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These blur-sharpen plugins are for Windows, including Windows 8 and 10. Sorry, we have no Mac versions currently, but may soon!
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Smart Blur Pro Plugin (Adobe Photoshop version): Tutorials & Tips
After choosing Pixelan > Smart Blur Pro in Photoshop's Filter menu, all controls will appear in a main window. The plugin's basic steps and main controls are summarized below.
The plugin has two types of presets -- Effects Browser presets and Section presets.
• Effects Browser presets
This is the most powerful and visual way to access handy professional pre-made presets. A huge quantity are available in a large Effects Browser window to visually compare and choose from, as shown below. To open the Effects Browser, click the Click here to load a preset... button at the top of our plugin. To save your own custom presets in the Effects Browser, set up the desired look in our plugin, then click the Save button.
Time-saving tips to load presets faster:
The Effects Browser is fast, but sometimes you may already know which preset you want to use, such as when you are applying the same preset repeatedly in a project. In that situation, selecting a preset by one of the following methods can be faster... To see recently chosen presets, click the Recent button. For a drop-down menu of presets, right-click the Click here to load a preset... button. To choose from a file dialog, Alt-click the Click here to load a preset... button.
Handy tips while working within the Effects Browser:
• To scroll through presets in a folder while keeping your eye on the top preview image for comparison, hold the mouse pointer over the right panel then use arrow keys or the mouse wheel.
• To increase/decrease the thumbnail image size, use the Size button at the bottom of the Effects Browser.
• To copy a favorite preset into the My Favorites folder located atop the left column of preset folders, right-click any preset image and choose Copy to My Favorites. To copy the preset into a subfolder within that folder (such as if you want to organize presets per project or per client), right-click the preset and choose Copy to My Favorites >> [new subfolder]. You can then name the subfolder as desired. After the subfolder is created, it will also appear in the right-click menu.
• To rename a preset that is in the My Favorites folder, right-click the preset there and choose Rename this preset. To remove a My Favorites preset, right-click and choose Delete this preset.
• To hide any preset, right-click the preset and choose Hide this preset. To show all hidden presets in a folder, right-click any preset in that folder and choose Restore all hidden presets from this folder. To temporarily view the folder's hidden presets, which can be handy if you just want to momentarily browse them, choose Temporarily show hidden presets.
• To toggle between viewing the source file image and the effect preset, click the top large preview image in the Effects Browser.
• Section presets
Unlike the Effect Browser presets, these change ONLY the controls in ONE section of Smart Blur Pro. Mixing presets from several sections is a quick and easy way to try hundreds of fresh film look effects and variations. Within any section (aka "twirly") of controls, choose Section Presets. To choose a section preset visually instead of from a list, click the submenu to activate it, then use your mouse's scroll wheel.
Detailed Help on Each Smart Blur Pro Control
In the Pixelan custom interface, the below help also appears as you hover your cursor over a control.
Split Preview. Easily compare the effect to your source clip's original look. When you are done comparing, be sure to turn this off to not include the split in your final render.
Adjust the main plugin controls. Choose a section preset at right for common settings.
Size. Sets the effect's strength. To create extreme looks, manually enter a value greater than 100.
Smartness. Increase to preserve the main edges within the image.
Details. Increase to preserve more details.
Highlights. Increase to preserve the brightest areas.
Edges. Increase to preserve sharpness of edges.
Limit where the effect will appear with an adjustable, movable geometric shape. Choose a section preset at right for common settings.
Shape. Choose a shape from several geometries.
Strength. Set the strength of the shape mask.
Size. Set the size of the shape. For Linear or Door mask shapes, this control affects their position.
Edge Softness. Adjust the softness of the edge of the mask.
X/Y Position. Position the shape within the image by dragging the center point. If "Linear" is selected, you can adjust its angle by moving the center point. For more precision, enter numerical values.
View the Mask. Turn on to clearly see the mask.
Limit where the effect will appear based on the color or luminance within your scene. Choose a section preset at right for common settings.
Target. Choose which qualities define the Target area. For example, to preserve the white in a source clip's clouds, click the Target eyedropper in the cloud and select "Target's luminance only". To preserve skin tones, click in the skin and choose "Target's color". In the preview, click the eyedropper on the color area to keep it unchanged. Or use the color swatch to choose a color or luminance.
Strength. Set the strength of the source mask. Negative values will invert the mask.
Range. Positive values preserve additional hue/luminance areas that are similar to the Target.
Falloff. Positive values increase the feathering around preserved colors.
View the Mask. Turn on to clearly see the mask.
Within Shape M. Limits organic masking to within the Shape Mask area set in the section above. Can be handy depending on where your masking intent is.
Mix with Original. To alter the effect's overall strength, adjust its transparency with the source image. Positive values increase the source's strength. Negative values can create unusual looks.