How do I make an artistic out of focus image like the ones in the Playbook background or soft images. My goal is to make beautiful and or subtle backgrounds.

blurred image

soft image

I'm trying to learn more design guidance instead of "run the Blur filter" in Photoshop. For example, take a hi-res image and zoom into a small part of it.

  • According to Russel Brown, it actually is that easy (in Photoshop CS6). – Der Hochstapler Mar 31 '12 at 17:55
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    Interesting video. He seems pretty excited about it ...and I'd have to agree. :) After thinking about it I'd have to say I'm trying to attain a technique rather than a tool if that makes sense? – 1.21 gigawatts Mar 31 '12 at 18:58
  • @slhck - ok i updated it. nice feature! – 1.21 gigawatts Mar 31 '12 at 19:02

I would set my bush shape big and fat, dapple the different colored blobs in different layers, dial up the opacity on the layers and/or make a mask layer for each and put a radial gradient fill over the blobs. Finally dose them with Gaussian filter, both the image and the mask.

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    @1.2gigawatts When trying to "subtle" a background, lowering the picture "brightness" is what I like. I actually prefer in focus, just laid back because it is dampened in brightness. "box" and "surface" blur can be better for whole page blur sometimes. Streaking , grain , and artifacting when getting "subtle" I do not like, without detail the minor color seperations can "band" making it a hard thing to perfect. Compression can take a great soft look and turn it bad, an "expert" photo might not crunch size so much , just depends , and depends some on the display. Good luck. – Psycogeek Apr 1 '12 at 0:18
  • @Psycogeek Great warning and advice about subtle shading and compression. – Bobbi Bennett Apr 1 '12 at 16:40

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