3 Easy Blurs Effects to Improve Your Webtoon

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Introduction

Blur is such a natural phenomenon in our daily lives that we usually don’t recognize it. Whether it shows up in photos that we couldn’t stand still in or in our outer sight of vision where our eyes are not focusing, blur is an essential part of how humans see the world. As a result, sometimes when you look at hyper realistic paintings or HD photos where everything is clear, things can seem a bit off and not natural.

This especially shows up in webtoons where creators are constantly trying to convey 3D moments with static images. So in this tutorial, I thought I’d cover three different blur filters that effectively help convey realism and make webtoon scenes feel more natural or dynamic.

Gaussian Blur

Coming up first is our classic gaussian blur, [Filter] menu > [Blur] > [Gaussian blur]. This is our classic filter that reduces image details evenly across an image and is used super commonly in scenes to focus different parts of an image like our eyes naturally do.

In the example below, you can see how panels can be reused super easily by simply blurring different layers in a panel.

You can also selectively blur parts of a layer by creating a masking layer rather than the default blur brush, which is harder to control. Simply duplicate the layer you’d like to blur and apply a gaussian blur to the strength you’d like.

Then create a masking layer, delete the masking area (the mask preview should turn from white to black)

and now you can use any brush with a white color to selectively blur parts of the layer.

My favorite way to use gaussian blur though, has got to be for easily creating a backlit glow effect. Select the area surrounding the subject you’d like to glow, fill it with a light color, add a gaussian blur, and select a lighting layer property, like add or overlay, to create an even glow.

Motion Blur

Next up is motion blur, [Filter] menu > [Blur] > [Motion blur], rather than evenly blurring details across an image, this effect blurs a scene in a specific direction to convey motion. Now the obvious use case for this blur to convey action like the examples below.

However, it can also be subtly used for more dynamic scene/story transitions within webtoons as well.

Radial Blur

Finally, the last blur I’d like to introduce is the radial blur, [Filter] menu > [Blur] > [Radial blur]. This a super chaotic type of motion blur that has its blur direction go outwards from a point that you have selected with a red X. The common use case for this blur would maybe be an action scene like where a character has been hit with an impact or is undergoing a dizzying state of shock.

However, my favorite way to use radial blur is for comedic scenes of chaos and memes as well.

Last Tips

Noted, blur is not the sole method to make a scene feel realistic. If you prefer crisper illustrations there are several techniques to mimic blur effects such as with dynamic action lines or half-tones (Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse is an amazing example of this!) But for folks who are struggling to quickly crank out high quality webtoon eps, highly recommend that you utilize these easy blur tools.

In fact, if you really want to save time and find yourself using these filters a lot like I do, try creating custom short cuts either in your command bar or selection launcher settings.

Hope this was helpful and as always, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on Instagram or Twitter @5o0m5 or check out my Webtoon “Bibimbap!” on Webtoon Canvas.

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