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How To Blur Backgrounds In Photoshop

How To Blur Backgrounds In Photoshop

Adding blur to an image gets so easy with this Videojug tutorial. Learn how to blur background with Photoshop. This tutorial explains the easiest and the best way to add blur.

I'm now going to show you how to blur out the background using Adobe Photoshop CS4.Okay, here we have an image that I took randomly one night on my way home from work. It pictured my train is hanging from the bars and the tube. Don't ask me why? Just decided to take that image, so I thought it might look cool. So, what I'm going to do is show you the effect of how to create the shoes to look in focus and the whole background to look out of focus. So, here's one I made earlier. As you can see, the shoes and the shoe string there are all in focus and the background is all blurred. Okay, so I'm going to turn back to my previous image. Okay, so since what we wanted do now is we want to mask out the areas which we want to stay in focus, so using the zoom and zoom out tool which is Apple plus and Apple minus or Control if you are using your PC, you can zoom in and out on the image. In order to get exactly into all the nooks and crannies of the beach element of the picture, so using the space bar and clicking on the image with a hand tool, you just move your image to as such you want it to. So, what you do finish instantly, and I'm just going to cut off this shoe here in foreground, so in order to create our mask, I'm going to enter quick mask mode which is Q on your keyboard. In your history, you'll see here that it says you've entered quick mask mode, I mean you can now make a mask. So, using the brush tool which is B as a shortcut on your keyboard or can be located on the left hand first top tool palette, now, I can go in and adjust the size of the shoe and so I can now get out of the settings here in the brush and get a slightly smaller one just to about thirty percent. If you have the hardness to set too high and you'll have quite abrupt cut of the mask and we want to blur the edge ever such lightly to just having hardness, it helps that purpose. So, once you have set things, hit enter. Now, it's just off again, zoom in and out your image and painting around the edge of the eye, which you wish to bring in focus with in your image. So, I'm going to do this very quickly and quite roughly just for the time's sake. But you can spend hours in doing this to get the perfect cut out. So, as you can see, I'm just going around the edges of the shoe. Don't worry, it won't stay red forever. It's just so you can see where your mask is being made. So, you may need to adjust the size of the brush just to get some within the image. So, I'm just going to keep clicking around there. Get the laces there down to the toe cap. Again, just adjusting the brush size, just so I can zoom right in and get that little part of the shoe there, now, the idea is to highlight the entire part of the shoe. Now, as you can see that I've slightly gone over the edge, so you can go back, back to few stages to change what you painted or alternatively you can use the erase tool which you can find over here on the tool palette on the left hand side. Shortcut, for you shortcut people out there is E on the keyboard and you can just go around and get a quick nip out of this which could have gone slightly wrong. So, again, just kind of, just very quickly paint this out, just going to increase the size of my brush, as in focus zooming out slightly. Okay, like I said before, zooming in and out, you can just make sure you got the whole image selected. You can see that I've done, a little bit wrong, not quite got the edge, so reduce the size of the brush again. So, I can get that lace there. So just dropping the size down again, this is rush. You will obviously spend a lot of time doing it than I am now. Just going to quickly get that shoe lace there but you can get basic idea of it anyway. So, again, a bit of overlap there just with the erase tool, E is the shortcut. Just going to very quickly remake that bit there, like so, zooming all the way out. Just going to add there and that one as well. So, once you've finally got to this stage and you are happy with the selection you've made, you now want to exit the quick mask mode which is pressing Q on your keyboard. Now, as you can see what we have with the selection or how I highlight it so where you paint it, now, we don't want the outside of the image which is background which is selected. We want what has been inside the painting that we've just painted in. So, to invert the selection, we hold down Control if you are using a PC or Apple if you are using a Mac, shift and then press the letter I. You can change the selection to the internal rather than externally on the image. So, now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to make a copy of what's inside there. You can do this in a couple of ways - you can do this by pressing Apple C or Control C and then Control D or Apple V, no more copy and paste or you can press Apple J and that creates the new layer there, just a slight way of speeding the process up. So, now, if I lose the background image, you can see I've got the outline of the shoe painted. Now, don't worry if it's a little bit dodgy in there. So, as you can, there's a bit of gap missing. You can go back to mask it out a bit better than I have there. It's just for the purpose of the tutorial. So, I'm going to bring the background layer up. Now, we want to blur out the background image here and keep the train of the same. So, in order to do that, we can now shift the layer which has your original image on by just clicking on it. It'll turn blue there like so. We are then going to add the Gaussian blur filter which can be found in filter blur. Gaussian blur, now, there are couple different blurs here. Gaussian blur here, I find, is the best you can experiment with motion blur and just quickly to show you Gaussian blur. Now, as you can see here already on the image, you've got an extremely blurred background and our shoe which is on the layer above which is still in focus which is what we want. So, you can, with the tool here, you can then adjust the blur size. It's how blurry you want to get. Again, it's all about interpretation, it's all about how you want at a time. So, I'm going to go about seven pixels there and here, okay, and as you can see, you now have a blurred background. Now, on the previous image I showed you, what I did is I went through a cut out of the second shoe here and then, what you can then do is change the depth of field. So, you can make your background image exceptionally blurry. Something a little bit further forward in the foreground, a little bit blurrier and then you'll see picture in front of a solid color and then it's all up to your interpretation and that's how you can blur the background using Adobe Photoshop.