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Photo Studio Tutorials

How to blur part of a picture

Learn how to blur part of a picture to draw the eye to your subject and create a subtle focus in your photo.

Blurring parts of your photo is particularly useful if you have distractions in the background of your image. You can use blur to smooth over these areas without completely changing the background.


In Photo Studio there are 3 options for blurring part of a photo. Radial and Linear blur provide a “template” that you can position on your photo and adjust. Custom blur gives you a free hand to blur any areas of the photo you like.

The option you choose will depend on your preference, as well as the style and composition of your photo. If you want to blur your photo background, you can also use the tool in the backgrounds tab to do this.

In this tutorial we will show you how you can use these 3 tools to blur part of a photo.

If you don’t already have Photo Studio, you can download it here:

How to blur part of a picture

1. Open a photo in Photo Studio
2. Go to the Effects tab and click the Creative Blur tool
3. Choose Linear, Radial or Custom blur (see below for details)
4. Add blur and adjust settings
5. Close Creative Blur tool to view the result


Where to find the blur tools

All blur options are located in the Creative Blur module of Photo Studio. First click the Effects tab in the right-hand panel, then select Creative Blur to access the tools.blur panel


Option 1: Linear Blur

Linear blur adds lines of blur to your photo with a sharp area in the center. linear blur before after

In the photo above, linear blur was used to blur sections on either side of the main subject. If you wanted to blur more areas, it would be better to choose radial or custom blur.

Click linear blur to add the template to your photo. You can move, rotate and adjust the size of the template using the handles.linear blur settings

The middle of the template is the sharp area, this should cover the subject of your photo. The template gradually blurs the rest of the photo outwards from this central focus.

You can adjust the size of the sharp area using the Midpoint slider. You can also adjust the amount of blur in the blurred areas using the Blur slider. Finally, you can simulate brighter light sources in the photo by adjusting the Bokeh Brightness slider.


Option 2 : Radial Blur

Radial blur is similar to linear blur in that it uses an adjustable template to add blur to part of a picture.

In the below photo radial blur was used to create a soft graduated effect, blurring outwards from the subject. This also helps to “hide” distracting objects at the outer edges of the image, for example the car in the window.radial blur before after

Click radial blur to add the template to your photo, you can adjust size and position as before.

The central circle is the sharp area and should cover the subject of your photo. The outer rings are increasingly blurred to create a smooth, gradual blurring effect.radial blur settings

You can adjust the width of the circles using the Feather slider. Increasing circle width will make blurring more gradual, decreasing it will make blurring more “sudden”.

As before, you can adjust the amount of blur and simulate brightness using the Blur and Bokeh Brightness sliders respectively.


Option 3 – Custom Blur

Custom blur uses a paintbrush to add blur to specific parts of a photo. It gives you a lot of flexibility and control over the blurred areas but doesn’t provide the same gradual effect as radial blur for example.custom blur before after

In the above photo, custom blur was added to focus only on the couple and hide all the other areas, especially the large kitchen area behind.

Click custom blur, this will add blur to your entire photo.

You will also notice that two circles representing the paintbrush appear. You can use this paintbrush to “un-blur” the areas that you want to focus on.custom blur settings

Areas touched by the inner circle of the paintbrush will be completely sharp, areas touched by the outer circle will be more feathered. You can adapt the brush using the hardness slider.

Use the brush size slider to adjust the overall size of your brush for more precision.

You can also change brush mode and add blur back to parts of the photo. This is useful if you “un-blurred” an area by mistake and want to correct it.

As before, you can increase or decrease background blur with the Blur slider. You can also simulate light sources with the Bokeh slider.


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