How to blur the background in Photoshop?
Unfortunately, conventional compacts and smartphones often do not know how to create beautiful bokeh. This results from the fact that in such devices the matrix of the smaller size is built in. What do the owners of budget cameras? We can recommend them to use the Photoshop program, where making a blurred background is easy. All that is needed is the relevant practice that you will now receive.
First you need to clarify that not every photo is suitable for blurring the background. It is best to choose a picture in which the legs of a person are not visible, as well as close objects. In our case, the person stands against the background of the forest, this frame is ideal for processing. If a bush or a tree had also been present in the foreground of the photograph, then great difficulties would have arisen.
Immediately you must remember that the desired effect is achieved using the function “Gaussian Blur.” If you apply it to any picture, you get the feeling that the photographer forgot to focus his camera. But we need to understand how to blur the background in Photoshop, and not the entire image. Therefore, you should initially select the object remaining in the zone of sharpness. There are several ways to do this. The easiest is to use the Magnetic Lasso tool. If you already know how to use it (in one of the past lessons we talked in detail about his work) – this is very good. If you do not have enough skills, then you have to sweat. But in this lesson we only touch briefly on this method. The first is to talk about how you can get a blurred background with a mask. For a beginner, this is difficult, but the result is impressive. It may take 15-20 minutes to process one photo.
First you need to create a copy of the existing layer. This is done in the Layers panel. Just open this palette and press Ctrl + J. You can also drag the Background layer to the Create New Layer button. This will also result in a copy.
The new layer needs to be blurred. As stated above, the Gauss Blur filter is used for this. It is located on the “Filter-Blur-Blur by Gauss” path. Adjusting the filter is done by dragging the slider, which affects the blur radius. Focus at this moment on the background. It should be blurred as if you were taking a picture with a SLR camera with a wide open aperture. Do not overdo it, otherwise the picture will not look realistic. If changes to the photo are not displayed, check the box next to the View option. This creates a blurred background in Photoshop CS5 later versions.
When the degree of blurring suits you, click the “OK” button. Now you need to apply a layer mask to this layer. To do this, follow the path “Layer-Layer-Mask-Show All”. You will not notice any external changes after clicking on this item. But in the Layers panel you will see a white rectangle.
And now the most difficult begins. Masks in Photoshop allow you to remove the effect of the applied filter from the specified areas. Therefore, you need to indicate to the program that the person in the photo should remain sharp. For this it is necessary to paint it completely black. This is difficult, so zoom in to 100%.
Pick a black color, then go to the Brush tool. Hardness set at 20%. The diameter depends on the resolution of your photo and the size of the person. When you are satisfied with the diameter, start painting in black in the subject.
Make a blurred background in Photoshop
Gradually, you need to make the whole human figure sharp. Do not be afraid that you will slightly go beyond its edges. You can press the Latin X key at any time. This changes the black color to white. Now it remains only to pass with a brush in those places that inadvertently become harsh. The filter action will immediately apply to them.
Walk white on the contour of the person. You must ensure that even a piece of the background is not sharp. You can, for accuracy, reduce the size of the brush and zoom in to 200-300%.
Most of the work is done: we have already made a blurred background in Photoshop. But around the person now there is a kind of halo with its blurred contour. You need to get rid of it. To do this, use the stamp tool.
Merge both layers into one. To do this, go to the “Layers-Run flattening”. The background layer must be unlocked. To do this, double-click on it in the Layers panel and give it some name. Next, use the stamp tool. Put the pressure at 10%. It remains only to remove all existing artifacts. How to work with this tool – you should already know. If this is not the case, then Photoshop will explain everything to you. In short, this tool copies one area of the picture to another location.