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Thread: Need help to digitally blur background

  1. #1

    Default Need help to digitally blur background

    Hello, can I use photoscape to digitally blur the background of a photo?
    Alpha
    Want to get back to photography

  2. #2

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Im not sure for photoscape but for CS5 its gaussian blur then history brush

  3. #3
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Photogenic View Post
    Hello, can I use photoscape to digitally blur the background of a photo?
    why dun use your lens to achieve the background blur effect (aka bokeh)?

    shooting at wide aperture (google or search this forum what i means) to achieve this.

    your lenses especially 50mm f1.8 is more then capable enough to do it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    It can be done - duplicate background layer, select via lasso, or what ever means u want, feather to suite how subtle you want the effect, guassian blur amounts to suite your taste. Now the hard part is to make this look believable... making it look unrealistic and scream this has been doctored is easy. U can do this in stages and or sections to try to escape detection, and could try different layer with different opacities to blend. There is no real one true way to do this seamlessly but rather the image will drive the method used.

  5. #5
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
    Walkeast

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Quote Originally Posted by sinned79 View Post
    why dun use your lens to achieve the background blur effect (aka bokeh)?

    shooting at wide aperture (google or search this forum what i means) to achieve this.

    your lenses especially 50mm f1.8 is more then capable enough to do it.

    I know I could use my lenses, the thing is that i need to rescue a photography with some disturbing background that i failed to notice when i shot..
    Alpha
    Want to get back to photography

  7. #7
    Member tortise's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Noticed that you asked specifically about Photoscape and not Photoshop, I don't use it often but i have it in my office computer so i fiddled around a little.

    Try this:

    1. Open your photo in photoscape
    2. Select Filter > Region (out of focus) (you have to click on the triangle beside "Filter")
    3. Choose between types Radial, Horizontal, vertical etc (on the top tabs)
    4. Click on the area you want to retain in focus (position the crosshair)
    5. Use the sliders for Levels, Size and Feather to adjust the effect
    6. If your image is complicated, you can do this in many repeated steps, i.e. slowly get different regions out of focus until you are satisfied

    Hope this solves your problem!
    Slow...yeah, steady... not really
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Quote Originally Posted by tortise View Post
    Noticed that you asked specifically about Photoscape and not Photoshop, I don't use it often but i have it in my office computer so i fiddled around a little.

    Try this:

    1. Open your photo in photoscape
    2. Select Filter > Region (out of focus) (you have to click on the triangle beside "Filter")
    3. Choose between types Radial, Horizontal, vertical etc (on the top tabs)
    4. Click on the area you want to retain in focus (position the crosshair)
    5. Use the sliders for Levels, Size and Feather to adjust the effect
    6. If your image is complicated, you can do this in many repeated steps, i.e. slowly get different regions out of focus until you are satisfied

    Hope this solves your problem!
    because as a junior employee and a part-time student, i cannot afford photoshop after i bought my camera and dry cab.. hehe.

    so i'm using photoscape - free.. hahaha

    thanks tortoise bro. i'll try it tonight..
    Alpha
    Want to get back to photography

  9. #9
    Senior Member sinned79's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Photogenic View Post
    because as a junior employee and a part-time student, i cannot afford photoshop after i bought my camera and dry cab.. hehe.

    so i'm using photoscape - free.. hahaha

    thanks tortoise bro. i'll try it tonight..
    u can try GIMP too. it is free also.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Quote Originally Posted by ellery View Post
    It can be done - duplicate background layer, select via lasso, or what ever means u want, feather to suite how subtle you want the effect, guassian blur amounts to suite your taste. Now the hard part is to make this look believable...
    Gaussian blur is not the way to go. Read this thread carefully. (Also, scroll down for illustrations that show why Gaussian blur doesn't work for blurring a background.)

  11. #11

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    There's this plugin for Photoshop by Alienskin called Bokeh. It does a good job. You can also select the type of lens you want to simulate the blur. The amount of blur etc.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Inferno View Post
    There's this plugin for Photoshop by Alienskin called Bokeh. It does a good job.
    Hmmm ... I wonder how good a job it does. Try it on the image below.
    Any method for blurring the background should be able to blur the
    black dots in the background without blurring the red figure or creating
    any red halos.


  13. #13
    Deregistered tweakmax2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    The edge of the red sun not properly done.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Quote Originally Posted by tweakmax2 View Post
    The edge of the red sun not properly done.
    What are you referring to? Screen shot, please.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Quote Originally Posted by Peano View Post
    Gaussian blur is not the way to go. Read this thread carefully. (Also, scroll down for illustrations that show why Gaussian blur doesn't work for blurring a background.)
    Peano thanks for the informative link. May work on how to make use of that effect in dreamscape look - everything can be either a feature or a bug its always a Your call decision. Good to know if you are applying any effects at 100% either directly on background layer or on separate layer. Maybe not so if you blend by using low opacity and or multiple layers to slowly add in effect(s). Grin I not claiming to be a retoucher or a DI person, just a photog who does quick and dirty and who needs to do good enough to deliver in as short a time as possible. Then there is that verbal quote (more or less cos 100% details quotes is not possible unless quote is in print I am subject to memory lapses *-) ) from a well known retoucher - "Photographers are the worse retouchers because they focus on specific areas specifically and are not looking the whole picture"

    Nice text book example how would this work in real world work ? If a face replaced the sun element and was exactly so, a very cut and paste look would occur. The blur off is also done on a one layer look - lens and most people shots sould have a more gradual fade off look in blurrness to simulate back the depth of field in a well craft from the shot. I feel PS should attempt to make things look "real" as opposed to spot lighting the work done in PS. In other words - for people work you need a real image to start work not an illustration - 1 D into 2 D(emension) is not the same as 3D. This however is only my opinion and YMWV applies, in no way is this the only way to go; different folks different strokes.

