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How to Blur Backgrounds in Photoshop

September 11, 2019

Lets get started! Head over and select the Quick Selection Tool. Carefully select the entire person. Hold ALT to subtract from selection. Since this part is time consuming, I will speed it up! Once you’re done. Head up to Select and Mask. Select the Refine Edge Brush Tool. Only focus on the hair, at the moment. Output to: New layer with layer mask. Then hit OK. We’ll still need to do a few touch-ups. Hold ALT + click on the mask. Make sure your foreground color is white. Then select the Brush Tool. (B) Change the Brush Mode: Soft Light. Now, go over the parts of the hair to reveal it better. Change your foreground color to black. Mask out any areas that are still left behind. Hold ALT + Click on mask. Turn back on the bottom layer. Hold CTRL + Click on the mask. This will make a selection of the person. Select the bottom layer. Then head up to Select>Modify>Expand. Expand by: 5 Pixels. Then hit OK. Then head up to Edit>Fill. Change the Contents: Content Aware. Then hit OK. Hide the visibility of the top layer. As you can see it did a pretty good job. CTRL + D to select. Turn back on the bottom layer. Make sure the bottom layer is selected. Head up to Filter>Blur Gallery>Tilt-Shift. Crank up the blur so we can see it better. Now drag the guides down. I will drag this slider up, to blend the blur better. Right there looks pretty good. Next, blur around 50 px. To keep it realistic. Keep it lower than 20. Once you’re done. Hit OK. Head over and select the Mask. There’s a few touch-ups I need to do. Head over and select the Brush Tool. (B) Make sure Mode: Normal. Foreground color black. Carefully mask out areas you don’t want. Take your time. It’s starting to look pretty good. Make sure the mask is selected. We can now bring back some of the shadows. Make sure the Brush Tool is selected. (B) White should be set as your foreground color. Only add where the image is not blurred. That looks much better. Create a new adjustment layer>Color Balance. – 19 | 0 | + 14 Then hit close. Have the top adjustment layer selected. CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + E (Merge all visible layers.) I’m going to rename this to merged. Head up to Filter>Lens Correction. Click on the Custom tab. Then change the Vignette Amount: – 40 Then hit OK. I’m going to add noise. This will make the image look more realistic. Hold ALT + create a new layer. I’m going to name this>Noise. Change the Mode>Soft Light. Check fill with 50% Gray. Then hit OK. Head up to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Amount: 5% | Gaussian | Monochromatic Then hit OK. Right click>Convert to Smart Object. Head up to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. I’m going to set the Blur Radius to 1.5 Pixels Then hit OK. Once you take a closer look. The image itself looks natural.


  • Reply Souvik Mandal September 26, 2018 at 4:17 am


  • Reply jjaylad October 3, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Very nice job. Makes things easier than they have been for me. One question …the trees etc. that are nearer seem to be blurred as much as those that are further away. Would one apply a gradient mask on each side of the blur layer to make it more realistic?

  • Reply 测评Twenty evaluation二十 October 16, 2018 at 12:02 pm


  • Reply MeepGoesRawr November 10, 2018 at 4:06 am

    Watch this tonight, forget in the morning, and spend an hour or twoi being confused

  • Reply Simra Shaikh December 7, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    You buy this Photoshop whose one is this

  • Reply Thian Brodie December 15, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    At 2:46 you take out the person? how is it possibly visible for the background to be shown behind that person? you have managed to capture the road markings another car and all the buildings in background

  • Reply andi lau January 28, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    punyaku juga boa

  • Reply ÖZGÜR KAYA January 29, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    very perfect .I like to you procesiing.

  • Reply Edgar Martinez February 25, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    I like the tutorial because of the clear steps, but it didnt work for me.

  • Reply david Liu March 6, 2019 at 10:50 am

    Great tutorial, thank you =D

    1:00 refine edge brush tool> draw on hair
    1:38 brush tool> size=6,blend=soft light> "alt"+click on man vector mask> color=white: draw around hair (to reveal it better)
    1:55 color=black: draw around hair (mask out any area that are still left behind)
    1:58 "alt"+click on man vector mask> eye on bg layer
    2:19 "ctrl"+click on man vector mask (get the selection)> select, modify, expand> expand by=5px> hit "OK"
    > select bg layer> "shift+F5": content aware filling (cover out the man)
    3:00 filter, blur gallery, tilt shift
    3:04 add more to the progress bar, move down the "center" guide line to the road (to be continued here…)
    > original blur=18px (lower than 20px will look more realistic)> hit "OK"
    3:45 brush tool> draw black to fix the wrong edges of man vector mask
    5:05 "shift+ctrl+alt+E": merge all visible layers into 1 layer, rename="merged"
    5:16 filter, lens correction> vignette amount=-40> hit "OK"
    5:31 note: (want to add noise to make the result more realistic)
    5:34 hold "alt"+create a new layer icon (new layer window will show up)> rename="noise", mode="soft light", [V] fill with soft-ligh-neutral color (50% gray)> hit "OK"
    5:55 select noise layer> filter, noise, add noise> amount=around 5%, distribution=Gaussian, [V] Monochromatic> hit "OK"> right click, hit "convert to smart object"
    6:14 filter, blur, Gaussian blur> radius=1.5px> hit "OK" (once you take a closer look, the image itself looks more natural)

  • Reply David Hernandez Loves You March 31, 2019 at 1:37 am

    Very cool

  • Reply Mustafa SH April 12, 2019 at 2:19 am

    i do not have refined edge tool cc2015

  • Reply ThePurpleUFO April 17, 2019 at 12:15 am

    Very nice tutorial…thank you.

  • Reply Ryu-sama [竜] June 7, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    what if I don't have the option "Select and Mask" ?

  • Reply sunil swami June 23, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Bhai bol kar bataya kar

  • Reply Md. Jewel Rana July 9, 2019 at 7:08 am

    which the Photoshop Version are you use ?

  • Reply girlwonder30 July 10, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    I was so worried about taking a DIY headshot… This HELPED TREMENDOUSLY! Thanks!!!!

  • Reply mohamed Zoaif August 1, 2019 at 6:41 am

    Bro what version ps you are using?

  • Reply Pixel Gabriel August 3, 2019 at 4:05 am

    u deserve 1M subs boi
    EDIT: Help me, instead of showing Select and Mask… it shows Refine Edge. Please help me!

  • Reply Sayko August 11, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Best tutorial thanks a lot. Some background blur can really make a regular image more professional 🙂

  • Reply Samira Hoxley August 16, 2019 at 11:26 am

    I watched & tried several different techniques by others, but yours by far helped me achieved the best results! Subscribed & thanks so much!!!

  • Reply Muhammad Talha September 5, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Superb Tutorial All over the YouTube.>!!

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