Photoshop Tutorials
The Design Center, DT&G / Photoshop Department / Motion Blurring  
[Editor's Note: Here's one of those frequent questions we get in the Photoshop 911 emergency room -- "What can I do to make this photo more dynamic?" The Photoshop Retouching Cookbook for Digital Photographers, has tons of great techniques that can expand on that concept many times over! Thanks to O'Reilly Publishing we're able to bring the technique to you in its entirety! ]

Motion Blur example Mr. Barry Huggins is back once again to share his Photoshop Retouching expertise in this issue of DTG! This time, we're going to investigate ...

Blurring: Motion and Radial

Barry Huggins writes...

Capturing a fleeting moment on camera is one of the most satisfying aspects of photography, but this doesn't necessarily mean sharp focus and fine detail. Pin-sharp clarity suits a single drop of water hitting the still surface of a pond, but a slow exposure can turn a waterfall into a beautiful, shimmering blur.

While sharp focus can freeze motion in time, blurring can create a powerful impression of movement. Photoshop's Motion Blur filter is designed with this in mind.

The Motion Blur Filter

Selection 1 Preparation:
Using Motion Blur effectively takes a little preparation. Used straight on an image, it creates a loss of detail, or merely replicates the effect of camera shake. In this image, we want to preserve detail while creating a feeling of rapid motion.

2 Selection:
To start, make a feathered selection of the rear half of the girl. A Feather setting of about 6 pixels should be sufficient for a lowresolution shot, but you need to use higher values for high-resolution images.

Finish a "quick and dirty" selection -- the blur effect means that accuracy isn't vital -- then press
Ctrl/Cmd + J to copy and paste it to a new layer.
Call the new layer "copied selection."

Selection Lifted

3 Now Blur Keep the copied selection layer active and go to
Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Set the angle to 0 degrees and the distance to 90 pixels.

Motion Blur

Make sure the Move tool is selected, then press the right arrow key on the keyboard about 12 times
to move the selection to the right.
This gives the impression that the girl is leaving a blur of movement in her wake.

For a stronger effect, merely duplicate the copied selection layer.

Duplicate the layer

TIP Blurring with Blend Modes

After duplicating the copied selection layer, try changing the blend mode of the top version to Lighten.
This produces an almost ghostly effect.

Here are the results

VIEW the final version enlarged

NEXT: The Radial Blur filter



Photoshop Retouching Cookbook for Digital Photographers with 113 Easy-to-Follow Recipes to Improve Your Photos and Create Special Effects By Barry Huggins ... tells you everything you need to know to adjust, correct, retouch, and manipulate your photographs-without making you first learn everything there is to know about Photoshop CS2.

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