How to blur background in Photoshop (8 Easy Steps)?

Blur background in Photoshop

Got an old picture of you and want to blur everything in the background? You have arrived at the right spot if you were searching for how to blur the background in Photoshop. In this tutorial, you will learn how to blur the background of any picture in Photoshop using very simple steps. For clear understanding, we have given screenshots of each step.

Befor and after making the background blur

Step 1: Load the picture in Photoshop

First of all, load the picture for which you want to blur the background. The image shall be on the background layer.

Step 2: Use select and Mask to select the area in focus

The area in focus is the area you don’t want to blur. Click on the select tool and pick select and mask. Select the area in focus using any selection tool that you feel comfortable with.

Scroll down to “Output to” and select “new layer with layer mask” option from the drop-down menu.

New layer with layer mask in Photoshop

Your layers will now look like this.

Layer panel of Photoshop

Step 3: Fill black color in the focus area

Take a new layer. Use foreground or background color to fill black color in the selected area. Why do we fill black in this area? Because we want to make its depth map. We need to tell Photoshop that depth is from this point to this point. It means that everything that is black will not be blurred.

Step 4: Take a new layer with a gradient

Take a new layer beneath the above one and fill the black and white gradient in it. Press shift and click and drag your mouse after selecting the gradient tool.

After applying the above two steps, the layer panel will now look like this.

How to fill color in a layer

Step 5: take the layer with gradient onto a channel

Click on the layer you just filled with gradient and then click on channels. Select any channel (Red, Green, or Blue) and make its copy. You can give any name to this channel. I name it “depth map”.

Making alpha channel

Just go back to RGB by selecting its name and then click on layers.

Step 6: Group all layers created so far

Select all layers by pressing the Ctrl button and clicking on each layer. Press Ctrl + G to group all the selected layers. Hide the group because we will not interact with any of the layers after this step.

How to group layers in Photoshop

Step 7: Make a copy of the background layer

You can make a copy of the layer by selecting it and then pressing Ctrl +J.

Step 8: Apply Filter

Go to the Filter menu and select Blur>Lens Blur. Once you are Blur panel, select your source. Click on the drop-down menu and select your source. I had named it “Depth map”. Slide the radius slider to adjust the amount of blur you want. Have a check in the preview tab to view the blur induced.

Blur the background in Photoshop

This was all about how to blur the background of any picture in Photoshop. Hope you understood the topic well.

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