NX2:Gen - Commands - How can I blur out a face?

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I have a photo that's ruined by a grinning face:

JenElliot.jpg
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Although this maybe a fruitless task, for the sake of me learning CaptureNX, what would be the best way of blurring the offending face? I've tried playing with a Gaussian Blur, putting a Plus Selection Control Point on the face, reducing the effective radius (and using show overlay & show mask to check what area is effected), and then applying various types of blur, but I really have no idea what I'm doing. I've tried Jason's ebook, but I couldn't find how best to deal with this example.

Could anyone suggest some exact options to try (Radius, Opacity, Blending Mode, Opacity) - or should I not use a Gaussian blur?

Thanks
 
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Gaussian blur, coupled with the selection brush, IMO. You need to be careful, though to produce an effect that is not too strong; otherwise the result will look blatantly retouched.

-Jason
 
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I think with the image I have, I may just be best cropping with 6x4 ratio, and losing a little of what I want (like the boy's left hand), but I'd still like to learn in general
Gaussian blur, coupled with the selection brush, IMO. You need to be careful, though to produce an effect that is not too strong; otherwise the result will look blatantly retouched.
Hi Jason, thanks for the ebook. Yes, it seems that with my image, getting the face blurred enough would certainly look like blatant retouching, hence I feel I should just crop.

In your ebook, page 309 (please shout if I'm not supposed/you don't want me to quote from your book) you describe linking a second gaussian blur step to the first (Lighten with 60 pixel radius & 60% opacity. Darken with 40 pixel radius & 40% opacity). Could you explain why you have 2 blurs, and comment on the settings. I won't be offended if you don't have the time :)
 
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Hope you don't mind, I took a quick attempt.

In NX2 I did a contrast adjustment, then did a selection and colorized (color picked from around hair), then a blur level to selectively soften the edges, and then a selective sharpen. There is definitely room for refinement (hand at bottom right has a very hard edge) :wink:

jenelliotnx2kv5.jpg
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When I initially saw the first image, I thought to myself: WOW, this image is worth spending time dealing with the third person in the rear. Seeing Jeff's rendition absolutely convinces me. This is a marvelous image that you should be really proud of.

I would use Jeff's version as a point of departure. Rather than trying to refine the mother's left hand, I would simply eliminate it from the image by cropping it. Doing that would provide the added benefit of limiting the boring background space in the top right corner.

I also suggest using the Linear Gradient Tool on the background to add some additional tones of blue to the background blue. You would need to use the Selection Brush in "minus" mode to erase the part of the gradient that covers the two people.

This really could be an award winner when you get done with it. Congratulations!
 
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Hope you don't mind, I took a quick attempt.
Certainly not, much appreciated.

I'm brand new to photo editing. It's all seemed so complicated, but having shot some wedding pics for friends (first time I used RAW), I feel it's time I started. I asked for advice on which software to use (had a little go with elements 3, which made exposure adjustments easy) and happily chose CNX and Jason's book.

I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to do what you've done (imagine I'm your great gran).
 
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When I initially saw the first image, I thought to myself: WOW, this image is worth spending time dealing with the third person in the rear. Seeing Jeff's rendition absolutely convinces me. This is a marvelous image that you should be really proud of.

This really could be an award winner when you get done with it. Congratulations!
Thank you for the kind feedback (that's my first ever online feedback for a photo :smile:). I am very pleased with the shot. So far I'd just cropped the dad out and given them a copy. It will be a while before I'm capable of copying Jeff's example with your suggestions.
 
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Glad you approved, this was a good lesson for me as well, Mike has some good suggestions that I would definitely try if I was to start again.

I took a few more minutes in CS3 (imported from NX2) and applied the "Charles Schwab Effect" found here, it is an easy tutorial to follow. I actually did this earlier today but hesitated to post it because it was an NX2 specific thread, I decided to put it up anyway, I think it shows there are alternative ways of processing that might be ok also. I have used this method a couple of times when the capture was just out of focus but the image was worth 'saving'.

jenelliotcharlesschwabem3.jpg
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Going back to your original question, one thing that I have that works, strangely, is to use NR selectively rather than Guassian Blur. I find that it seems to "blend" more with the image.

As to the crops and such, I guess I'm just a bit of a contrarian here. But for me, losing the entire background and adding the more "art" looks also loses context and the "humanity" of the image. I like the crop, I just don't like losing the entire background context and the waxy photo art look. Just a differnet perspective, but no matter you do, I love the expressions on the faces, and for some strange reason, even the grin in the background doesn't bother me all that much, but I agree that I would like it to be less prominent, one way or another. Give the NR method a try. While it may not work here, i do find it another way to lower the "distraction level" of background objects, including the background itself.
 
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one thing that I have that works, strangely, is to use NR selectively rather than Guassian Blur. I find that it seems to "blend" more with the image.
Yeah I read about using NR, either on this forum or in Jason's book. I'll have a go.

for me, losing the entire background and adding the more "art" looks also loses context and the "humanity" of the image. I like the crop, I just don't like losing the entire background context and the waxy photo art look.
I think it's great fun what one (Jeff) can do, and it is art. It's not what I'd like to achieve for this image though.
for some strange reason, even the grin in the background doesn't bother me all that much
It's (he's) doing my head in! He saw me taking the pic, and thought he'd jump in for a lovely happy family shot - ARGHHH! I want the buildings in the background, not much point in having a shallow dof otherwise. But Alan (Mr dam smiley) is ruining the image for me. I will try the NR technique, although it would probably take someone who knows what they're doing to save me resorting to a huge crop.
 

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