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Use Path Blur In Photoshop To Create Motion Effect

Caroline Laurent
Caroline Laurent Originally published Dec 19, 22, updated Dec 05, 23

There are different kinds of blur effects that redefine the movement and intensity of an image. By applying a suitable blur effect, you can increase the visual appeal of your still photo by emphasizing a certain motion. Path blur is one of the trending motion blur effects that people use to enhance their photos instantly. Through this article, you can learn how to use path blur in Photoshop conveniently.

In this article
  1. What is Path Blur and How Does It Work?
  2. How to Use Path Blur in Photoshop?
  3. Bonus Tips – The Alternative to Photoshop to Create Motion Blur Effect

Part 1: What is Path Blur and How Does It Work?

Path blur is a kind of motion blur that highlights a motion and speed in a certain direction. It helps to create a sense of movement by adjusting the blur intensity and central point. If you want to display a stimulating motion in an image, path blur can assist you in this regard.

Path blur works by adjusting two variables: Speed and Taper. By adjusting the speed slider, you can specify the amount of path blur. In addition to speed, you can adjust the taper value accordingly to determine the blur trail.

what is path blur

This effect can instantly add new dimensions to your captured photo. For instance, if you have captured a photo of a racing car, you can add a path blur effect to give a sense of speed to it. You can easily find this special effect in Adobe Photoshop. By using the selection tools, you can effectively add a path blur effect to your image in the selected area. To know more about path blur in Photoshop, continue reading this article.

Part 2: How to Use Path Blur in Photoshop?

Photoshop is undoubtedly the most commonly used tool to edit pictures with great configuration options. After uploading the image, you can quickly transform it by adding new effects, filters, and layers. You can retouch your photography efficiently through this tool by increasing the quality of pictures. Moreover, the clean user interface of Photoshop allows you to utilize the advanced functions without any interruptions.

Are you ready to use Photoshop path blur? Read this part of the article to find out two interesting ways to create a path blur effect in the images.

Add Dynamic Effect to Your Static Images

Step1 Open Photoshop and import the desired picture. Once done, go to the "Layers" section and copy the background layer. For this, press "Ctrl + J" in Windows and "Command + J" for MacBook.

create background layer copy

Step2 Now proceed to the "Filter" section and locate the option "Blur Gallery". From there, choose the "Path Blur" option. Now you would be able to see an arrow on your screen. Using this arrow, you can specify the path blur motion. Drag and close the arrow where you want to show the speed. Also, set a higher value for the speed given on the right side. Once done, hit the "OK" button.

choose the path blur

Create a Long Exposure Picture

Step1 Navigate to the Adobe Photoshop tool and begin by uploading a picture. Afterward, go to the "Filter" tab and select "Convert for Small Filters."

select convert for the smart filters option

Step2 Now go to the "Filter" tab again and choose the "Blur Gallery" option. From there, select the "Path Blur" option. Now adjust the displayed arrow in a particular direction to decide the starting and endpoint of the path blur. Moreover, modify the "Speed" slider according to your choice.

proceed with path blur

Step3 After dragging the arrow in a particular direction, a blue dot will appear at the center. Press the "Delete" button to eliminate that point. Now select the endpoint of the arrow and change its blur shape.

delete the blue dot

Step4 Utilize the noise section to add a grainy effect in the blurred area. Once done, click on the "OK" button. Now select the masking tool to select the area in your picture. Afterward, choose the "Smart Mask" filter and then navigate to the "Fill" option given in the "Edit" section.

select the fill option

Step5 In the fill menu, choose the color "Black." Now go to the "Select" section and click "Deselect." To soften the whole look, you can go to the "Properties" panel and adjust the "Feather" properties.

adjust the feather properties

Step6 Now add the first layer and choose the option "Convert for Smart Filters." Again, go to the "Filter" section, select "Blur Gallery," and uncheck the option called "Edit Blur Screen."

tap on convert for smart filters option

Step7 Now increase the length of the arrow and press "Ctrl + Click" for Windows or "Command + Click" for Mac to reposition the path. You can also add a curve to the arrow. Enhance the speed from the right panel and uncheck the option of "Center Blur." You can increase the taper value to make the blur gradually trail off. Add a grainy filter for more enhancements.

disable the centered blur option

Bonus Tips – The Alternative to Photoshop to Create Motion Blur Effect

Many users find the interface of Adobe Photoshop intimidating or challenging to operate. If you want an alternative to Photoshop, the best choice you can make is to use Wondershare Filmora. For beginners, this tool adds built-in presets that are professionally made.

Free Download
Free Download

It offers more than 900 effects that you can use to add new dimensions to your photos and videos. Moreover, it provides fast processing speed for photo and video editing to help you achieve your goals conveniently.

Steps to Produce Motion Blur Effect in Filmora

If you are a beginner and want to create a motion blur effect, then use the steps mentioned below:

Step1 Add the Image to Timeline.

After launching Filmora, select "Create New Project" and import the desired picture. After dragging it to the timeline, you have to split it to proceed.

import the desired image
Step2 Choose the Background Blur.

To split, choose the starting and ending point in the clip where you want to add the motion blur effect. Once done, go to the "Effects" tab and search for the "Background Blur" effect section. Pick and apply the desired blur filter to the split section of the video.

split the added clip
Step3 Apply the Transition.

Once you have added the motion blur effect, you can check the results from the preview window. You can also apply the "Dissolve" transition from the "Transitions" tab to generate a smooth result.

access transitions tab


If you want to display a sense of speed and movement in the picture, you can add a path blur effect. It's one of the types of motion blur effects that many people use in their pictures to add a dynamic element. By reading this article, you have learned how to add path blur in Photoshop through simple means. Moreover, you can also explore the tool Filmora to create a motion blur effect in the photos effortlessly.

Caroline Laurent
Caroline Laurent Dec 05, 23
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