in the smart filter mask in order to enable it. And then, I'll select the sky layer, make it visible by clicking on the eye icon, and I want to add a layer mask. So at the bottom of the Layers panel I'll click the Layer Mask icon, which will hide the sky area from the iceberg. If I want to make a little bit softer edge there, from the Properties panel, I'll increase the Feather amount. So there you go, an easy way to add motion to an image that would be very difficult, if not impossible to capture in camera.
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- Using color lookup tables
- Brightening eyes and lightening teeth
- Using the Healing Brush tool
- Combining multiple images
- Creating a double exposure effect
- Creating a panorama in Photoshop
- Creating a soft glow with grain
- Creative blurring effects
- Painting essentials
- Type and layer effects
- Working with artboards and libraries
- Quickly exporting images
- Sharing images to social media