There are plenty of reasons you might want to blur some part of a photo in Photoshop. Maybe you’re sharing a photo and you want to anonymize some people, or perhaps you want to show off how bad your passport photo is without revealing private information. Whatever the reason, here’s how to blur something in Photoshop.
Open the image you want to blur in Photoshop. I’m going to use this photo of me and a friend on a mountain.
Select the Marquee Tool from the Tool Bar, or with the keyboard shortcut M.
Draw a selection around the area of the image you want to blur. In this case it’s my friends face, but it could also be your passport number, address, or anything else.
Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. The Gaussian Blur menu will pop up and you’ll see a preview of the effect it has on the select area.
Dial the radius up until it’s completely blurring the area you want.
Click OK and the effect will be applied. You can now save your new, nicely anonymised image.
Blurring objects is a really useful thing to be able to do in Photoshop. You’ll regularly see screenshots on How-To Geek where private information has been anonymized this way. If you want to make a more accurate selection, you can always combine this technique with some others you know, such as how to use layers and masks.
This tutorial will show you how to blur faces, backgrounds, text, and more using Photoshop CC.
We’ll be making use of the Gaussian blur effect. The first step is to open the image you want to modify in Photoshop CC.
How to blur an entire image in Photoshop
If you want to blur the entire image choose Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
Adjust the radius to add more or less blur to the image. Then click “OK”.
How to blur faces in Photoshop (easy method)
If you want to blur a face in Photoshop, here is an easy way to do it. You can also use this method to blur text, logos, backgrounds, and anything else you want to blur.
First, use the selection tools to select the area you want to blur. In the following example, the face is selected using the Elliptical Marquee Tool.
Next, apply a Gaussian Blur just like before (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. ). Select the radius and click “OK”. Finally, choose Select > Deselect.
How to blur faces in Photoshop (advanced method)
In the easy method above, there is a hard line between the blurred section and the unblurred section. If you want to make a soft transition between the sections, use this advanced method. This method will also keep the unblurred version on a separate layer so it will be easy to revert if necessary.
First, duplicate the layer by right clicking on the layer and selecting “Duplicate layer. “.
Next, apply a Gaussian Blur just like before (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. ) with your desired radius.
Add a layer mask to the duplicated layer by clicking the “Add vector mask” button. Make sure to hold OPTION on Mac or ALT on Windows while clicking the button to conceal the entire layer behind the mask. You will no longer see the blurred layer.
The next step is to use a brush tool to paint the areas that you want to be blurred. Make sure the brush tool has a soft edge (consider setting the hardness to 0%) and use white as the foreground color.
When you paint white on the mask the areas you paint will become blurred because the blurred layer is revealed.
You can see in the image above that the original unblurred layer is still available.
You can continue to paint any section you want blurred.
I’m a teacher and developer with freeCodeCamp.org. I run the freeCodeCamp.org YouTube channel.
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