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enter image description here

I have the following image, and I would like to apply motion blur to the water.

I applied motion blur to the whole image and then masked out the subject:

enter image description here

I tried to apply a lighter mask around the horses' feet, and the results came out quite poorly:

enter image description here

Then it occurred to me that I want more motion blur the further away I am from my subject. This means I want a small degree of motion around the horse and a high degree of motion away from the horse.

Is this possible with photoshop? If there is another type of blur that can achieve this effect please let me know.

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2 Answers 2

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Here's how I would do it.

  1. Enter quick mask mode, to toggle the mode hit Q, and using a soft edge brush mask out areas which you don't want to be blurred, then exit quick mask mode. This will leave you with a selection of the areas to be blurred.

enter image description here

  1. Filter > Blur Gallery > Path Blur, adjust the path direction and blur on the image

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  • Thanks for the suggestion but I am interested to have varying degrees of blur based on how far I am from the horseman. By that I meant I want the water to move fewer pixels near the horses and more pixels closer to the left corner
    – Tinker
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 18:45
  • @Tinker You could just use a radial gradient when in quick mask mode, exit quick mask, then do the path blur. You could also use a large soft semi-transparent brush to build up the mask where required, or a combination of both.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 22:26
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No such effect available as standard. I guess you have a high resolution image, not only this screenshot.Then some manual tinkering is needed. Make by cloning a version which doesn't have the wanted sharp items (cowboy, animals, dry land), replace them with water. Blur that scene.

Copy and paste back the sharp items from the original. Draw manually with the smudge tool some foam and waves to the feet of the animals. An example (only the cowboy + his horse in the water)

enter image description here

A piece of water below the horses is also included to sharp items, then smudged to better shape and partially faded by inserting black to the layer mask. The blurred water also got some bends with the smudge brush near the feet of the horses.

The watered version before blurring was this:

enter image description here

The idea to extend the water was to prevent the no-water area to spread too widely on the water in blurring.

The sharp items were smudged to this, the layer mask is disabled to show them without fading the excessive area:

enter image description here

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