Some Field Blur Voodoo With Adobe Photoshop CC 2015

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Some Field Blur Voodoo Wth Adobe Photoshop CC 2015

The Field Blur filter is shown in the Blur Gallery panel.
Field blur gives you a tremendous amount of control over the blur to be applied to an image.

Introduced in Photoshop CS6, Field Blur is one those really interesting filters that tends to get overlooked when one first starts using the application. In actual fact, as I like to say it, “Once you try you ain’t never going back.

What Field Blur does to to give you a powerful method of controlling the amount of blur applied. The traditional blur tools such as Gaussian Blur and Radial Blur tend to apply their blurs globally to the entire image.  Even is you blur a selection there really is no way to selectively apply varying amounts of the blur without a lot of selecting and so on.

With the introduction of the  Blur Gallery in Photoshop CS6 applying blurs to different parts of an image to, for example, apply depth of field to an image, became a whole lot easier to accomplish.

Let’s get started.

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How To Apply Field Blur In Adobe Photoshop CC 2015

The Field Blur menu item is highlighed in the Filter menu.
Field Blur is a feature of the Blur Gallery and should be applied to a Smart Object.

The first thing to do when you open the image is to convert it to a Smart Object. This way any changes you make to the original can be applied without affecting the original image. The first step in applying the Field Blur is to select Filter> Blur Gallery >Field Blur. If you didn’t convert the image to a Smart Object, do your sanity a favor and select Convert for Smart Filters before applying a Field Blur. This step converts to image to a Smart Object.

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How To Modify A Field Blur In Adobe Photoshop CC 2015

The Blur Center is indicated by an arrow pointing to it.
The blur amopunt can be applied in the Gallery or by clicking and gragging along the bulls eye.

When you select the Field Blur, you may notice a sort of Bulls Eye appears on the image and the Blur Gallery panel opens with Field Blur selected.

If you move the Field Blur slider to the right or the left, you will notice the entire image blurs or comes into focus. There is another way of controlling the blur. If you click and drag along the outer circle in the bulls eye, you can also change the amount of blur applied to the image.

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How Apply Some Field Blur Voodoo In Adobe Photoshop CC 2015

Arrows point to the three Field Blur pins added to the image.
The Field Blur pins are where the blur voodoo can be applied to the image.

Now for the Voodoo.

That Bulls Eye is called a “Pin”.  You can see this when you roll the cursor over the Blur Center point. The cursor changes to a push pin icon. The really great thing about working with a pin is it can be moved to another position in the image or, if you click on the image, another pin with be added to the image where you clicked the mouse.

Each pin can have an independent blur amount meaning you can control the amount of blur applied to the area of the image where the pin is located. This is a great way of controlling or adding depth of field to an image. Like a voodoo doll, you can add pins to the image and pull the eye to the part of the image you deem to be the most important area.

In this example I have added two more pins to the image. The plan is to have the center of the image in focus while blurring out the top and bottom areas of the image.

The blur values applied are:

  • Top Pin: 15 px. This area is already a bit blurry thus I decided to add just a bit more blue.
  • Middle Pin: 4 px. This is where I decided the focal point point should be thus the very small blur amount. In fact, I am actually reducing the overall blue applied by the top pin.
  • Bottom Pin: 41 px. This is the least important area thus the high amount of blur applied.

Here are some other Pin management tips:

  • If you find the Pins are getting in the way, you can press the H key to hide them.
  • If you want to delete a pin, select it and press the Delete key.
  • If you want to remove all of the pins and start over, click the Remove All Pins button in the Blur Options panel.