Paint Shop Pro Tutorial: Spot Focus Using Radial Blur

Creating spot focus with Paint Shop Pro is easy to do. This will allow you to bring one particular element of your photo in to focus, while letting the background blur away. The technique looks great when done correctly. This quick tutorial will walk you through how to use the Radial Blur option to create an interesting spot focus.

Step 1: Open An Existing Picture

The first step is to find the photo you want to alter. Decide where you want the focal point to be.

Step 2: Duplicate Background

Find the Layers tab and scroll down to Duplicate. You will be duplicating the background layer with this step.

Step 3: Apply Radial Blur

With the background duplicated, scroll over the Adjust tab, down to Blur, and down again to Radial. You will have several options for your settings. The strength of the blur will affect the overall picture. If you want a slight blur then change the settings to a lower percentage. Play around with this until you get a blur that you like. Center the cursor on the point you are going to make the focal point. The blur will be applied from that point outwards. This will blur the entire photo, but that's okay. We're going to fix that in the next step.

Step 4: Adjust the Opacity

Scroll over the Layers tab again and down to Properties. Lower the opacity down near the 80% range. This will allow you to see the background layer more clearly without taking away any of the blur. We will adjust this back later on.

Step 5: Use the Eraser Tool

You can activate the eraser by simply pressing the X key. Set the shape of the eraser to round, this will give it a smoother outline. You can adjust the opacity to your liking, but this works best when it sits right around 60. The size of your eraser will need to be adjusted depending on the size of the focal point you are creating. You will then start to apply the eraser to the focal point until the background layer is exposed. Continue to do this until you have achieved the background that you want.

Step 6: Final Touches

You can now go back and set the current layers opacity back to the original settings, at 100%. Once this is done you can touch up any area that may need it. You should be left with a photo that has a clear focal point and an interesting blur in the background.

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