I want to know how to blur something in peaks, here's a picture to help describe it:

enter image description here

Segment C is blurred the most then B then A to create an effect like the one on the right but with blur.

I was wondering if there was a way to do this but on a finer scale with more segments that did not involve me selecting 1 pixel tall rows then applying motion blur..


If I understood you correctly, you could do this:

  1. Select all the layers you want to blur and then go Cmd+G+Cmd+E ( Cmd+G isn't necessarily needed )

  2. Take the Brush tool and Soft round brush ( round brush with 0 hardness ) and make the brush really big ( big enough to cover the whole area you want to blur )

  3. Then run it across the area you want to blur while holding Shift button ( If needed, do it multiple times. )

enter image description here

If you really want the peak to be tight, you can use few different brush sizes.


  • Select all the layers you want to blur and then go Cmd+G and Cmd+E ( Cmd+G isn't necessarily needed )
  • Make a new gradient. Gradient that has 3 opacity stops going from 0% to 100% and back to 0% Color doesn't matter ( I used red so that it's very visible )

enter image description here

  • Make a new layer where you place the gradient. Hide the layer.

enter image description here

  • Click the gradient layers thumbnail while pressing Cmd to make a selection from it.

enter image description here

  • Then use Gaussian blur filter on it.

enter image description here

Cmd = Ctrl in windows.

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  • If you store the selection as a layer mask or alpha channel, you can reference the mask when using certain filters (such as lens blur IIRC). At least, in PS you can. – horatio Aug 21 '12 at 20:03
  • In addition, you can store the unmodified (sharp) selection (Layer Mask) then use the Feature properties in the Mask properties panel to adjust feathering... non-destructively, so you can change it. Cheers! – Kevin Bomberry Aug 22 '12 at 2:59
  • Oh! I just realized, you can do the same thing in Photoshop CS6 using Filters>Blur>Tilt-Shift..., without having to define a selection at all. Better yet, if you convert the layer to a Smart Object (Smart Filter) you can apply the Tilt-Shift blur non-destructively. Cheers! – Kevin Bomberry Aug 22 '12 at 3:02

Feather your selections before applying the blur filter.

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