Smart Blur

The Smart Blur filter (Filter>Blur>Smart Blur) is probably the most useful one of the bunch, especially for image editing and photo repair. It blurs everything in the image, or in the selected area of the image, except the edges. Smart Blur calculates the differences between color regions to determine boundaries, and it maintains these boundaries while blurring everything within them. It's the perfect filter when you need to take 10 years off a portrait subject's face, smooth out teenaged skin, or get rid of the texture in a piece of cloth without losing the folds.

Figure 15.11 shows the Smart Blur filter dialog box. The original photo is in the background, and you can see the improvements in the filter window. You can set Radius and Threshold to determine how much blur is applied and set Quality, as done earlier, to determine how the effect is calculated.

FIGURE 15.11

Experiment with the settings until you find the right combination of Radius and Threshold.

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10036 0

Radius

Threshold

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Quality: High Mode Normal

Quality: High Mode Normal

The Smart Blur filter has three modes:

► In Normal mode, the preview area shows the effects of the blurring.

► Edge Only shows you the outlines with which Smart Blur is working.

► Edge Overlay shows the outlines as white lines on top of the image.

You can use the Edge Overlay or Edge Only mode to help you determine which Threshold value to set. Convert the mode back to Normal before you click OK to apply the effect.

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