[ General/Basics ]

To start us off today I would like to quickly explain the Blur, Sharpen and Smudge tools. The Blur Tool makes images obscure and softens an image making it look out of focus with a blur effect. The Sharpen Tool goes the other way and makes an image clearer, it sharpens around the edges of an image. Then we have the Smudge Tool which doesn’t blur or sharpen, instead what this tool does is smudge and bump pixels out of place. Now I’ve put together a small tutorial where you guys can experiment with these tools, you can find the working files Here.


First thing I want you guys to do is select the Blur Tool and change the brush size to 65px.

TIP: Next to where you changed your brush size you’ll notice an option called Mode and Strength, in the future when you use this tool you might want to take note that you can change how strong you want these tools to be by upping the strength, and also changing the Mode to Darken on or Lighten. If darken is selected it just means the tool will focus more on the Darker pixels and if Lighten is selected it will focus more on the lighter pixels.

So to get the ball rolling, we are going to play around with the Blur Tool, just slowly go over the Background behind the skateboarder until everything goes out of focus like the example below.

After you have done that switch to the Sharpen Tool and go over the face, arms and hands of the skateboarder.

Now select the Smudge Tool and just zig zag up and down on the shirt pocket till it smudges in with the creases of the shirt.

Too easy yeah? These are quick tutorials, in your spare time try and get more practice in to familiarize yourself with these tools.  You’ll notice later on in the tutorials that you can do so much more with these tools then what I am showing you here. Again, these are the basics you need to learn before we start pumping up the heat. See you in the next lesson!

TIP: Press F12 to start over, might come in handy while your testing out the blur, sharpen and smudge tools.

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  1. technician
    on April 27th, 2010

    nice post. thanks.

  2. TomPier
    on May 4th, 2010

    great post as usual!