Blur tools can really bring your photo composites to life. Use them imaginatively and it's surprisingly easy to add real depth and create a superb sense of action in no time at all.
As an illustrator, I often use digital photos as my basic raw material, so I am always after ways to get that extra inch of narrative from the scenes I create.
Photoshop's Blur tools are great for doing just that. By creating the illusion of motion, or by playing with the depth-of-field to emphasise certain elements within the scene, it is possible to tease new life from previously 'flat' pictures.
While Gaussian Blur, Motion Blur and Zoom Blur have long been familiar terms to Photoshop users, it's often easy to be a bit heavy-handed with these and other blurring filters. Their effects can quite easily end up looking too recognisable and obvious, and so often these very useful tools are overlooked altogether.
In this quick tutorial you will work on a photo-montage in its 'flat' state, and, by applying a subtle mix of Motion, Radial, Lens, Gaussian and Smart blurs, will give the montage a much stronger sense of action than it had previously.
The emphasis will be on using Photoshop's Blur tools in more creative ways - using techniques that improve your illustrations, rather than trying to accurately mimic real photography.