    Dude I understand you are pitching here for work, it is better to let your works (quality) speak for you . Upmanship is not a good route to use - people in the industry have long memories.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Quote Originally Posted by tweakmax2 View Post
    The edge of the red sun not properly done.
    Hmmmm sharp eyes you have, dude. Much looking you have done.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Quote Originally Posted by ellery View Post
    Nice text book example how would this work in real world work
    OK, here's a real world example: a purple lion (very conspicuous 3D dude). The client says: "I want the lion razor sharp and the background really blurry -- and I don't want any purple halos around the lion. Can you do that?"

    Let's see what you can do.



    Is this directed to me?:
    Quote Originally Posted by ellery View Post
    Dude I understand you are pitching here for work, it is better to let your works (quality) speak for you . Upmanship is not a good route to use - people in the industry have long memories.
    If so, what the devil are you talking about? "Upmanship"????
    Last edited by Peano; 1st January 2011 at 08:54 AM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Peano nice montage. I'm a photographer not a retoucher so this is unlikely to happen real world for me - if this was for an actual statue with nice building in far far background at f4/f2.8 on a 50mm or 85mm with a little lighting on the statue to make it look real 3Dish in terms of how light flows over it and not so flatten out - it looked f16ed or f8ed out to get max detail, the building would have been nice and soft more mute look lighting wise and yet the whole image would be natural and not have the PSed look afters as this would. For you this would be the world you work in. It is a your Point of View issue - photographers look at things differently from retouchers. Most retouchers tend to see an image with less visual and luminal depth, so final work then to have less 3D look that crafted picture produces - thank you for helping crystalizing this concept for me it is some thing that has been bugging me since I started looking closer at retouched artwork over the last 2 to 3 weeks.

    This is what I meant by upmanship so I will not be participating in that PS game with you (if it makes you feel better retouchers will normal win these games as most people photographers do not do that kind of PS, a dedicated product photographer might but that is not me); need to take my own advice 8_). I am not selling any services here - see no links to web site ; just offering to share some pointers to the thread starter here and anyone else reading.

    Grin reread my last post okay the upmanship part may have come over a little strong the reasoning is still valid -my bad okay. If you want to showcase the example as a sample of what you do, I think the thread starter and most of us could have an eye opener experience.


    Quote Originally Posted by Peano View Post
    OK, here's a real world example: a purple lion (very conspicuous 3D dude). The client says: "I want the lion razor sharp and the background really blurry -- and I don't want any purple halos around the lion. Can you do that?"

    Let's see what you can do.



    Is this directed to me?:

    If so, what the devil are you talking about? "Upmanship"????

  19. #19

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Quote Originally Posted by ellery View Post
    I'm a photographer not a retoucher so this is unlikely to happen real world for me
    I think you've made your limitations clear, but this isn't about you. The original question was about how to blur
    a background in post-processing. That's a retouching question, and no way around it. Someone recommended
    Gaussian blur. I linked to a thread that explains very clearly how Gaussian blur can get you into trouble when blurring
    a background. I posted a sample image that will accurately test any method's ability to blur the background.

    You seem to think it isn't "real world." Well, blurring a background is all about separating the edge of the subject
    from the background. It doesn't make one whit of difference whether the subject is a solid black silhouette or a
    finely modeled human figure. The key to blurring the background involves only the edges of the subject,
    not its interior shadings. That's real world, as far as background blurring is concerned. If you don't understand this
    much about retouching, maybe you should stick to your "quick and dirty" work that satisfies those who pay for it.
    Last edited by Peano; 1st January 2011 at 11:33 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Need help to digitally blur background

    Quote Originally Posted by ellery View Post
    It can be done - duplicate background layer, select via lasso, or what ever means u want, feather to suite how subtle you want the effect, guassian blur amounts to suite your taste. Now the hard part is to make this look believable... making it look unrealistic and scream this has been doctored is easy. U can do this in stages and or sections to try to escape detection, and could try different layer with different opacities to blend. There is no real one true way to do this seamlessly but rather the image will drive the method used.
    Hard part? Try the impossible part. Here's a fair test of the above
    advice -- and a clear illustration of why it is bad advice.

    Try blurring the background of this image:



    First try the Gaussian blur method. Mask out the subject with
    perfect precision, then apply Gaussian blur. Or, if you prefer,
    blur first, then mask out the subject. Either way, you're going
    to get a purple halo around the subject, like this:



    Now try Lens Blur using "Layer Mask" as the source. Note that
    there is no purple halo around the subject. It's all about the
    edges of the subject. You've got to have clean edges when
    you finish. Moral of the story: If you want to blur a background,
    use lens blur rather than Gaussian blur.


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