A Tutorial on Motion Blur Using PS Touch
Continuing with my previous post on blur (there specifically using the app AfterFocus), in this tutorial I will show you how to use PS Touch for phone to create a motion blur effect. This blur will not cover the entire image, but will be a selective blur to create a sense of movement in an otherwise still frame. I will also show here how to make a gaussian blur in PS Touch, to fade the background of an image. What better opportunity to do all this than with some Tyco race cars?
The original image for this workflow (above) was taken using the macro lens (an inbuilt setting and lens) on my Galaxy S3 native camera app. This is really the only way on the S3 to get a shorter depth of field and in this image, can be seen by the slight blur of the yellow car and also the background. I then went ahead and opened the image up in Photo Editor to apply one of my personal saved presets to give a grey-purple hue to the shadows of the image, to add some nostalgia to these old cars. As you can see, the cars are stationary in the original image. We are going to add a little speed to them to turn this uneventful picture into a story.
First things first is to open up PS Touch for phone, and import the image from the gallery.
Selecting The Region To Blur
There are a wide variety of tools in PS Touch that allow you to select various portions of an image or portions of layers. These selection tools are essential to a mastery of this app. I was not fully satisfied with the blur strength created by my macro lens, so for sake of showing you how to do this, I am going to create a gaussian blur, as opposed to a motion blur.
In the above screenshot, and sticking for now only to the image on the left, take note of the bottom left of PS Touch. I have selected from the tools there the “Scribble Selection Tool.” Other selection tools might work for other circumstances, but this particular tool is very similar to my previous blur tutorial using AfterFocus.
I simply draw onto those areas I want to be included in the selection (green) and those that I do not (red). Note that when you are done with both, PS Touch will get to work and create a selected area for you. You can pinch zoom in on the image to go back and draw some fine tuning. (In this image I happened to draw green on the part I actually wanted red, and red on the part I wanted green. No matter. In the next image (below) you’ll see a tool to invert the selection.)
The screenshot on the left shows a number of modifications that can be made to the selection you have made. Here we are going to “feather” the selection, by about 10 pixels. This removes the hard edge that the selection will have compared to those portions not selected, once we’ve edited it. The right hand image shows the selection of the background when done.
In the image above, on the left, you see the editing options I’ve selected, from “FX” > “Basic” > “Gaussian Blur.” I simply blurred the selection of the background by about 10 to 15 points.
It remains now to select the cars and give them motion. I have shown above how to do more complicated selecting processes should you need it, but in the case of the cars, they are fairly well surrounded by darker regions. Because of the preset I applied in Photo Editor (see how to make a Photo Editor preset here), the tracks fade into the wheels, so we can be a little more relaxed with our selection process.
In the right hand image above, I have selected the oval or circle selection tool. Note also at the bottom of that screen shot the MODE I have selected. There is a standard mode, where each new selection replaces the old, while there is a + and a – mode, each of which are cumulative selections using the same tool. Using the oval in plus mode, I simply draw ovals over both cars as tight as I can get. I change the mode to -, and deselect portions. Simple. (Note that you should make sure anti-alias is selected, as this will reduce pixelation at the cost of a little memory.)
Again I feather the selection by about 10 to 15 pixels. I go back to “FX” > “Basic” at the top of PS Touch for phone, and next to Gaussian Blur is “Directional Blur.” In this case, I will leave the direction at the default of zero degrees (though in other images you might want to shange that angle). I then determine the amount of blur, which I placed at about 20.
Click “Done” at top left, and save. From there, you will need to export your image to your gallery, either as a .jpg or .png file.