Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing the radial blur with a mask, part of Photoshop: Creative Blurring.
In the previous movie, we added our filter effect to this photograph. In this movie, we're going to customize it a little bit further, and we're going to do so by working with the Smart Filter mask. You can see that over here in the Layers panel. Now if your layers appear really small, what you can do is position your cursor over the background of the Layers panel. Then Ctrl+Click or right-click, and here you can change the thumbnail size. Sometimes it's helpful to increase the thumbnail size, say to large, so you can actually see the thumbnail over there. Here we have the image, and then we have the Smart Filter.
Now, the Smart Filter has a built-in mask. If you know a thing or two about masking, you know that a mask, which is white, reveals the entire effect. In this case, it's revealing the Radial Blur. Yet if we paint with black, we can conceal it in certain areas as well. That's what we're going to do. So here, we'll select our Brush Tool by pressing the B key on the keyboard or by clicking on the Brush Tool icon. Next up in the Options bar, we want to choose a brush which is much bigger. So I'm going to increase the size. Maybe close to about 300 or so, I'm just guessing.
For the Hardness, take that all the way down to zero. We want a brush which has soft edges. Next, we're going to modify the Opacity. If we decrease the Opacity, what we can do is we can paint the black in at a lower level, which will slowly sort of bring back focus into different parts of the image. Here I'm going to drop it below 50. I'm just guessing 38 maybe a nice place, somewhere right around there. You don't need to be exact with that. Alright, well next we want to make sure we're choosing black as the color that we're going to paint with, so here we're going to choose black. You know, if you have black as your background color you can always click this little icon here, I'm going to flip flop those so you have black as your foreground color.
Make sure you've targeted the mask, you should see brackets around that. Your not on the image, you are on the mask, and then just start to paint. And what we can do is paint in a little bit more of the focused image. Or we can paint away some of the blur effect, because I want to get more of these smiling faces in here. I want to have a larger area which is in focus, and then I don't have the blurry area more around on those edges. And so here, I'm just clicking and painting over these. I'm just using my mouse to just paint this back in. And then next, let's lower the Opacity even further.
Here, I'll drop it down below 20%. And I'm just going to paint a little bit more of that away. And by doing this, we can really customize how this blur effect is coming into the image. And you can do this until you get it to a spot where you think it's looking good and where you have a lot of this fun energy here. Now again, to see the before and after, if you click on the Eye icon, you can see there's before, and then click again and now you can see the after. Now if you ever want to toggle the visibility of your mask on and off to see how that helped or maybe didn't help, hold down the Shift key, and then click on that mask.
That will disable or temporarily disable the mask. Here you can see without all of our mask work there. Or Shift+Click again and that will bring that back. Now as you're painting on your mask, let's click back to that, if you paint something out, like for example let's say you're painting and you realize, you know what I brought in detail on the hand right here. Well you can always bring back the blur by painting with white. And I'll bring up my Opacity so we can see this a little bit better. And just paint over that, and that way we can bring back a little bit more of that blur in some areas, too, so you're going to paint with black in order to hide the effect, paint with white to bring it back.
Alright, well there's our first project where we have looked at how we can add some energy by working with the Radial Blur filter. And it's important to highlight that when you, when using this filter it's always a good idea to convert your layer to a Smart Object layer so you have that extra bit of flexibility. So that you can just double-click the filter name, open it back up, change those settings however you want to, and then click OK in order to apply those settings to the photograph.
- Adding movement and energy to photos
- Creating illustrations
- Enhancing portraits
- Building a book cover with typography and blur
- Improving color
- Crafting an ethereal look
So grab your copy of Photoshop CC and get started taking your imagery to a new creative level.