Do not be confused by the name, gaussian blur in photoshop is more than a simple blur filter. Although, the main task is to blur objects and soften edges there are more ways in which it can be used. If you want to learn how to use gaussian blur and understand more about it, just keep reading.
What is Gaussian Blur?
First of all, let us dive into some of the technicalities. However, if you are only here just to learn when and how to use it, then you might want to skip this part. For those who like to dig deep, here is some information that you might like.
It is named after a scientist, Carl Friedrich Gauss, and its basic function is obviously to blur the objects. But the interesting part is how it does it. As you might know that all filters and blurs are fundamentally a mathematical function applied to the image. Similarly, gaussian blur in photoshop is also a type of function which only allows low frequencies to pass through it.
It softens the edges of the image by cutting out the odd pixels and making the pixels even.
When to use it?
Now, let us start with practical knowledge. As mentioned in the beginning, the main purpose of gaussian blur is to blur the images but there are more creative ways in which it can be used.
Again, as mentioned in the previous portion, gaussian blur evens out the pixels. When you capture images in low light, it produces some noise in them, maybe due to high ISO. The fortunate part is that you can also minimize it using this blur.
Gaussian blur in photoshop can help to blur all parts of the image. But you can use this functionality to lead the viewer’s eyes to a specific spot. The said spot should be sharp while the rest of the image should be blurred.
Also, if you wanted to add some text to the image. You should first blur the whole image using this blur and then add the text. This way the text will stand out more.
How to use Gaussian Blur?
Now that you not only understand what is Gaussian blur in photoshop but also when to use it, it is time to learn how to use it.
Step 1: Non-destructive Editing
If you know about this term and how to do it, simply skip to the next step. If not, well, here you go. The first step when applying any edit or filter is to make sure that you are doing non-destructive editing. For instance, if something goes wrong and you lose your original image after applying edits, it might get a little annoying.
For this purpose, you can either duplicate the background layer or convert it into a smart object. In order to duplicate, simply select it from the Layers panel, right-click and then select Duplicate Layer.
Alternatively, you can select Convert to Smart Object from the same menu.
Step 2: Use Selection Tool
Before we apply the gaussian blur in photoshop, we have to make a selection. You can either select the whole image or parts of it. In either case, you can use any of the selection tools in Photoshop.
You can press CTRL/CMD+P to makes the toolbar visible or you can also do it by going to Window and then Tools. After you have selected a tool, use it to create a path around the object. Make sure that the path only includes the parts that you want to blur. You can undo a step using CTRL/CMD+Z, in case you make a mistake.
Step 3: Create a Selection
In the previous step, you only created a path around the area that you wanted to blur. Now, you have to convert the area inside the path into a selection. Go to Window and then Paths so that the path panel will be visible. Then, select your path and then click on Load Path as Selection.
Step 4: Apply Gaussian Blur
This is the last step of learning how to use Gaussian blur in photoshop. To select it, you have to navigate to the Filter menu and then head into Blur. From there, you have to choose Gaussian Blur.
In the Gaussian Blur window, you can drag the image to find the parts you want to blur. You can even check Preview to determine the result of the blur. There is also a radius slider that you can use to modify the amount of blur applied.
Conclusion - Gaussian Blur in Photoshop
As you saw, it was pretty simple and easy to not only understand the basics of gaussian blur in photoshop but also how to use it. Now, the only thing that remains is to use it and understand how it affects the image so that you can make a better choice when selecting between blurs.
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