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Photoshop CS6 New Blur Gallery and Filters

Applying blur effects to your photos is a staple in photography. With PhotoshopR CS6, we have the new Blur Gallery with on-image controls for three new filters to enhance your workflow. Of course, the live preview is even better with the new Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine.

You will find the three new blur filters, Field Blur, Iris Blur and Tilt-Shift, in the Filter menu in the Menubar. Click Filter - Blur - and choose one of the three filters. Your workspace will change to the new Blur Gallery workspace. As you can see, we have an Options Bar at the top, the preview in the center and on the right is the Blur Tools and Blur Effects panels. Depending on which filter you choose, the Blur Gallery workspace will open with the corresponding on-image controls for that filter displayed over the image. However, you can add multiple blurs while inside the Blur Gallery workspace by checking the box for each blur in the Blur Tools panel. Once inside the workspace, your cursor changes to the Add Pin cursor (looks like a push pin with a plus sign).

Let's choose the Iris Blur filter for this example and check out the tools.

Central Pin

By default, you will find the Central Pin tool in the center of the image. This Pin controls the location of the sharpest point in the ellipse, with the blur progressing outward. However, you may not wish the center to be the point of interest on the photo. In that case, you can drag the Central Pin to the best area.

To add additional pins to the photo, just click in the desired location. To delete a pin, click on that pin and click the Delete key. To remove all pins from the image, use the Remove All Pins icon (backward circular arrow) on the Options Bar.

Four Inner Dots

Inside the ellipse you will find four dots. You can control the amount of blur that is within the ellipse by dragging the dots. Dragging the dots to the edge of the ellipse will remove any blur within the ellipse. Use the Option key to control one dot independently from the other dots.

Four Small Square Handles

On the edge of the ellipse you will find four small square handles at the top, bottom and both sides. You can change the size of the ellipse by dragging these handles.

Large Square Handle

On the left upper edge of the ellipse is a larger square handle which you can use to reshape the ellipse. For example, we have changed the ellipse to a rounded rectangle.

Blur Ring and Blur Slider

Around the Central Pin is the Blur Ring circular slider control. Turning the slider clockwise increases the amount of blur and counter-clockwise decrease the blur. You can also use the Blur slider control in the Iris Blur section of the Blur Tools panel.



In the Blur Effects panel we have three slider controls.

Light Bokeh Slider

This slider controls the brightness of the blurred area. A higher setting will result in a brighter blurred area.

Bokeh Color Slider and Light Range Slider

These sliders control the tonal values and saturation of the blurred area.

H and M Keys

Pressing the H key on your keyboard will hide the on-image controls. Pressing the M key will display the blur as a mask.

You can also use the new Blur Gallery tools to refine a blur applied to a selected area. Just make your selection and then enter the Blur Gallery workspace. To save your favorite settings to the Channels panel, check the box for Save Mask to Channels in the Options Bar.

*Adobe provided a copy of this software to me for review purposes.



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