How To Blur Background In Photoshop
What is a Blur
Blur is a nicer and effective way to draw your customer eyes on the subject or product. Blur background in an image also called the “Bokeh” effect in photography terms. It is very Popular in terms of Portraits, Wedding Images, Product shoot.
Getting a blur background in an image is very easy when you are shooting images with a wider aperture lens. Macro lenses or lenses which have a wider aperture like f/1.2 or f/1.4 is a very good choice for shooting portraits.
Shallow depth of field is the key to make a blur background in images. Higher aperture like above f/7 or above may decrease your depth of field, and lower the number of aperture increase the chances of getting a soft, out of focus background and adding a bokeh effect in your images.
Nowadays we have many choices to make it happen in cameras, or portrait modes in our cameras and smartphones.
But Don’t worry here you don’t need to spend your money on a camera, lenses or a good mobile phone with portrait mode. Photoshop gives us this choice to create a blur background in images after shooting in post processing.
Use of Photoshop in Blur Background
Photoshop has different tools with different options to create blur backgrounds and here we have full control on images which part to show and which part to hide.
When we see a camera clicked blur background images we can see the object in the image which one is nearest is in more focus then the object far away from the bottom line.
This is called perspective and we have to tell the computer which areas are nearest and which are farthest.
Let’s check some examples : Check this beautiful wedding photography where everyone is blurred as per their distance from the bride and groom.
So here it is clear that we should make our subject focus and other areas out of focus when creating a blur background bokeh effect in photoshop.
Types of Blur Options in Photoshop
We have many options available in photoshop to create a blur background, but we use these as per our need, and for still portraits or travelling image:-
Blur options available in Blur filter gallery:-
- Blur More
- Box Blur
- Gaussian Blur
- Lens Blur
- Motion Blur
- Radial Blur
- Shape Blur
- Smart Blur
- Surface Blur
In Photoshop CC has a blur gallery also which contains:-
- Field Blur
- Iris Blur
- Path Blur
- Spin Blur
above we market the most commonly used blur options and we will also discuss them.
Steps to Create a Blur Background
In short I can say we need to only 3 things to create a blur background, yes adjustment options can vary in above listed options but we can create a nice blur background by remembering these 3 steps.
Step 1 Subject Selection : In this step we create a select our subject to make it separate from the background and after selection we put it on a new layer.
For selecting subjects you can use the Magic wand tool, Quick selection tool, Select Subject, or Pen tool this all depends on your expertise, which tool is handy for you to make a fast and good selection. But make sure your selection must be clear and detailed with no Jaggy areas.
You can use the refine edge option or other tools to make your selection edges smooth.
Step 2 Separate your subject : after making a good selection put your subject on a new layer by using layer mask or manually copy and paste on a new layer.
Step 3 Blur your Background : for creating bokeh effect you have to make your background blur, but make a duplicate layer of your background layer first and apply blur effect.
Lets checkout in these best video tutorial on creating blur background in Photoshop-
1. Blur background by using Tilt Shift Blur (PHLEARN)
I hope you all know about PHLEARN, this is one of the best tutorial providers in photoshop. And Aaron Nace is one of the best photoshop instructors.
In this tutorial Aaron took a wedding couple image in Photoshop.
In the first step duplicate the original background layer and make a selection to the subject (couple) using a pen tool to make his selection best, because we all know this is our primary and compulsory step to make a good selection. Then he makes a layer mask to separate it from the original image or we can say to make it non-destructive,and name this layer subject.
Then he duplicates the background layer and rename it as a blur layer. Because we will apply our blur bokeh effect on this layer.
Convert the blur layer into a smart object, that we can edit our effect anytime. Before converting it into a smart object remove the subject from the blur layer by using spot healing brush tool or we can use content fill option by using (Shift + Backspace) and content aware fill. (don’t go for 100% exact content fill option, its ok)
Then apply Tilt shift blur to blur layer and make some adjustments Blur Amount, Noise to make it perfect.
To create your subject edges smooth, you can select your subject and apply the refine edge option or you can use the blur tool on the layer mask of the subject layer.
2. Blur Background by using Lens Blur (PTC)
In this tutorial after selecting subject and separate on a new layer, we need to create a gradient fill on a new layer and add both layers in a group.
The main thing in this tutorial for applying background blur, we must create an alpha channel on the group by going into the channels panel, duplicate any channel and rename it.
Here is done the basics steps, now duplicate your background layer to make it non-destructive and apply lens blur filter by going in
Effects Menu>Blur Gallery>Lens Blur
Here you can adjust the amount of blur, invert your blur effect, add noise to make it real, and click OK.
3. Blur Background by Using Gaussian Blur
This is and older version of creating blur background, you just need to duplicate your background layer, apply and adjustment filter and layer mask and apply gaussian blur effect from Effects Menu>Blur>Gaussian Blur
4. Blur Background by Iris Blur
In Iris Blur you can create a blur background easily within two minutes, and you don’t need to duplicate your layer or make a selection; this is a new feature in Photoshop CC.
Just go to Effects Menu > Blur Gallery > and Iris Filter
When you choose The Iris filter you will get a pin icon on your image, and an oval shape which shows your focus area. You can adjust your pin by simply drag and drop on the image and adjust its width and length by simply transforming.
You can adjust blur transition by selecting white dots, you can adjust single white spot also by pressing and holding ALT key.
Blur amount you can adjust by the slider available in Blur tools option bar.
5. Blur background using Field Blur
You can create a nice and smooth blur background by using the Field Blur option also, here also you don’t need to create a selection and duplicate your background layer as similar to Iris Blur.
Just on Effects Menu > Blur Gallery > Field Blur
When you apply The Field Blur, you will get a Pin icon in the middle of your image, by selecting this pin icon you can adjust the blur amount on a particular area of an image. The good news is you can add multiple Pin dots on your image to show or hide a special area.
In all of these 5 tutorials of creating a blur background on an image we have learned lots of things and different options to make a bokeh effect on an image, we can make our images stand out from the crowd, and add smooth, soft background to make our product more focus.
If you are a photographer, these tips are very useful for you.
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