Sometimes a blurring part of your photo creates a unique atmosphere or emotion to your photographs. Yes, not everything has to be tact sharp. Further to our previous tutorial on creating the Circular Blur effect, in this tutorial, we will explore the Linear and Brush Tools.
The Linear Blur Tool is located in the Edit Module.
There are 3 major types to choose from - Circular, Linear, and Brush. In this tutorial, let’s start with the “Linear” Blur.
The Linear Blur creates a miniature or toy effect one usually gets from an expensive shift-and-tilt lens. When you click on the Linear Blur Tool, a set of gradient lines will appear on your image. The middle section (1) is where the focal will be and this part of the image will remain sharp and intact. The outer areas (2) are the gradient range from being sharp and focused to blurred. Areas outside the gradient lines (3) will be completely blurred and you can adjust the amount of blur using the slider (4).
So, the first step is to decide to focal subject in the picture and adjust where you want to put the blur gradient and adjust the width. In the side panel, there are 2 Blur Type options – Soft focus, and Bokeh.
When applying the Blur effect, there are a couple of helpful tools:
- A slider to adjust the intensity of the blur effect according to your preferred look.
- A convenient check box to hide the gradient lines so you can preview the adjusted photo.
- You can also use the “Compare” mode to see the images before and after applying the blur effect.
You can also turn the gradient tool to an angle. By mouse-over the center line, an arched arrow will appear indicating you can adjust the angle.
With the Soft Focus, you can instantly get the toy or miniature effect. Here is the Before and After images side by side.
Bokeh adds flavor to the blur and it comes with 4 different shapes.
The Brush Blur Tool gives you more control over which area you want to blur. When you click on the Brush Blur Tool, you will notice that the entire image is blurred and a brush is ready to wipe out any area that you don’t want to be blurred.
You can set the size, feather and intensity of the brush on the left panel.
In addition, PhotoDirector gives you two types of blur effect – Soft focus and Bokeh. And like the Linear and Circular Blur, you have 4 different bokeh shapes.
In this tutorial, the aim is to retain focus on the sunflower, and keeping the center sharp.
- Use this brush to recover focus
- Use this eraser brush to blur
- Select Fit Edge to apply blur on areas of the photo with similar properties. Check the box to restrict blur effect from on the flower and retain blur in the background.
- You can adjust brush size, feather and intensity with these sliders. A quicker way to adjust brush size is by mouse scrolls.
I used a recovery sponge with 100% intensity to keep the center sharp and in focus.
Reduced the intensity to 70%, bigger feather and constantly adjusting the brush size to wipe on the petals. I kept the edges of the petals blurred to give it a motion effect,a s if the petals were moving from the wind.
Here to compare the Before and After editing of the image:
Now, it’s your turn. Try applying the Blur Tool to your images and share your art.