I am trying to blur the background in sport pictures so the athletes stand out. I am using Capture NX2. I thought that the free hand Lasso tool would work. I very careful draw around the image I wish to remain sharp, but once I complete the lasso it takes its own, more rounded form, not what I drew. So, I used the other lasso tool that allows you to draw around an image with a bunch of straight lines. I do this, but cannot figure out how to connect the first and last points together to give my shape. It will also take its own more rounded shape once complete.
The Blur effect does work when I apply it to the outside of the lasso, but it is frustrating that what I painstakingly draw does not stay once I am finished. Maybe I am approaching this incorrectly, or using the wrong tool.
A much easier way might be to use control points to control where the blur affects the image. First, you would be to apply the blur you want to the whole picture, then with that edit step still active, use either + or - control points. Depending on your background, it may be easier to click on + control point and then start adding control points to the areas you want to blur. Conversely, it might be easier to click - and start adding control points to your athlete. You can add multiple + and - control points and you can expand and contract their effective size. You could also combine this with + or - brushes. Generally, using control points and brushes is far easier in NX2 than trying to draw a complex lasso.
I agree with Danny. While the +/- brush is an easy and intuitive way to do it, the control points are more precise. The control point creates a mask that you can view and adjust simply. A few clicks is all it takes. That is why it beats doing this in Photshop hands down.
Tue 20-Oct-09 08:22 AM | edited Tue 20-Oct-09 08:23 AM by PAStime
Hi Bob. Yes, I think the control points are very useful. I couldn't however get them to discriminate between the dog and the rest of the scene in my picture (previous post in this thread). I tried using many of them and using various sizes but without luck. I think the foreground and background colour/texture are too similar. Any thoughts? Cheers, Peter
>I couldn't however get them to discriminate between >the dog and the rest of the scene in my picture (previous post >in this thread). I tried using many of them and using various >sizes but without luck. I think the foreground and background >colour/texture are too similar. Any thoughts? Cheers, >Peter >
I use the selection control points in conjuction with the "minus" brush for this.
Use the selection control point for the "main" selecting, then use the '-' brush to remove the selection from your main subject (or whatever else you don't want affected by the adjustment)
Generally what you would do is apply the blur to the whole image and then place a minus control point right on the Dog. I have never had any problem doing this kind of manipulation. I select the mask view and move the selection point around until I get the exact selection I want.
Hi Bob. I tried it and it worked well. It certainly is faster than painting with a brush. Just a minute or two and you are finished. What I like is, after blurring the whole image, one can add minus control points on objects that one wants to bring to the foreground or to the attention of the viewer. It still had some difficulty discriminating between the dog and background because of similar colours, but with a few added control points and appropriately sized, it looked great. Moreover, with a few extra minus control points on the dog's face and eyes, one can make this critical area the sharpest. Thanks! Peter
Glad to be of help. NX2 is very powerful if you try not to do things the way you did in Adobe products. The results speak for themselves. I usually spend about 5 minutes per image tops.I am an advanced user of Photoshop and know how long it would take me to do the same thing there.
Thanks for the advise. I have tried your suggestion and it is so much easier. Don't have to carefully use the paint tool around the edges. Just lay down the - control points and adjust sizes. GREAT TIP!
Thanks for the tips. I did find an article on how to do this using brushes. Much easier to do than using the lasso, but my program keeps crashing during the process. I am running snow leopard on my imac, and I think this may be the issue at the moment.
Interesting that you ask as I just tried this recently with the + brush in Capture NX2 and found it remarkably easy.
As you go along, adjust the brush size to get into tighter, smaller areas or paint large, open areas. It appears that effect application is not cumulative. What I mean: once you go over an area, it doesn't make a difference if you go over it again.
See below. First picture is the original. Second was done using the + brush to make the background black and white. The last is selectively applying Gaussian blur to the original with the + brush to create fake depth of field. To make it look more realistic I reduced the brush opacity near the foreground.