Step 1: Select The Object You Want To Apply The Motion Blur To
Use the selection tool of your choice (Lasso Tool, Pen Tool, etc.) to draw a selection around your main subject. When you're done, you should see a selection outline (sometimes called "marching ants") around the entire object (or person, whatever the case may be). Try to make as accurate a selection as possible. For best results, I highly recommend using the Pen Tool. Check out our Making Selections with the Pen Tool tutorial for full instructions on how to use it. You can also read our Full Power Of Basic Selections In Photoshop tutorial for help with getting the most out of Photoshop's basic selection tools:
Use the selection tool of your choice to draw a selection around the main subject.
Go to Layer > New > Layer via Copy.For a faster way to copy a layer or selection, simply press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (
The preview thumbnail shows us what's on each layer.
Step 3: Apply The Motion Blur FilterWith our subject now on its own layer and separated from the rest of the image, we can apply our motion blur effect to it. Go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and then choose Motion Blur:
Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.This brings up Photoshop's Motion Blur filter dialog box. First, set the Angle of the motion blur streaks so that they match the direction your subject is moving in. In many cases, the direction movement will be horizontal, either left to right or right to left, so an angle of 0° would work perfectly. In my case, the racecar appears to be moving uphill slightly, so I need to set my angle to around 2°. You can use the angle control wheel to the right of the input box to help set the angle by clicking inside of it and dragging your mouse to rotate it, keeping an eye on your image in the document window for a preview of the angle as you're rotating the wheel. You can also simply type a value for the angle directly into the input box and then use the Up and Down arrow keys on your keyboard to increase or decrease the angle. Hold down your Shift key as you press the Up or Down arrows to increase or decrease the angle in 10° increments.
Next, drag the Distance slider at the bottom of the dialog box to set the length of the motion blur streaks. Dragging the slider all the way to the right will give you the longest streaks and is usually what you want for this effect, but again, keep an eye on your image as you drag the slider for a preview of the results:
Adjust the angle of the blur to match your subject's direction of motion, then set the length of the blur streaks with the Distance slider.Click OK when you're done to exit out of the Motion Blur dialog box and apply the blurring to the image. Your photo should now look something like this:
Faint motion blur streaks now appear in front of the subject.We'll finish off the effect by intensifying the motion blur streaks and masking away the areas we don't need next!
Here's how the image will look after giving the racecar a high speed motion trail:
The final "motion trail" effec