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Apply blur effects

Pixelmator Pro includes 8 different blur effects: Gaussian, Box, Disc, Motion, Zoom, Spin, Tilt-Shift, and Focus — each of these blurs layers in a different way.

Apply a Gaussian blur

The Gaussian blur effect adds a smooth, even blur to your entire image, text, or shape layer.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Format > Effects > Blur > Gaussian (from the Format menu at the top of your screen).
    • Click in the Tools sidebar or press F on your keyboard, then click Add Effect to open the Effects browser. In the Blur effects category, choose the Gaussian effect or search for it by its name.
  2. Drag the Radius slider to the right to make the Gaussian blur effect stronger, or to the left to reduce it. Hold down the Option ⌥ key to extend the range of the Radius slider. You can also enter a value from 0.0 px to 400.0 px.

Show Original: Click the Show Original button or press Control ⌃ + M on your keyboard to see what the image looks like without any effects.

To reset all effects, click Reset at the bottom of the Tool Options pane.

To preserve layer transparency when applying the Gaussian blur effect, click the effect name in the Tool Options pane and choose Preserve Transparency.

Apply a Box blur

The box blur effect blurs the image and adds distinctive box shapes near contrasting areas.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Format > Effects > Blur > Box (from the Format menu at the top of your screen).
    • Click in the Tools sidebar or press F on your keyboard, then click Add Effect to open the Effects browser. In the Blur effects category, choose the Box effect or search for it by its name.
  2. Drag the Radius slider to the right to make the Box blur effect stronger, or to the left to reduce it. Hold down the Option ⌥ key to extend the range of the Radius slider. You can also enter a value from 0.0 px to 400.0 px.

Show Original: Click the Show Original button or press Control ⌃ + M on your keyboard to see what the image looks like without any effects.

To reset all effects, click Reset at the bottom of the Tool Options pane.

To preserve layer transparency when applying the Box blur effect, click the effect name in the Tool Options pane and choose Preserve Transparency.

Apply a Disc blur

The disc blur effect blurs the image and adds distinctive disc shapes near contrasting areas. The effect can be used to simulate the bokeh effect created by digital cameras in out of focus areas.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Format > Effects > Blur > Disc (from the Format menu at the top of your screen).
    • Click in the Tools sidebar or press F on your keyboard, then click Add Effect to open the Effects browser. In the Blur effects category, choose the Disc effect or search for it by its name.
  2. Drag the Radius slider to the right to make the Disc blur effect stronger, or to the left to reduce it. Hold down the Option ⌥ key to extend the range of the Radius slider. You can also enter a value from 0.0 px to 400.0 px.

Show Original: Click the Show Original button or press Control ⌃ + M on your keyboard to see what the image looks like without any effects.

To reset all effects, click Reset at the bottom of the Tool Options pane.

To preserve layer transparency when applying the Disc blur effect, click the effect name in the Tool Options pane and choose Preserve Transparency.

Apply a Motion blur

The Motion blur effect adds a blur that flows in one direction, creating the impression of speed and movement.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Format > Effects > Blur > Motion (from the Format menu at the top of your screen).
    • Click in the Tools sidebar or press F on your keyboard, then click Add Effect to open the Effects browser. In the Blur effects category, choose the Motion effect or search for it by its name.
  2. Customize the effect:
    • Drag the Radius slider to the right to make the motion blur effect stronger, or to the left to reduce it. Hold down the Option ⌥ key to extend the range of the Radius slider. You can also enter a value from 0.0 px to 400.0 px.
    • Move the Angle wheel to change the direction of the motion blur. You can also enter a value from 0.0º to 359.9º.

Show Original: Click the Show Original button or press Control ⌃ + M on your keyboard to see what the image looks like without any effects.

To reset all effects, click Reset at the bottom of the Tool Options pane.

To preserve layer transparency when applying the Motion blur effect, click the effect name in the Tool Options pane and choose Preserve Transparency.

