Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Restore noise: Blur Gallery, part of Photoshop for Photographers: 2015 Creative Cloud Updates.
- Let's take a look at a new feature which gives us the ability to recover or add some noise, or grain to an out of focus area of an image when we are working with the blur gallery. In order to illustrate how this feature works we'll be doing a small project here. And with this photograph what I wanna do is, I wanna apply effects so that the boat is in focus and the rest of the image is a blur. Well the first step is to select a layer that you wanna work with. In this case the default background layer is already selected.
Next navigate to the "Filter" pull down menu. Then we'll go to the "Blur gallery". Here we can choose any of these different options. Yet, to accomplish my project I'm gonna choose "Iris blur". When we click on that, it will launch the image in the blur gallery. Over on the right we can see we have Iris blur selected. We can increase the blur amount or decrease it using the slider. Or if you position your cursor over the image you can use the onscreen slider right here as well. If you wanna change the shape or the size of the blur, just hover over the edge of the overlay graphic here and click and drag and you can see how I'm making this smaller.
And if we wanna move it around, just click and drag in order to move it around. And here you can see I can bring the focus into just one little area of the image. Here, I'll drag it over the boat because that's the area that I wanna have in focus. And let me zoom in on this one a little bit so that you can see that touch better. Now what about the solid circles right here? These have to do with the transition area. If they are closer to the edge, it's a harder transition. Closer to the center, it's a softer transition. So what you are looking to do here is just apply and customize a really fun and creative blur effect the photograph.
In this case, bringing all of our emphasis to the boat here and less to the subject, to the person holding it. You know, the blur gallery is so much fun, yet one of the big problems is that the blurry area can look a bit too smudgy or soft. So previously, what I would have to do is go back to Photoshop and add another filter of adding noise to that area, but now we can do this right inside of the blur gallery. We can find those controls underneath the noise tab down below. If you don't see the controls we'll just click on the tab. We have three different types of noise that we can add.
Let's start off by adding "Gaussian noise". Now when we go to Gaussian, I'm gonna bring the amount slider up to about 25. And I'm doing this in order to really exaggerate, so that you can start to see whats happening here. And what we see is that there's all of this noise coming into the out of focus for blurry area of the image. What about color and highlights? We'll bring color up and were gonna see colors in the noisy area. Bring it down and it's just monochromatic. What about highlights? Well, as I drag this slider down, take a look at the sky.
Notice how the noise effect isn't applied as strongly to the sky as it is to the darker areas of the image. So we can use these slider to fine tune or finesse the way that this noise effect will appear. Let's compare gaussian with uniform. With uniform I'm gonna bring this value up to about 25 so it's pretty similar. And when I go back an forth between these two you can see it's just giving us a different kinda characteristic of noise. And then again obviously we wouldn't have it this high but sometimes if you exaggerate, it can help you learn how these new features like this work.
Alright well, the last and perhaps the best option is Grain. And the reason why that's the best is becuase we have access to all of the sliders. Here when we bring our amount up, that brings up the grain, or the noise. Next for the size, we can have really small, drag to the left, or really big, drag to the right. Now what about roughness? If we drag it to the left it's more Uniform. Drag it to the right it's gonna look a little bit more varied. So again we can just fine tune those. And color and highlights works as it does in the other areas.
Alright well now that we know how these sliders work. How do we actually apply this to a photograph like this? Well, what we would wanna do is, we'd wanna start of with a little bit lower values here, and just bring that amount up. And we're just looking to add a really subtle amount of texture in that area. I'm guessing this is so subtle that you can barely see it. Yet, on my monitor this amount looks really good. I also want you to know that your amount will really depend upon the resolution of your image. Higher resolution files, you're gonna have a higher amount. But most importantly, just dial the sensor so that looks good to your eye.
And as you do this, you can click on this toggle switch right here to look at the before and after. So this is gonna show you, "Hey, is this looking good or not?" And then of course you are gonna wanna dial in the size and roughness. I might bring down the highlights there a little bit too. I'm just gonna try to find just the right amount of texture in that area of the photograph. Alright well, this project is complete. That area looks a lot better, much more realistic. If we are ready to apply this, we'd simply click "OK" and that would then render or apply the filter on the layer.
Yet, before I do that, what I wanna do is highlight how this works with the other type of blur tools. So here I'll turn off the option for Iris blur and go down to another option like "Tilt Shift", and with tilt shift we can, again, move the overlay graphics and change the blur value here. And in doing that we can see that now we have this focus on this part of the image. The boat, the person holding it and the area below and above is out of focus. Again, when I bring up my amount slider, you can see how that noise is just being applied to those areas where it has the blur effect applied to it as well.
So this technique or this new feature, working with noise. It works with all of our different blur tools, Field, Iris, Tilt, Path and Spin. And it's a great way to accomplish even more creative and better results when you are working with the blur gallery. And my only tip for you, or my last tip is that as you start to work with this new feature just really pay attention to your overall amount. And what I have found is I started to add this to my images and then make some prints is that, less noise is typically better.
So you don't need to go very high or exaggerate here but just adding a little bit can add a nice mood or feeling in the overall look of your photographs.
To start, Chris shows how to bring back noise with a new addition to the Blur Gallery, find new uses for the Content Aware Move tool, and add adjustments to Smart Objects. He also covers changes to Camera Raw, and selection of smaller but no less important enhancements to both programs.