Blur across the field in Photoshop CS6

In this photo retouching tutorial, we’ll look at the Field Blur effect, the first of three new blur effects in Photoshop CS6. Blur across the field along with blurring over the aperture (Iris Blur) and tilt-shift (other new blur effects) are located in the blur gallery that appeared in Photoshop CS6.

Each of these effects blurs the image in different ways, but as we can learn from these lessons, blurring across the field, blurring over the aperture and Shift-tilting have one thing in common – they allow us to largely control the blurring process because they do not apply uniform blurring. on the whole image. On the contrary, these effects help us to precisely adjust the degree of blur in certain parts of the image without the use of a layer mask, which greatly simplifies the task.

In this lesson we will examine the blur across the field in detail. Here is a photo from which I will work:

Source image

Before we continue, let’s take a look at the layers panel, where you can see that I am currently working with a copy of the original image. I created a copy of the layer by pressing the Crtl + J / Command + J key combination and thus duplicating the background layer. In this case, the original image on the background layer will remain intact, and I will make a blur on the copy on layer 1:

Work with a copy of the image (layer 1) to avoid changes to the original (background layer).

Selecting the Blur across the Field effect

To use the Blur Over Field effect, refer to the Filter menu bar at the top of the screen, select Blur from the list and then Blur Field Blur:

Select Filter> Blur> Blur Over Field (Filter> Blur> Field Blur).

Blur Gallery

After selecting the effect of “Blur across the field,” a new blur gallery appears on the screen, temporarily replacing the standard interface in Photoshop CS6.

The blur gallery is almost entirely composed of a preview area, where we work with an image, and if you look at the right side of the screen, you can see several panels. The top panel is called the Blur Tools panel, where the parameters are located to control the blur effects on the field, on the diaphragm, and for tilt-shift.

Below is the Blur Effects panel with additional options for adding bokeh effects to the blur. In this lesson, we will not study the Blur Effects panel, since we will not need to add additional parameters to the main blur effect.

Since I selected Blur across the field in the Filter menu bar, options for blurring across the field automatically appeared in the Blur Tools panel:

Blur gallery in Photoshop CS6 with the Blur Tools panel, where options for blurring across the field are visible.

Working with pins

If we look at the image in the preview area, we note two features.

Firstly, the entire image is completely evenly blurred, and this is similar to the use of more traditional Photoshop blur effects, such as Gaussian blur.

Secondly, which is more interesting, we can see a strange round icon. This icon is called a “pin” because we “pin” it on the image. Photoshop defaults to the original pin for us, but we can add extra pins in different places in the image. Why do we need it? We learn in the near future:

Photoshop defaults to the original pin for us.

The original pin that the program adds actually controls the degree of blur to be applied to the image. How does this happen?

The outer ring of the pin control acts like a volume control in a tape recorder. To add music to the volume, we turn the knob clockwise, and to decrease the volume – counterclockwise.

In our case, instead of adjusting the volume, we adjust the degree of blurring, but the principle of operation is the same. We just need to turn the knob. Place the mouse cursor on the outer control ring, then hold down the mouse button and turn the ring clockwise or against it.

Turning it clockwise will increase the degree of blur, while turning it counterclockwise will decrease. Photoshop will show you the preliminary result of the rotation of the ring:

Click on the outer ring and rotate it to adjust the degree of blur.

Blur slider

If the use of the “volume control” does not appeal to you, you can also adjust the degree of blurring using a more traditional method – move the slider in the “Blur Tools” panel in the “Field Blur” section.

The slider and pin are tied to each other – by changing one, you automatically change the other. Therefore, there is no difference in which tool to use. And just like with the pin, Photoshop gives you the ability to preview the result as you move the blur slider left or right:

You can use a pin or slider to control the degree of blur.

Here is what my image looks like in the preview after setting the blur level – 18 pixels:

The initial blur effect.

Moving pins

So, by this moment I managed to achieve the same level of blur on the whole image. And what if you need to change the degree of blur in a particular place in the image? For example, the girl’s eyes do not need to blur. They should remain clear. How can I reduce blur in the face? With a new blur filter across the field this is easy to achieve! All you need to do is add another pin!

