Adding Depth of Field

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This tutorial will show you how to add realistic depth of field to your images using Adobe Photoshop (I used CS3, but I'm sure you can do it with earlier releases). It looks very professional when done properly.

The image we will edit will be this: Rusty Car Download it and open it in Photoshop.

Before you begin you might want to know how is it going to look after you apply the changes, so this is how:

Step 1 - Cut out the car

To do this accurately, we have to cut out the car, so open the image, zoom it in as close as you need to click points around the car. Use Zoom tool.

Now in the right side you should have Layers tab, right click on Background layer and select Dublicate layer.

Select Polygonal lasso tool in the toolbar (you might need to right click the icon to get it)

Make sure it's set up exactly like in image below

Now begin pointing your mouse around car.

Once you've done it, it should look like this:

Change lasso tool's settings like this:

Currently we have some unneeded area selected, that's where car windows are, I've marked that area with green in image below

Now point your mouse around the unneeded parts

Step 2 - Blurring the image

To have depth of field, we have to add certain amount of blur to some parts of image, so find menu and take Select > Inverse

Next - in menu take Filter > Blur > Lens Blur...

Set it up exactly like in image below and click OK. (Next time you can try adjusting settings to come up with different final result)

Step 3 - Removing blur from spots where it shouldn't be

Now deselect everything, in menu take Select > Deselect

Go to Layer > Layer mask > Reveal All

Select Gradient tool (you might need to right click Paint Bucket tool to reach it)

Make sure it's set up like this:

Now hold down shift and drag your mouse somewhere from the lower part car to hood, just like in image below

Now enjoy your new image

I have to say it looks way better than before. Got any suggestions, questions or anything else related to tutorial? Leave a comment.

Published at , Updated at 2013-03-02

next: Car motion / speed effect prev: Creating "Stonehenge in the Water" photomanipulation