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How Isolate Person and Guassian Blur Part of Background? PS7

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  • How Isolate Person and Guassian Blur Part of Background? PS7

    PS7

    Hi,

    I have a picture of a person with some background clutter around his head and shoulders that I'd like to blur somewhat.

    Someone told me to use Layer Mask and Gaussian Blur, so I copied a layer and put a mask on it, but I'm completely baffled about what to do next. I tried a bunch of stuff and nothing worked.
    Last edited by TomBrooklyn; 04-03-2007, 01:46 PM. Reason: correct spelling of gaussian

  • #2
    Re: How Isolate Person and Guassian Blur Part of Background? PS7

    Probably the most asked question in the RTP. Welcome aboard. :-)

    First rule always work on a duplicate of your original file. So I made two copies. One called blur on which I ran a gausian blur. On the top copy, I used the pen tool to quickly make a selection of the tennis player. Once I had the marching ants in place I clicked on the mask icon at the bottom of the layers palette (icon looks like a square with a circle in it). This blocked out all the tennis court and grass on that layer so the blured tennis court and mask below would show.
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Re: How Isolate Person and Guassian Blur Part of Background? PS7

      Hi Swampy,

      I just found SteveB2005's tutorial on Layer Mask and that helped a lot. The next problem I had though was getting the person isolated from the blur without taking forever to outline them with a brush. That pen tool thing sounds like exactly what I need now. Thanks.

      After that, I'm wondering if I can graduate the blur from nothing at the bottom of the photo to a lot at the top. The problem area with this photo is the distracting background at the top of the photo, around the shoulders and head of the subject, and the background is farther away in the distance the higher in the photo you go.

      The middle and lower parts of the photo I don't really need to blur out. As these are closer to the foreground, if I can graduate the blur so it increases higher in the photo, I think it will resemble something like bokeh and so have a more natural look.

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      • #4
        Re: How Isolate Person and Guassian Blur Part of Background? PS7

        Hi again,

        I'm having a little trouble with that pen tool. It seemed like it followed right where I put it. Is there a way to get it to snap to the outline of the subject by sensing the contrast line?

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        • #5
          Re: How Isolate Person and Guassian Blur Part of Background? PS7

          There is no quick way to make a selection. Granted, some selections are much easier than others, but that is the key to doing good photoshop work...a good selection.

          You can mask your blur layer with a gradient black to white and let the original background layer (underneath) show through at the bottom. Areas that are black will hide the blur, areas that are white will show the blur.

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          • #6
            Re: How Isolate Person and Guassian Blur Part of Background? PS7

            Tom, there is a "Magic" Pen tool that works much like the magic lasso. You may give that a try, but like all "magic" tools it often has a mind of its own.

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