Photoshop: Motion blur to follow a path or shape

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  • Updated 5 years ago
  • Implemented
This is something especially important in automotive retouching.
Anybody who ever tried to replicate a motion blur taken in-camera knows this problem:
The blur in camera starts out thin and then fans out... almost impossible to replicate, right? Or worse... in a rig shot, it follows the curve of the road...ick!
How about these two options:
You start by drawing a path with your pen tool and then the motion blur gives you the option to select "follow path" and will curve your blur to match your drawing.
Same applies for drawing a shape. Use your pen tool to draw a rough outline of your curved street and the motion blur gets calculated to follow the movement and fanning-out of the shape.
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nina scherenberg

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Posted 8 years ago

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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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I like some of the request – but I’m not sure about the feasibility or practicability as this would likely be a very demanding task computationally.
Especially »Use your pen tool to draw a rough outline of your curved street and the motion blur gets calculated to follow the movement and fanning-out of the shape.« might be more complicated than you assume – and possibly less useful because it would not factor in the three dimensional structure of what I assume you want to appear as a moving object.
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Tommy Szewczuk

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it`s not for the moving object - the camera moves with the object, so its the only thing sharp. the background needs the motion blurring.

a friend of mine programmed a tool for this in less than 2 hours. it has no interface yet, so i have to use the console though :))) but it`s ultra-fast even on hi-res data.
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Chris Cox

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Reasonable motion blur for the foreground object or the background is the same problem, with different masks or depths.

It's not an easy problem to solve.

Pierre's idea (see below) about a motion blur layer style helps some of the occlusion problems, but adds other UI complexities.
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PECourtejoie, Champion

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Hi! I made a similar suggestion: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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nina scherenberg

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Hi PE - I saw your post - love the other suggestions for the blur too!
The drawn shape... it might be something simple like a four-point shape that simply guides the blur to fan out instead of staying parallel.
Possibly something like that could also be achieved by adding another slider in the bar: middle of the slider is parallel, to the right or left makes it thinner on one end and in the same ratio thicker on another. Just that would help tremendously with blurs on roadways.
For drawing a curved path ... maybe it can be restricted to a two- or three-point curve?
You click a start point, an end point and pull the handles to get the desired curvature... then use beforesaid slider to fan out the path :)
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PECourtejoie, Champion

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Did you try also Shape blur?
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nina scherenberg

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Doesn't really do what I need it to do.... in my usual workflow, I mostly use gaussian and motion blur. Lensblur can be nice but sucks up so much ram that I only use it if gaussian just won't cut it for the look.
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Seagram Pearce

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It would be great if PS implemented VECTOR BLURRING. ie: Curved motion blur. There are other stand-alone programs that do it, but cost a fortune. See: http://www.virtualrig-studio.com/ for an example of what a simple 10mb program can do, but costs the earth. PLEASE bring vector blurring to the next PS! Even if it is as a plugin or *something*. I know I'm not the only automotive photographer who would like to see this addition.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Vector Blurring: ie: Curved Motion Blur.
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nina scherenberg

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That's the software I was thinking of too - the motion blur it creates is exactly what I'd love to see. I'm sure there's gotta be a way the guys at Adobe can either work with the company or figure out how it's done and apply it to PS, no?
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Tommy Szewczuk

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i want to align motion blur to a path to be able to:

*simulate rigged car shots.
*clean curvy objects easily.
*...

kinda like in virtual rig:
http://www.virtualrig-studio.com/

you should then add the ability to control the strength via an alpha channel with gradients.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
motion blur align to path.
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Tommy Szewczuk

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it`s unbelievable that the code for this was written in less than 2 hours by a friend of mine... but to build a photoshop plugin out of that took a week before we gave up trying to make this work inside of PS. I'm not a programmer but that seemed strange to me. i heard there are hundreds of lines of dead code in photoshop... maybe thats why.
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Chris Cox

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Funny, it took me 30 minutes to write my first Photoshop plugin in 1990. (and I've written several hundred of them since)

And correctly blurring along a path is much harder to get right than you think because of occlusion (foreground blocks background). It's easier to do in a 3D program because you have the additional depth/motion information.
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Tommy Szewczuk

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occlusion is not a problem for professionals. you just paint a quick depth mask.
i`m working on car campaigns most of the time and nearly all of them need this type of motion blurring done. virtual rig works and is easy. but it`s not perfect. with gradient implementation to control the strength it would be.
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Chris Cox

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A mask or depth map only helps one small part. You still need color values for things that are hidden (which you don't have). It's rather easy to come up with something wrong, but takes a bit of thought to get something even close to right.
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Tommy Szewczuk

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i get plain shots of backgrounds, then i "rig" them (term for directional motion blurring), then i compose the car on top. we and every professional retouching company that works with car clients bought virtual rig because it is needed badly.
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Adrian Smith

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Being able to use motion blur in conjunction with the vanishing point filter would be fantastic for these uses too.
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Christian Kroose

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FYI: There is also another program that does this: Bleex at www.getbleex.com.
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Gary Sheppard

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Motion blur along path or spline.


Is there any way to implement a feature whereby Photoshop could apply motion blur to a path or set of splines?
There are apps that do this (Getbleex and Virtualrig) but they cost between one and two thousand Euros.
I know car retouchers who have been requesting this feature since the dawn of time.
Is there any way Adobe can impliment it in PS?
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Tom Morse

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Anything that could rival VirtualRig or Bleex would be excellent.

Vector blurring would be an amazing tool to have as part of the photoshop arsenal!
The fact that the 2 programs which have been around for years now can still command such a premium price suggests there is a market for this.

Not sure Adobe responds to these requests, but some news would be great!
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iMatt

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Also something that can use the motion vector output from 3D applications to create motion blur would be hugely useful.
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Chris Cox

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Official Response
Now available in Photoshop CC 2014.
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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It’s nice to see feature requests being implemented and that a lot of user input is being taken seriously in general.
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Chris Cox

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Yeah, we've been working on this for a while - it just took ages to make the performance reasonable.