Photoshop Action Zoom Blurring Effect

Topics: Portable Network Graphics, OSI model, Graphic design Pages: 7 (2027 words) Published: November 22, 2012
Photo Effects: Action Zoom Blurring Effect

By Steve Patterson, Photoshop

ACTion Zoom BLurring EffECT
In this Photoshop photo effects tutorial, we’ll learn how to add some action and a sense of motion to a photo with a zoom blur effect. We’ll use Photoshop’s Radial Blur filter to add the initial blurring, then we’ll bring back some of the original image using a layer mask and the Gradient Tool. Not only is this a great (and popular) way to help bring an image to life, but the entire effect can be completed in less than five minutes once you’re comfortable with the steps. Here’s the photo I’ll be using for this tutorial:

The original image.

Here’s how it will look after adding the blur effect:

Let’s get started!

The final “action zoom” effect.

Step 1: Duplicate The Background Layer
The first step in creating our action zoom effect is to duplicate the Background layer so we can work on a separate copy of the image, which will allow us to bring back some of the original image later. With our photo newly opened in Photoshop, if we look in the Layers panel, we can see that we currently have one layer, the Background layer, which is the layer than contains our photo:

The original image appears on the Background layer in the Layers panel.

This Photoshop Tutorial © 2009 Steve Patterson, Photoshop Not To Be Reproduced Or Redistributed Without Permission.


Photo Effects: Action Zoom Blurring Effect

By Steve Patterson, Photoshop

To duplicate the Background layer, go up to the Layer menu in the menu Bar at the top of the screen, choose new, and then choose Layer via Copy. Or, for a faster way to duplicate a layer in Photoshop, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac): Go to Layer > New > Layer via Copy, or press Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac).

Either way you choose tells Photoshop to make a copy of the layer, and if we look again in the Layers panel, we can see that we now have two layers. The original Background layer is on the bottom, while a brand new layer named “Layer 1” sits above it. If we look at the preview thumbnails to the left of the layer names, we can see that both layers contain the same image, which means we can now do whatever we want to the image on “Layer 1” and the original photo will remain safe and unharmed on the Background layer below it: An exact copy of the image now appears on “Layer 1” above the Background layer.

Step 2: Apply The radial Blur filter
With “Layer 1” selected in the Layers panel (it should be highlighted in blue), go up to the filter menu at the top of the screen, choose Blur, and then choose radial Blur:

Go to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur.

This brings up Photoshop’s Radial Blur dialog box. The Radial Blur filter gives us a choice of two different types of blurring - Spin and Zoom. Since we’re creating a zoom effect, set the Blur method option on the left side of the dialog box to Zoom. Directly below the Blur Method option is the Quality option. Choose Best for the quality. We control how much blurring is applied to the image with the Amount option at the top of the dialog box. The higher the Amount value we select, the more blurring is applied. Drag the slider towards the right to increase the Amount value, or drag it towards the left to decrease it. Unfortunately, the Radial Blur filter doesn’t give us a preview of the effect, so you’ll probably need to try a few different values before you find the one that works best for your image. I’ll explain how to do that in a moment. I’m going to set my Amount value to 50, but the value you end up choosing may be different. Finally, use the Blur Center box on the right side of the Radial Blur dialog box to set the point where the blur will appear to be “zooming” out from. Simply click inside the box to set the point. Again, there’s no way to preview the effect before running the filter so be prepared to try a few times before you get it...
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