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How to use Gaussian Blur to defocus backgrounds only

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I finally have the latest version of Paint.net! I took a picture of my aunt and her daughter, and unfortunately, the household we were visiting at the time was a mess, so I would like to defocus the background while keeping the rest sharp. I have tried the magic wand tool at different tolerance levels so that I can selectively defocus, but it's not selecting how I need it to select. I did do a search here, but I can't seem to find what I need. If someone could either point me to a tutorial or describe what I need to do, it would be much appreciated! :)

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1) I followed this tutorial: http://paintdotnet.12.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=4841 (Good tutorial, even though its hard to read)

2) I made a duplicate of the background

3) I used the magic wand on the mask layer to select the background

4) Switched to the duplicate layer and pressed the delete key. That left only the people on that layer

5) Use the eraser tool to touch up around the hair.

6) Feather with a radius of 10 using the shrink method.

7) Switch to the bottom most background layer.

8) Gaussian Blur with a radius of 10

Here is what my canvas looked like:


9) Turn off visibility of the mask layer.

10) Save as JPG (flattening as required) and DONE!

Judging by my post times, it took about 12-15 minutes to complete.

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  • 9 years later...

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