Photoshop Question: add automatic blur effect

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by sharifi14, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. sharifi14 macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Hi there,

    I'm trying to create an effect similar to that of the window border of Windows Vista, i.e. when you move a window over a certain area, the content behind the window border will appear blurred out.

    I have managed to create this effect with some simple masks and filter effects. However, this method is inefficient as I have to keep reapplying the blur effect whenever I want to move the foreground object.

    This probably doesn't make much sense, so I have attached a set of images to illustrate what I am trying to achieve. I hope somebody understands my problem and has a solution! Many thanks,

    Attached Files:

    • 1.jpg
      File size:
      113 KB
    • 2.jpg
      File size:
      106.2 KB
  2. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    Duplicate the photo on another layer and blur it (or whatever series of effects you applied) then apply a Layer mask. As you move the mask (NOT the image) you will see the blurred image on top of the regular image.
  3. vigorblade macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2008
    New York, NY
    Exactly as Kgarner explained, but there is one more step not mentioned. Make sure to unlink the mask on layer with the effect that you want to move around. If you don't unlink the mask it will not move independently of your background as you want.
  4. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2008
    no need to duplicate the photo if you convert it for Smart Filters. Apply the blur and you can mask the filter only.
  5. sharifi14 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2006
    Thanks for all your help. I'll give that a try - I'll be back if I get stuck ;)
  6. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    If this is for a website, you can do this easily at runtime in Flash.
    All you need is the background image and the window frame graphics.
    The rest is handled with actionscript.

    Here's an example that works in reverse of what you're doing, but the process would be exactly the same.
  7. sharifi14 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2006
    I've tried your method but I don't fully understand the Smart Filters concept. Do you know of any good online tutorial that can help me get started with Smart Filters? Thanks.

    Flash runtimes are a bit out of my depth unfortunately (I've never actually learned Flash for that matter). The example you showed was a brilliant example though. How difficult was it to achieve that effect?
  8. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    The basic effect is fairly simple to construct on the timeline.
    On a scale from 1-10, it's probably a 2.
    This took me about 2 minutes to construct the layered objects and Mask, and about 15 minutes to write the code for the interactive "drag me" widget.
    I can attach the Flash CS3 file if you'd like to look at it.

    The basic "blurred window effect" requires no coding whatsoever.
    It's only the interactivity that requires some intermediate coding:
    import gs.*;
    var masker:MovieClip = pix.pixMask;
    var dragger:MovieClip = pix.pixFrame;
    dragger.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_DOWN, startMove);
    dragger.buttonMode = true;
    var yOffset:Number;
    var xOffset:Number;
    function startMove(evt:MouseEvent):void
    	yOffset = pix.mouseY - dragger.y;
    	xOffset = pix.mouseX - dragger.x;
    	stage.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_MOVE, pointMove);
    function pointMove(e:MouseEvent):void
    	TweenGroup.allTo([,pix.pixFrame.pixFrameFill], 1, {alpha:1});, 1, {alpha:.5});
    	dragger.y = mouseY - yOffset;
    	dragger.x = mouseX - xOffset;
    	masker.y = dragger.y;
    	masker.x = dragger.x;
    stage.addEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_UP, stopMove);
    function stopMove(e:MouseEvent):void
    	TweenGroup.allTo([,pix.pixFrame.pixFrameFill], 1, {alpha:0});, 1, {alpha:1});
    	stage.removeEventListener(MouseEvent.MOUSE_MOVE, pointMove);
  9. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2007
    das Fort
    Smart filters operate on Smart Objects. If you convert your mask to a Smart Object, when you choose Filter > Blur, it adds a "smart filter" rather than just applying a blur to the layer you have selected. You can movie this from layer to layer much like you can with layer styles.

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