How to Apply an Iris Blur Effect in Adobe Photoshop

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Iris Blur is one of the options in Photoshop's Blur Gallery, which allows selective blurring of some regions of an image while maintaining focal points in others. Iris Blur creates a blur that radiates from the center in all directions. To apply an iris blur to an image, follow these four steps.

This features works the same in Adobe Photoshop CS6 and CC.

  1. Turn the layer to be blurred into a Smart Object by choosing the layer in the Layers Panel, then going to the panel menu and selecting Convert to Smart Object.Layer Panel Menu
  2. Go to Filter > Blur Gallery > Iris Blur.Iris Blur in Filter Menu
  3. The gallery interface features an Options Bar and Panels with blur controls on the image preview:
    • Ellipse Handles: Drag to make blur shape rounder or more oval, or to rotate.
    • Feather Handles: Drag to adjust where blur begins.
    • Center Pin: Drag to move the focal point.
    • Blur Ring: Drag to adjust the amount of blur.
    • Roundness Handle: Drag to make the blur shape rounder or more rectangular.
    Blur Gallery Interface
  4. Use the blur controls to adjust the focus, shape, and amount of blur. Tip: Hold down the Alt (PC) / Option (Mac) key to isolate and adjust the position of just one Feather Handle.Adjusted Iris Blur

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