This week, on-hand Photoshop Guru Eric Renno, aka Tip Squirrel demonstrates how to use Field Blur in Photoshop. 

Last time we took a look at Photoshop’s Iris Blur to draw attention to areas of the image, in this post let’s have a look at the similar, yet different, Field Blur:

Work Smart

In this post I’m using this image:

wine

Working with Smart Objects really helps when using Field Blur. Most of the time I use this filter I end up going back and tweaking the settings so the first thing I do is convert the layer:

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Field Blur

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When opening Field Blur, the new window should look familiar, on the right you can see that Iris Blur is there, collapsed, and Field Blur is open. We can skip between the two at any time although they don’t work well in conjunction with each other however, so it’s best to run one at a time.

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The Blur Pin

Just as with Iris Blur and when we looked at Path Blur, Photoshop has added a blur by default. This pin works just the same as the Field Blur with a radial dial to determine the blur amount. This time, like the Path Blur there’s no outer edge of the blur. Instead, adding more pins will change the blur amount:

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Here I’ve added two pins at 40px blur and one in the middle of them at 0 Px. We can see that the blur transitions from one pin to another. The closer the pins the quicker the transition.

Shaping The Blur

By adding more pins I can isolate the areas I want but also control the amount of blur in one place. In this example I’ll try to isolate the cheese while giving the wine, bread and vineyard varied blur and thus depth of field:

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This may look complicated and a lot of work but you can click and drag a pin to copy it while using the keyboard modifier keys: Option+cmd (Mac) or Alt+Ctrl (PC)

This drastically reduces the amount of clicking!

Tweaking The Blur

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For a ‘first pass’ at adding the blur this isn’t too bad, but I can see areas I’d like to tweak. Because I made this a Smart Object I can double click the Smart Filter and add, delete or move pins.

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You can add a Iris blur as another Smart Filter should you wish. Filters are applied to the image bottom to top so here:

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My Iris blur is applied first before the Field Blur.

And the finished piece:

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As always, a big thanks to Eric for supplying this super detailed tutorial. Stay tuned for next week and in the meantime, check out more of his tutorials on his websiteYouTube and you can find him on Facebook and Twitter should you wish to get in touch with him!