Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Enhancing photographs with the Tilt-Shift Blur tool, part of Photoshop CS6 for Photographers New Features.
Here we are going to take a look at how we can work with the new Tilt-Shift Blur and also how we can combine that with some of the other blur techniques that we've looked at previously. Well, let's start off by duplicating our background layer. We can do this by clicking on the background layer and then by pressing Command+J on the Mac, Ctrl+J on Windows, and let's name this new layer blur. The next step is to navigate to our Filter pulldown menu, and here we're going to choose Blur and then Tilt-Shift. Tilt-Shift is a really fascinating blur which comes from a traditional photographic practice of using a large format camera. And here you can see what we can do is dial in a similar effect in post-production.
What you can do is hover over these graphics, and you can change this type of blur. The way that you can change it is you can rotate the blur, and you can also change what's in focus and what's out of focus. You can do that by clicking and dragging to reposition this. You can also hover over these lines. The further out these lines go, will further the transition. It's in focus and then slowly becomes out of focus. The closer this is, the less the area of the transition.
You can now see that it's much more dramatic. And what's great about this is we can control each side of this blur. In other words, we could have one which is a bit more dramatic and then another which is a bit more diffused or soft in regards to its transition. We can change the overall blur here as well. We can increase the amount of blur or decrease it either by using the slider or by using this interactive icon here which allows us to change the blur amount. What about this other control, Distortion? In order to understand how Distortion works, take a look at the sidewalk here.
As I change this Distortion amount, what you can see is it's changing the overall shape of that area of the sidewalk. Sometimes as things become more out of focus, you are going to have a little bit of distortion, so they almost fan out. It makes that blur look a little bit more believable. Now you can use this Tilt-Shift blur in order to come up with creative effects, or miniature effects. And it's really quite fascinating. Well, here with this photograph, let's go ahead and make this blur a little bit more straight. So I am going to go ahead and straighten this out so it's going top to bottom, and I am going to bring these two points in so that we were are really focusing in on this car here.
Now, so far I am liking the way that this blur is looking. I will increase the blur amount and also my transition area. Except one of the problems that I'm having is that I really want to have a few other elements out of focus as well. In order to do that, I am going to add a few more blur points. Now we can add these points either using the Iris or the Field Blur. Let's try Field Blur. Here I will go ahead and click on this check box and open up this option. This now adds this Field Blur point. Well, currently it's blurring everything out. It's overpowering all of the Tilt-Shift that I applied.
So what I need to do is to zero out this blur. In other words, just create an area that I'm going to protect, in this case the car. Then I can add another point, say, over here. This now allows me to blur this side of the frame. And you can see that by combining these two, it really helps me zero in on and focus on the car in the middle of the frame. Let's add another point over here on the right side of the frame. Again, you can see how we can really get specific and kind of stack up these different effects.
Also, perhaps one right behind the car here. We will go ahead and change the blur amount just by dragging this around. So you can get really creative here and have just a ton of fun with how you create this blur. What's interesting about this is that it's the combination of these different blur effects which help us create really this distinct mood on this picture. Well, if ever we want to change one of these points as we've seen before, we can click in and drag these amounts. What about the Tilt-Shift blur, can we modify that? Same thing here, just click on it and then by default it will go to that Tilt-Shift dialog. We can open that up and what we can do then is change the overall blur that we are seeing in other areas of the picture.
Now as we have seen before, a lot of times having all of these interactive graphics on top of our image, well, it just becomes a little bit distracting. To hide those, press the H key. That will then temporarily hide all of those graphics. And of course, if ever you want to make other changes, just jump to those other fields, set another point. And here with this point, let's bring back some focus, say, on this guy who is crossing the street over here. So we can dial that in by simply repositioning that and then removing the blur from that area.
And in this way you can create effects that would literally be impossible to create on camera. And what's fun about this is that it really can kind of excite your imagination in regards to how you work with blur in focus in order to create a particular photographic story using your pictures. Okay. Well, let's go ahead and apply these effects. We can do so by clicking OK. Once we do that, it will then render that blur out so that we now have these two layers. Here's the background and then our top blur layer. To see the before and after, we'll click on the icon. Here is before and then now here is after.
- Getting familiar with the new interface
- Exploring improvements to Bridge and Mini Bridge
- Recovering highlights and improving exposure with Camera Raw
- Making precise raw adjustments with the Point Tone Curve
- Grouping, filtering, and finding layers
- Correcting distortion with Adaptive Wide Angle controls
- Working with the new Content-Aware tools
- Making better selections
- Performing perspective cropping
- Getting started with video in Photoshop
- Making picture-perfect prints with the Print dialog
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 12/11/12. What changed?
A: We added an additional chapter, "Creative Cloud Updates December 2012," to cover the new features rolled out with the Creative Cloud subscription model for Photoshop, including the Blur Gallery and Smart Filters' new impact on still images, and the abilities to blur video, change image size and resolution with the Crop tool, and use conditional actions to add watermarks to your images.