January 01, 2012

How to create a speed action with motion blur tool in Photoshop

Motion blur in Photoshop is an amazing tool that can be used to create an illusion of high speed. Motion blur to a picture can be applied in two ways – either applying motion blur to subject itself or applying motion blur to the background. Both ways can create an illusion of high speed effect.

In this tutorial I will be applying motion blur to a car. In the original image the Lamborghini has been parked still on the road, and after applying the complete effects, we will create an illusion that shows the Lamborghini running at a high speed on the road. Want to know how this can be done ? Keep reading on…

This is the easiest tutorial of it’s kind that you will find on the internet, since I have avoided using layers and all, making this an intuitive and easy learn tutorial for novice users.

Step 1: Mask the complete car under quick mask mode

Open the image in Photoshop. From the select menu, navigate to “edit in quick mask mode”. Then select the brush tool from the toolbar and start painting the subject(car). Make sure that you have selected black as foreground color and white as background color.

edit quick mask

paint in quick mask

Make sure that the complete car has been masked very precisely(as seen from the above screenshot). This way we are shielding our subject from applying motion blur.

please note: however precisely you try to mask the complete car, it is much likely that the color will spread out. This can be corrected by using the background eraser tool from the toolbar. So don’t worry..keep doing it.

Step 2: Applying motion blur to the background

After covering the complete car thoroughly, uncheck the quick mask mode by again navigating to select –> Edit in quick mask. Then navigate to Filter –> Blur-> Motion blur.

undo quick mask

apply motion blur

Now adjust the motion blur settings to apply a suitable high speed effect to the car. Use a normal value of distance (21 to 25 is good). and select the angle in alignment to the attitudinal motion of the car. When satisfied with the desired motion, click OK.

set motion blur radius

Quite probably you must be thinking how easy that was !! But to create a more realistic motion blur effect, we need to apply radial blur to the wheels of the moving car. Keep reading on to discover how ?

Step 3: Covering everything except wheels under the quick mask mode

This part is tricky. Don’t worry..I will show you how to do that easily. For this – first select inverse (from select menu) and then navigate to edit in quick mask mode. Now select brush tool and start covering everything except the wheels. Refer the following screenshots step by step.

select inverse

edit quick mask

quick mask paint

Now uncheck the quick mask mode (ctrl + Q) and from filter menu select radial blur. Choose a low value for radial blur or else the wheels in motion look super animated.

radial blur wheels

motion blur in photoshop

That’s all. Now look at the speeding effect that you just created with Photoshop. Doesn't that look amazing. Smile Do leave your feedback and comments if you like this tutorial.