Before I do this, I want to move my original pin to another location. We can move pins by simply clicking on their center and moving pins around the image. I will move the pin a little higher to remove it from the eye area:

Click on the pin and move it to the right place.

Add pins

To add a new pin, move the mouse to the right place. The cursor will turn into a pin icon with a plus sign next to it, which will mean the possibility of adding a new pin. In my case, since I want to change the degree of blur around the eyes of a girl, I will move the mouse over my left eye:

Move the mouse to the right place.

Then just click on the mouse button and a new pin will appear! Notice that the original pin still remains on the image, but it does not have an outer control ring. This happened because although both pins blur the image, we can control only one pin at a time, so the control ring is displayed on the selected active pin (the new pin I just added):

When two or more pins are added, the outer control ring is displayed on the selected pin.

By adding a new pin to the girl’s eye area, I can remove the blur in this place either by turning the control ring counterclockwise, or by dragging the blur slider in the toolbar to the left to mark the blur level 0. I choose the option to rotate the ring. The blur effect around the second pin and under it has ceased to act, while the area closer to the original pin above the image is still blurred:

Each pin adjusts the degree of blur in different parts of the image.

I will do the same with the second eye, adding the third pin to the image and turning the outer control ring counterclockwise to remove the blur effect. Both eyes are now clear and sharp, as on the original image, while the area around the top pin is blurred. As we add new pins, we begin to more control the blur in different parts of the image:

Each new pin adjusts the degree of blur in and around the area.

What if I want to go back and adjust the original pin differently? No problem! All you need to do is simply click on it and make it active, call the outer control ring on the screen, and then rotate the ring (or move the slider on the toolbar) to increase or decrease the degree of blur in this part of the image.

It is important to note that in the process of working with pins we do not make permanent changes to the image. Photoshop just shows us the preliminary result of the blur effect:

Click on any pin to make it active again and make the necessary changes.

In my case, I add a fourth pin to the shoulder area to blur this spot a little, and rotate the control ring clockwise, enhancing the blur effect. You can add as many pins to the image as you need to control the degree of blur to the extent necessary:

Blur the area in the lower left corner of the image by adding another pin.

And as another example, I will add a fifth pin to the mouth area, then turn the control ring counterclockwise to return the original sharpness of the lower part of the girl’s face:

The field blur filter allows us to quickly and easily adjust the desired degree of blur.

Temporarily hide pins

The only problem when working with pins is that they gradually clutter up the image, and it becomes difficult to trace the blur effect. We can temporarily hide the pins by pressing and holding the letter H on the keyboard (from the hide verb “hide”). With the key pressed, the pins disappear. Having released the key, we return the visibility to the pins:

Press and hold the H key to hide the pins and evaluate the result of the blur.

You can also compare the processed image and the original image at any time by turning off the Preview option at the top of the blur gallery. When the Preview option is not selected, the original image appears. To return to the unfinished work with blur, select the option “Preview” again by ticking the check box in the checkbox. You can also press the P key on the keyboard to quickly turn on / off the option:

Compare the original and processed images by turning on / off the preview option.

Removing pins

To remove an unnecessary pin, make it active and press the Backspace / Delete key on the keyboard. If you want to remove all the pins at once and start working again, click on the “Delete all pins” icon at the top of the blur gallery (to the right of the Preview item):

Select “Remove All Pins” to remove pins from an image at a time.

Apply a blur effect to an image.

When you have finally finished adding, moving pins and are happy with the result, simply click the “OK” button in the blur gallery or the Enter / Return key on the keyboard. This will apply the blur effect to the original image and exit the blur gallery:

Press the OK key to apply the blur effect.

And here we have finished working with blur! For comparison, once again the original image:

Source image

And here is my final result, after adding a few more pins to the image:

Final result.

We did it! We learned to blur the necessary parts of the image with ease, using the new “Blur across the field” filter in Photoshop CS6!

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