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How to blur backgrounds in AP (requesting instructions)

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And why do you ask this in the beta section? Do you think you'll get an answer here? Don't you think the beta section is, well to talk about the beta releases ^_^

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This is only a quick, rough job to explain the technique.

Original image

original.jpg.78ec926092874a73744f1f7a63bcc9f3.jpg

 

Select the background

selected.thumb.jpg.7272efb9ac8ecf6b938710a859d23266.jpg

Refine the edges (Refine) 

refining.thumb.jpg.2156b2fbda2cf5b9d4fa53defd6bc9bb.jpg

Apply a blur. Layer > New Live Filter > Lens Blur.

lensblur.jpg.3ae671a718acbc90628070449038cb3e.jpg

There are other blurs that would be suitable, depending on what result you want. Gaussian Blur, Lens Blur or Depth of Field Blur. Same technique for each.

 


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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58 minutes ago, toltec said:

This is only a quick, rough job to explain the technique.Original image

I believe your tutorial lacks additional gradient mask.

BTW, I've (moderately) succesfully tried to duplicate this tutorial only to find out that Affinity has awful lens blur.

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Oh yes. I wondered why I had an extra image :/  Trying to do too many things at once :(

 

Apply a gradient to the filter mask with the gradient tool. Black to white. Obviously this is a bit more subtle than the rather freaky Photoshop example. But you can apply as much as you want

 

grad.jpg


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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2 hours ago, Merde said:

BTW, I've (moderately) succesfully tried to duplicate this tutorial only to find out that Affinity has awful lens blur.

Just curious but what in particular do you find awful about Affinity Photo's Lens Blur filter? It includes essentially the same adjustment parameters as the Photoshop one & unlike the PS one in Affinity Photo is a live (non-destructive) filter.


Affinity Photo 1.9.1, Affinity Designer 1.9.1, Affinity Publisher 1.9.1;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.9.1.225 & Affinity Designer 1.9.1 (showing 1.9.7) for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 14.4 (18D52)

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The problem I find trying to produce a shallow depth of field effect with the methods described above is that the in focus subject bleeds into the blurred background.  That's not too bad when the subject and background are of similar colours, but it's horrible when they contrast.  I've worked round this by cutting out the subject, cloning the background into the gap, applying the blur and then pasting the subject back in.  Next time I'll take toltec's advice and use a gradient blur.


AP user, running Win10

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

Just curious but what in particular do you find awful about Affinity Photo's Lens Blur filter? It includes essentially the same adjustment parameters as the Photoshop one & unlike the PS one in Affinity Photo is a live (non-destructive) filter.

On the second thought I think it was the combination of gradient mask fading and (what was probably most important) difficult background - greek beach with a lot of pebbles.

Full frame blur looks quite normal.

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2 hours ago, IanSG said:

The problem I find trying to produce a shallow depth of field effect with the methods described above is that the in focus subject bleeds into the blurred background.  That's not too bad when the subject and background are of similar colours, but it's horrible when they contrast.  I've worked round this by cutting out the subject, cloning the background into the gap, applying the blur and then pasting the subject back in.  Next time I'll take toltec's advice and use a gradient blur.

 

Try reducing the Border Width setting setting in Refine Edges.Depending on the image resolution that can make quite a difference,


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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3 hours ago, toltec said:

 

Try reducing the Border Width setting setting in Refine Edges.Depending on the image resolution that can make quite a difference,

I've tried that but it made no difference - regardless of how tightly the selected area is defined, pixels external to the selected area are included in the blurring.  The gradient tip is great though - thanks!


AP user, running Win10

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30 minutes ago, IanSG said:

I've tried that but it made no difference - regardless of how tightly the selected area is defined, pixels external to the selected area are included in the blurring.

 

Have you included the silhouette in with the gradient... and clicked "Protect Alpha" in the blur settings?

 

I get no blur on the hat (for example) bleeding in...

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 6.38.42 PM.png

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6 minutes ago, JimmyJack said:

 

Have you clicked "Protect Alpha" in the blur settings?

 

I get no blur on the hat (for example) bleeding in...Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 6.38.42 PM.png

No, I hadn't - I'll do it properly tomorrow but a quick test looks like it's fine.  Thank you!!


AP user, running Win10

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Sadly, preserve alpha doesn't do it.  I've got pale heads against a dark green background, and as the blur radius increases you can see a halo developing around the heads.  


AP user, running Win10

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5 hours ago, IanSG said:

Sadly, preserve alpha doesn't do it.  I've got pale heads against a dark green background, and as the blur radius increases you can see a halo developing around the heads.  

Can you post a screen grab of what your mask looks like?

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OK, changed the approach somewhat due to the nasty edge (halo) that sometimes appears. I used to paint it out with the blur tool, but this is faster and better, IMHO.

 

A Select the model

B Refine selection

C Duplicate the selection of the model onto a new layer

D Hide that layer

E Remove the model from the background layer by inpainting or clonng.

F Apply lens blur

G Apply gradient to blur mask

H Restore layer of model

 

Result 

 

noedges.jpg


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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2 hours ago, toltec said:

OK, changed the approach somewhat due to the nasty edge (halo) that sometimes appears. I used to paint it out with the blur tool, but this is faster and better, IMHO.

 

A Select the model

B Refine selection

C Duplicate the selection of the model onto a new layer

D Hide that layer

E Remove the model from the background layer by inpainting or clonng.

F Apply lens blur

G Apply gradient to blur mask

H Restore layer of model

 

Result 

 

noedges.jpg

That's essentially what I've been doing - I just leave the model in the paste buffer rather than copying to a new layer.


AP user, running Win10

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2 hours ago, JimmyJack said:

Can you post a screen grab of what your mask looks like?

I think we're at cross purposes - I'm not using a mask.  I select the background and blur, it but the model always bleeds into the background.


AP user, running Win10

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39 minutes ago, IanSG said:

That's essentially what I've been doing - I just leave the model in the paste buffer rather than copying to a new layer.

Should not matter. So what is going wrong?


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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7 minutes ago, toltec said:

Should not matter. So what is going wrong?

I'm getting the same "nasty edge" that you mentioned, and my solution is basically the same as yours.  I'm agreeing with you:D


AP user, running Win10

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1 hour ago, IanSG said:

I think we're at cross purposes - I'm not using a mask.  I select the background and blur, it but the model always bleeds into the background.

 

Aha! No wonder you're having problems. None of this inpainting and cloning should be necessary.

All you need is a mask that looks like this, and you'll save yourself a lot of time and effort! :)

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 2.09.03 PM.png

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I was right - we're at cross purposes!  It was suggested that the background could be blurred using a particular method - I was just pointing out the problem of using that method.  That said, I really need to make better use of masks, so thanks for the prod :)


AP user, running Win10

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