Blur Filters

Blur filters take many forms in Motion. They can be used practically to simulate the real-world blurring that occurs due to the depth of field in photographed material, or they can be used creatively to make all sorts of designed effects. Motion provides a wide variety of blur filters you can use for any task.

Channel Blur

Gives you control over blurring each color channel of an object. The Channel blur can be applied selectively to each of the different color channels of the object: red, green, blue, and alpha.

Blurring individual channels allows you to create customized glow effects by retaining sharpness in selected channels while softening others.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Channel Blur filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Amount: Sets the radius of the object blur.
  • Blur Red: A checkbox that sets the blur to affect the red channel.
  • Blur Green: A checkbox that sets the blur to affect the green channel.
  • Blur Blue: A checkbox that sets the blur to affect the blue channel.
  • Blur Alpha: A checkbox that sets the blur to affect the alpha channel.
  • Horizontal: Sets the percentage of maximum horizontal blur. This is a percentage of the Amount parameter.
  • Vertical: Sets the percentage of maximum vertical blur.
  • Crop: A checkbox that sets whether or not the image is cropped beyond its original borders.
  • Mix: Sets what percentage of the original image is blended with the blurred image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following controls: Amount, Blur Red, Blur Green, Blur Blue, and Blur Alpha.

Circle Blur

Creates a circular blur within an image, specified by a center point that sets the center of the blur effect, and a radius that sets the size of the affected region. The amount of blur within the affected area can also be customized.

This filter is useful for quickly blurring a limited area within an image. For more sophisticated control of the image region to be blurred, try the Compound Blur filter.

This filter causes rasterization in 3D groups.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Circle Blur filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Center: Sets the position of the center of the blur effect.
  • Amount: Sets the amount of the blur.
  • Radius: Sets the radius of the circle defining the blurred area.
  • Crop: Sets whether or not the image is cropped beyond its original borders.
  • Mix: Sets the percentage at which the original image is blended with the blurred image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following controls: Amount, Radius, and Crop.

Compound Blur

Blurs an object using the specified channel of a designated map image. You can use any shape, still image, or movie file as the map image. You can select any or all of the red, green, blue, alpha, or luminance channels to create the overall shape of the blur.

One of the fastest ways to use this filter is to create a shape object, and trace the subject of the image you want to blur. Then, assign this shape as the Blur Map image, using either its Luminance or Alpha channel to define the blurred area, and turn off the original shape object in the Layers tab or Timeline to reveal the new blur effect.

When this filter is applied, Compound Blur uses the original image as the map to create the initial blur. Drag any image into the Blur Map well to assign a different image.

This filter causes rasterization in 3D groups. For more information on rasterization, see About Rasterization.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Compound Blur filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Amount: Sets the radius of the blur.
  • Blur Map: An image well that displays a thumbnail of the map chosen.
  • Invert Map: Sets whether or not the blur map is inverted.
  • Stretch Map: Sets whether or not the map is stretched.
  • Horizontal: Sets the percentage of maximum horizontal blur.
  • Vertical: Sets the percentage of maximum vertical blur.
  • Mix: Sets what percentage of the original image is blended with the blurred image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following controls: Amount, Blur Map, and Map Channel.

Defocus

A more accurate model of the out-of-focus effect that occurs through a real-world camera lens. The Defocus filter blurs an image while creating a controlled glow effect in brighter areas of the image. The resulting object has a lens aperture-shaped structure around the highlights. The shape of the blurred glow around the affected highlights can be customized.

Use this filter when you are trying to blur one image to match video or stills that were shot with a camera. For example, if you have keyed a woman standing in front of a blue screen, and you intend to place a background image behind her to make it look like she’s standing in a valley with mountains in the background, use the Defocus filter instead of a Gaussian Blur to create a realistic depth-of-field effect for the mountains in the distance.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Defocus filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Amount: Sets the radius of the defocus.
  • Gain: Sets the amount of gain applied to the high luminance areas.
  • Sides: Sets the number of sides of the lens aperture, if Shape pop-up menu is set to Polygon.
  • Rotation: Sets the angle of rotation of the polygonal lens aperture, if Shape is set to Polygon.
  • Aspect Ratio: Sets the aspect ratio of the lens aperture.
  • Crop: Sets whether or not the blur will be cropped at the object’s original border.
  • Mix: Sets what percentage of the original image is blended with the blurred image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following controls: Amount, Gain, Shape, Sides, Rotation, and Aspect Ratio.

Directional Blur

Blurs an object along a specific angle. This filter creates a blurred streaking effect.

Note: Remember that the more filters you use in a project, the more you impact the performance of Motion.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Directional Blur filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Amount: Sets the radius of the blur.
  • Angle: Sets the angle of the direction of movement.
  • Crop: Sets whether or not the blur is cropped at the object’s original boundaries.
  • Mix: Sets what percentage of the original image is blended with the blurred image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following controls: Amount and Angle.

Gaussian Blur

The Gaussian blur is the softest blur effect you can apply, and is one of the most frequently used blur effects. By default, it affects the entire image uniformly, although you can control the amount of horizontal and vertical blur independently.

