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Blurring a part of a picture, such as the face

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Depends on your specific situation here, but what I often do is use the selection brush tool & select what part of the picture I want blurred. Copy & paste the selection & apply Gaussian Blur in the Effects panel  or experiment with the different blurs in the Filters drop down menu underneath Blur.

 

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There's usually more than one way of doing what you want in AP.  In this case I'd duplicate the layer, untick it so that you can see the original, apply a blur to the original (which is now underneath the duplicate), tick and select the duplicate, and then use the erase brush on the duplicate to reveal the blurred face.      

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15 hours ago, carl123 said:

Or just select the Blur Brush Tool and "paint" on the face where you want to blur it

I haven't used the blur brush for years - the effect was too subtle.

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Did you try using higher Opacity and/or Hardness settings (on the Context Toolbar) with the Blur Brush Tool? (I think it’s meant for subtle blurring as it doesn’t seem to blur beyond a certain point, or I can’t get it to.)

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9 hours ago, GarryP said:

Did you try using higher Opacity and/or Hardness settings (on the Context Toolbar) with the Blur Brush Tool? 

Probably - it's been a while, and my memory is what it was :(.   I often use a zoned approach to sharpening and blurring, but I never use the brushes.

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The Help says that the effect of the Blur Brush is “cumulative so the more you paint over an area, the more pronounced the blur effect will be” but that’s not how it looks to me every time I’ve used it. Sometimes it seems to work up to a point but then doesn’t get any more blurry, no matter how much I paint over the same area. Maybe I’m not using it correctly, or maybe some images just aren’t conducive to ‘good blurring’.
Take my attached GIF where each wiggle of the pointer is a new blur action (sorry about the colours and resolution but I have no control over it). The eye seems to blur to a particular point but then gets no more blurry. Not sure what’s happening there.

not-blurring-much.gif

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Sorry, but no one seems to have mentioned the (to me, at least) most obvious answer. Apply a blur using a Live Filter layer, invert the live filter layer (which makes its embedded mask completely black), then paint the blur effect back in where it's wanted. This is completely non-destructive, can be made as strong or as weak as one likes, can be turned on and off at will, can be modified with opacity and/or blend modes, and (best of all) it's so damned easy!

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