PI7 Zoom Blur

PI7 has a wonderful new Zoom Blur filter that can help you zero in on an important part of an image, or create a feeling of motion. This tutorial shows you how to use the Zoom Blur filter in several different ways, starting with the Zoom In effect shown below, which you can view full size here.

zoom in

This tutorial uses one of the fabulous bonus images on the PI7 installation CD. It's in the Images file, People category, 97101088.JPG. If you have trouble finding it, you can get it here.

As soon as you open the image in the work space, hit Ctrl+D to make a copy of it. Close out the first image without saving any changes to avoid unintended edits.

If you take a look at this photo, it's decidedly romantic, but not particularly colorful, well lit or composed. The main thing that grabs your eye are the young lovers. You know the whole world could blow up right now and they probably wouldn't notice. The Zoom Blur effect is perfect for enhancing these two young people's complete absorption in each other.  Choose Effect, Camera Lens, Zoom Blur to open its dialog box. Click the Dual View tab so you can see Before and After views in the left and right preview windows, respectively.

zoom blur dialog box

Notice that in the Before window on the left, there is a red dot with a bull's eye around it. Drag the red dot so it is centered over their mouths. The area directly around it will be preserved from blurring. Under Zoom Type, select Zoom In, which makes the blurry streak lines point inward, like they're rushing toward the lovers. The default attributes don't do a lot for this image. Instead, edit the Unblurred area radius to 40. You'll notice that as you increase and decrease this value, the bull's eye area around the red dot will get larger or smaller. Edit the Inward blur extent to 75 and the Surround blur extent to 90. This makes everything except for the very small area around the boy and girl very blurry. Click OK to apply the effect. As you can see in the full size image, this is a lovely effect.

After you take a careful look at the effect, right click and choose Undo. Now we'll do a slightly different take on Zoom Blur, one that is a little softer and more blurry looking. Choose Effect, Camera Lens, Zoom Blur again. This time, select the Zoom Out Zoom type. Edit the Unblurred radius to 45, the Inward blur extent to 60 and the Surround blur to 55. These values result in the blur lines rushing away from the lovers, and not so much of the surrounding area is blurry. Click OK.

zoom out effect

This time you get less motion and energy in the blur. It's a nice soft look, though. You can see it full size here.

zoom out blur effect

After you admire this effect, right click and Undo. Let's try one more Zoom Blur effect that creates a swirling tunnel look. If you remember and liked the old James Bond movies' introductions down a gun barrel, you'll probably like this effect. Choose Effect, Camera Lens, Zoom Blur. Select the Clockwise Zoom type (you could also do Counterclockwise, it doesn't make much difference in this image). Immediately you'll see a swirling effect in the right preview window. Notice that there's a new attribute too, "Twist extent." Edit the values as shown below and click OK to apply.

clockwise zoom blur

Now it looks like the lovers are being looked at through a tunnel or a camera lens.

clockwise zoom blur effect

You can see the image full size here.

I hope this tutorial will inspire you to experiment with the Zoom Blur lens. Most likely you will need to tweak the attributes differently for other images, but it's fun to try our different values. Here are a few more examples of Zoom Blur applied to other images in the bonus images folder. Click thumbnails to view full size.



This tutorial uploaded 11/22/01

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