Apply a Zoom blur

The Zoom blur effect simulates the look of capturing a photo while zooming in or out.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Format > Effects > Blur > Zoom (from the Format menu at the top of your screen).
    • Click in the Tools sidebar or press F on your keyboard, then click Add Effect to open the Effects browser. In the Blur effects category, choose the Zoom effect or search for it by its name.
  2. Drag the Amount slider to the right to create a zooming in effect, or to the left to create zooming out effect. Hold down the Option ⌥ key to extend the range of the Amount slider. You can also enter a value from -200.0 px to 200.0 px.
  3. Move the handle of the effect rope to set the direction of the zoom effect. If the effect rope isn’t visible, click the Edit button in the Tool Options pane.

Show Original: Click the Show Original button or press Control ⌃ + M on your keyboard to see what the image looks like without any effects.

To reset all effects, click Reset at the bottom of the Tool Options pane.

To preserve layer transparency when applying the Zoom blur effect, click the effect name in the Tool Options pane and choose Preserve Transparency.

Apply a Tilt-shift blur

The Tilt-Shift blur effect creates a shallow depth of field, leaving a smaller, rectangular area in focus. This can be used to create a miniaturized look.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Format > Effects > Blur > Tilt-Shift (from the Format menu at the top of your screen).
    • Click in the Tools sidebar or press F on your keyboard, then click Add Effect to open the Effects browser. In the Blur effects category, choose the Tilt-shift effect or search for it by its name.
  2. Customize the effect:
    • Drag the Blur slider to the right to make the blurring stronger, or to the left to reduce it. You can also enter a value from 0.0 px to 100.0 px.
    • Drag the Transition slider to set how gradually the effect should transition from blurred to in-focus. You can also enter a value from 0% to 100%.
  3. Move the handle of the effect rope to choose which area should be in focus and which areas should be blurred. Drag the handle of the outer circle to set how large an area should be blurred. If the effect rope isn’t visible, click the Edit button in the Tool Options pane.

Show Original: Click the Show Original button or press Control ⌃ + M on your keyboard to see what the image looks like without any effects.

To reset all effects, click Reset at the bottom of the Tool Options pane.

To preserve layer transparency when applying the Tilt-shift blur effect, click the effect name in the Tool Options pane and choose Preserve Transparency.

Apply a Focus blur

The Focus blur effect leaves a circular area in focus, blurring everything outside it.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Format > Effects > Blur > Focus (from the Format menu at the top of your screen).
    • Click in the Tools sidebar or press F on your keyboard, then click Add Effect to open the Effects browser. In the Blur effects category, choose the Focus effect or search for it by its name.
  2. Customize the effect:
    • Drag the Blur slider to the right to make the blurring stronger, or to the left to reduce it. You can also enter a value from 0.0 px to 100.0 px.
    • Drag the Transition slider to set how gradually the effect should transition from blurred to in-focus. You can also enter a value from 0% to 100%.
  3. Move the handle of the effect rope to choose which area should be in focus and which areas should be blurred. Drag the handle of the outer circle to set how large an area should be blurred. If the effect rope isn’t visible, click the Edit button in the Tool Options pane.

Show Original: Click the Show Original button or press Control ⌃ + M on your keyboard to see what the image looks like without any effects.

To reset all effects, click Reset at the bottom of the Tool Options pane.

To preserve layer transparency when applying the Focus blur effect, click the effect name in the Tool Options pane and choose Preserve Transparency.

Apply a Spin blur

The Spin blur effect simulates the look of circular motion — a spinning wheel, for example — captured on camera.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Choose Format > Effects > Blur > Spin (from the Format menu at the top of your screen).
    • Click in the Tools sidebar or press F on your keyboard, then click Add Effect to open the Effects browser. In the Blur effects category, choose the Spin effect or search for it by its name.
  2. Drag the Amount slider to the right to make the spin effect stronger, or to the left to reduce it. Hold down the Option ⌥ key to extend the range of the Amount slider. You can also enter a value from 0% to 200%.
  3. Move the handle of the effect rope to choose which area should be the center of the spin effect. If the effect rope isn’t visible, click the Edit button in the Tool Options pane.

Show Original: Click the Show Original button or press Control ⌃ + M on your keyboard to see what the image looks like without any effects.

To reset all effects, click Reset at the bottom of the Tool Options pane.

To preserve layer transparency when applying the Focus blur effect, click the effect name in the Tool Options pane and choose Preserve Transparency.

Pixelmator Pro User Guide