Blur it Blur it Blur it

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Intro

Well hello there, this is Tamil. Let's talk about blurring filters in Clip Studio Paint. I will go over different variations that it has, and then how to use them in a real painting. It is a relatively easy topic to dive into, so let's get started.

Access Filters Tab

Currently, there are 5 blur filters types in Clip Studio Paint. It might feel like a lot, but usually, I use one or two at most. How to access them?

- Select the layer you want to affect
- Filter -> Blur

It is that easy.

Let's see which ones are more useful by going one by one. I will use the same image to show how it looks and then get into techniques for real painting.

Blur / Blur (Strong)

The first two are basically the same thing, but with different strengths to them. The main problem is that there is no slider for it. If you want to make it stronger, then you just have to keep clicking it, which is not ideal. In short, it averages colors on a small scale. Here is an example of how it looks:

Gaussian Blur

This is the most versatile and useful blur type in my opinion. I use it almost every time I am going to blur anything. It has great blurring effect and the best part is that it has a nice simple slider that lets you adjust the effect to your liking.

Once you click it, it will affect the image right away because the preview button is on. If you have a slower computer, I can recommend turning it off.

What is the best value for the blur? Well, that depends where are you using it. I usually do not go over 10 or so, but it can always change if I need something dramatic.

Here I used 30. It mixes together colors pretty nice.

Motion Blur

This is another cool blur that I really like to use. If you do not know what it is, here is a simple explanation:

Motion blur is a photography effect. Cameras use shutter speed for capturing images. Basically, how long was the camera open for. It could be milliseconds or minutes. When the camera is open for a long time, objects that move leaves motion marcs on the image. An easy way to do it is to grab your phone and move it fast while taking a photo.

There are different functions inside the filter. Agle will let you do adjust which direction it is going. The direction will add more or less blur to it for each side.

Here you can see the difference between the Box and Smooth mode with the settings. It depends on the project you want. The box has checkers in the same spot for Box, but the flowers get more extreme. Just keep playing around until you are satisfied with the result. That is the best advice I can give. There is not a giant difference. I personally prefer Box Mode.

Radial Blur

Radial Blur is similar to Motion blur, but it is more focused on targeting the middle of the image. It pulls you inside. I do not use it a lot, but there a few cases where it is very handy.

The menu for it looks very similar to the motion blur.

There is a small nuance though. Do you see the red X? You will be able to move it around the canvas when you open the filter. The blur will create a movement around that X. It is super useful if you want to create tension towards the subject. For example, a warrior running towards the camera. Can put the X on his face.

Smoothing

Last but not least is a smoothing filter. The main use for it is adding anti-aliasing to your line art. Making harsh pixels more smooth for transitions. It is easier to see when there is black and white on top of each other. There is no menu for it and the use is pretty focused. Look into it if you scan your ink or do heavy line art for your comic book.

Creating Dreamy Line Art

This look is easy to create and adds a little more cloudy look to your sketch.

First, get in line art. If it is something textured and sketching with messy lines, it works even a little bit better.

Laying down some flats. I used a simple airbrush for that. I just kept it messy.

Here comes the best part:

- Select your line layer.
- Set to overlay.
- Duplicate -> Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian blur

Now just tweak the settings. You can adjust the blur amount and line opacity. There are 2 line layers, so there is room to play. I also fill my line with different colors for fun. Seeing what works and what doesn't. You can always watch the video for more hands on demonstration.

Doing some cleanup and color adjustments. Isn't this begging for a neon light in there? Let's add some.

Adding glow with Blur

Let's make it darker as if it were at night. The background is a little too bright, but that is alright. I just used a dark blue on hard light. Play around with yours because it will really depend on the painting. I will add some fireflies around here where the light might be hitting.

After darkening it, I just set my color to green and grabbed a simple round brush, and went over the areas that might get the light. Just hard edges. The layer mode is color dodge.

I duplicated it and blurred it with a gaussian blur. I set the old layer to smaller opacity and it came together. Now let's add the motion blur filter. It is a skateboarder after all.

Motion Blur

An easy way to make motion blur is to:

Layer -> Merge Visible to a New Layer -> Filter -> Blur -> Motion Blur

Think about which way the character is going. In my case, she is going down at high speed, so it makes sense to do it at that angle. After you created the motion blur, just create a mask and make it black. Now you can paint with white on your layer by adding motion blur to your canvas.

Adding it to the edges or unimportant parts helps to bring it together.

Outro

I hope this was helpful. You can always watch the video to get a better idea of the effects and write a comment in case you want to share your technique.

Here are my links:

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