Gaussian blur is entirely appropriate for most motion graphics tasks, and can be animated for a variety of focus-control effects. However, to more accurately simulate camera focus, the Defocus filter may be more appropriate. For more information on the Defocus filter, see Defocus.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Gaussian Blur filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Amount: Sets the radius of the blur.
  • Horizontal: Sets the percentage of the Amount applied in the horizontal direction.
  • Vertical: Sets the percentage of the Amount applied in the vertical direction.
  • Crop: Sets whether or not the object is cropped at its original boundaries.
  • Mix: Sets what percentage of the original image is blended with the blurred image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following controls: Amount, Horizontal, and Vertical.

Gradient Blur

The Gradient Blur filter allows you to control the blurred region of an image by creating a graduated blur between two points. Point one is the beginning of the blur, and the point at which the image is at its sharpest. Point two is the end of the blur, and the point at which the image is at its blurriest, depending on the value set in the Amount parameter.

This filter causes rasterization in 3D groups.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Gradient Blur filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Point 1: Sets the position of the start point of the gradient.
  • Point 2: Sets the position of the end point of the gradient.
  • Amount: Sets the radius of the blur.
  • Crop: Sets whether or not the object is cropped at its original boundaries.
  • Mix: Sets what percentage of the original image is blended with the blurred image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following controls: Amount and Crop.

Movement Blur

Analyzes movement in a clip using optical flow methods, blurs the movement, and mixes the result with the original image.

This filter causes rasterization in 3D groups.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Movement Blur filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Amount: Sets the radius of the blur.
  • Sensitivity: Sets the sensitivity of blur detection. The higher the value, the lower the threshold of movement required to result in motion blur.
  • Quality: Sets the quality of the blur calculations. A higher value increases the quality of the resulting blur.
  • Smoothness: A pop-up menu that sets the smoothness of the blur.
  • Grid Size: Sets the size of each panel in the grid overlay used for optical flow analysis.
  • Grid Scale: Sets the scale of the entire grid used for optical flow analysis.
  • Mix: Sets what percentage of the original image is blended with the blurred image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following controls: Amount, Sensitivity, Quality, Smoothness, and Display.

Prism

Blurs and refracts the image as if seen through a prism, creating a rainbow effect.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Prism filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Amount: Sets the radius of the blur.
  • Angle: Sets the angle of refraction.
  • Crop: Sets whether or not the object is cropped at its original boundaries.
  • Mix: Sets what percentage of the original image is blended with the blurred and refracted image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following controls: Amount and Angle.

Radial Blur

This filter creates a rotational blur centered on a point. The effect is similar to the motion blur you would see if an image were spinning quickly.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Radial Blur filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Center: Sets the position of the center of the radial blur.
  • Angle: Sets the angle of rotation of the blur.
  • Subsampling: Sets the number of samples.
  • Crop: Sets whether or not the object is cropped at its original boundaries.
  • Mix: Sets what percentage of the original image is blended with the blurred image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following controls: Angle, Subsampling, and Crop.

Soft Focus

This filter creates an effect that’s similar to duplicating an object, using the Screen blend mode to composite it against itself, and then blurring one of the overlapping objects. The advantage of this filter is that you can do this all within a single filter. The Strength parameter controls how much of the blurred image is added back to the original image, while other sliders let you control the overall, horizontal, and vertical amount of blur.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Soft Focus filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Amount: Sets the radius of the blur.
  • Strength: Sets the amount of opacity of the blurred composite.
  • Horizontal: Sets the percentage of the maximum horizontal blur.
  • Vertical: Sets the percentage of the maximum vertical blur.
  • Crop: Sets whether or not the object is cropped at its original boundaries.
  • Mix: Sets what percentage of the original image is blended with the blurred image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following controls: Amount and Strength.

Variable Blur

A blur that can either include or exclude a circular region, to create a sort of tunnel focus effect. If the inner radius of the circle is larger than the outer radius of the circle, the blur is applied outside of the circle. Otherwise, the blur is applied to the area within the circle.

This filter causes rasterization in 3D groups.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Variable Blur filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Center: Sets the position of the center of the circle.
  • Amount: Sets the percentage of the blur.
  • Inner Radius: Sets the inner radius of the circle.
  • Outer Radius: Sets the outer radius of the circle.
  • Crop: Sets whether or not the object is cropped at its original boundaries.
  • Mix: Sets what percentage of the original image is blended with the blurred image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following controls: Amount, Inner Radius, Outer Radius, and Crop.

Zoom Blur

This filter creates a blur that simulates a fast camera zoom in to a point. This filter causes rasterization in 3D groups.

Figure. Canvas showing effect of the Zoom Blur filter.
Parameters in the Inspector
  • Amount: Sets the radius of the blur.
  • Center: Sets the position of the center of the blur.
  • Crop: Sets whether the object is cropped at its original boundaries.
  • Mix: Sets what percentage of the original image is blended with the blurred image.
HUD Controls

The HUD contains the following control: Amount.