Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Adding Focus to your Photo

Sometime you might want your main character in your Photo to pop or be more prominent than others, "Lens Blur" is always the tool to go to. It is simple too use but yet again under-utilized for many Photoshop users. Well, let's get started.

1. Open any image that u want. Most preferably image that has two objects that are apart in distance(eg. in front and behind).

2. Next Duplicate this layer and hide the original layer. Just in case you screw up ;p

3. Click on the "Channel" tab and Create a new Channel. This would create a alpha channel and your image would turn black.

4. Still staying in the "Channel" tab, make the "RGB" layer visible by clicking on the eye beside it. This is so that you can see where you are brushing on. Make sure your Alpha Channel is active by clicking on it.

5. Make sure your foreground color is white. Use a soft brush(ard 14%) with size 15 and start brushing around the edges of your object that you want the focus to be on.

6. After the edges are done, use a hard brush(100%) with size 50 to fill up the inside of the edges.

7. Hide the Alpha Channel by clicking on the eye. Make "RGB" layer the active layer by clicking on it.

8. Go back to the "Layer" tab. With the duplicated layer selected, go to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur. Make source: "alpha 1". Click "Invert".

9. Adjust the radius til your liking. For me, my radius would be 15. Next add some Gaussian Noise to make the blur more realistic. Adding a small amount of noise would do. my noise level is "3".

10. There you go~

Before and After

Picture Credit: MichalGiedrojc

Picture Credit: juliadavis

For people who cant get past step 5: Download PSD File

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Anonymous Julepils said...

Personally I think you shouldnt have blurred out the bubbles on the last picture. ;)

October 8, 2008 at 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Admin said...

Thank julepils. Didnt realised i missed that two bubbles. :D will edit it asap.

October 9, 2008 at 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just trying this out (newbie)...Got everything so far but can't find the Blur part....under what menu is it, or am I doing this all wrong. Thanks for the info....Melissa

October 11, 2008 at 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Admin said...

Hi Melissa,
The Blur is under the "Filter" Tab. If you are still unsure, i can do a screen shot just for you. :)

October 11, 2008 at 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok so i make the alpha 1 channel, image goes black,, i click rbg image comes up, i get paint brush make sure alpha 1 is selected, but the paintbrush doesn't so anything....

October 12, 2008 at 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Admin said...

Is your Foreground color set to white? Make sure the layer you are brushing on is the Alpha 1 channel.

October 12, 2008 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger ashi said...

i too can not be able to make brush tool work..plz give me some detail or step wise....thanks

i have completed tillchoosing background color white n now what?

October 13, 2008 at 4:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok well, still dont work
heres a ss
i switched between black white but nothing...

October 13, 2008 at 5:37 AM  
Anonymous oops here the link to the ss said...

the link rom the previous comment

October 13, 2008 at 5:38 AM  
Anonymous Admin said...


Set the foreground color to be white, not the background.


Switch your brush mode from "soft light" to "normal"

-> For anyone who still cant get it, i have uploaded the semi-completed PSD in the tutorial. Download it.

October 13, 2008 at 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you so much, that worked

October 13, 2008 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger ashi said...

ya setting forefround colour works for me....thanks

October 13, 2008 at 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Business Cards said...

This is one of the sure fire ways to really add focus to your photo. You were able to show how this effect is achieved and I'm sure a lot of people will find this useful. Thanks for sharing this very informative post.

April 8, 2009 at 9:12 AM  
Anonymous viagra said...

Awesome tips my friend, thanks a lot, it really makes some difference when adding the colors.

April 6, 2011 at 2:27 AM  
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