Thursday, August 30, 2012

CoffeeShop Focal Zoom Action and Tutorial!

I had a Facebook fan (Shelly) ask if I had a tutorial or action on creating a focal zoom digital effect.  I didn't but it is such an easy edit I decided to put together a tutorial and also post a simple action.  Thank you so much for giving me ideas for new tutorials and actions!

This effect is fully customizable and can be really fun.   Luckily I have plenty of  photos from our many road trips this summer to practice on.

1.  Open your image.  Use the Elliptical  Marquee tool and circle the area you want to stay in focus. In this case I circled the girls. If you hold shift the selection will be a perfect circle.  I didn't feather at this step.

2. Start the CoffeeShop Focal Zoom action (download at bottom of the post) or just follow the tutorial below.

3.  Select, Inverse.

4.  Feather the selection.  Select, Feather in PSE; Select, Modify, Feather in Photoshop.  Start with 40 or 50.

5.  Filter, Blur, Radial Blur.

6.  Make sure the Blur  Method is Zoom and I use Good Quality.  Then adjust the amount to taste.  I usually use 20 to 50, but play around with this setting.

Here are some photos with the focal zoom effect.  Mouse over to see the before images.

Hope you enjoyed this little tutorial!  This effect is not for everyone, but I think it is pretty cool for wall art.

And a preview of the next action/tutorial coming your way - CoffeeShop Carnival. I just wrote it today.  Mouse over the image to see the before.  I will post a step-by-step tutorial and also a free action.  I used the Bellini texture from Flypaper Texture's newest pack, August Painterly.

Download the free CoffeeShop Focal Zoom Photoshop/PSE action! You can also download it here.  NOTE:  Older versions of PSE might not have the radial blur effect needed to run this action.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


  1. Thank you so much for this action. I love it! I still can't get over how incredibly generous you are.

  2. Definitely a cool effect, Rita! Thanks so much!

  3. This is so cool. Rhanks for sharing

  4. I saw this effect on a blog post I read earlier today & am SO happy to see your tutorial as I love this one!
    Thank you SO much for setting this up - you amaze me.

  5. Thank you! I like this effect also. Thank you Facebook Fan for the idea!!!

  6. This is totally awesome. I love it. Thanks!

  7. Rita, you're awesome! I have been playing with this for the past two hours and am having so much fun!

  8. Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies (please, notice the new url for my blog), under the Page 5 post on Aug. 31, 2012. Thanks again.

  9. This looks really fun, I can't wait to play with it! Thanks for sharing!!

  10. Rita:
    Thanks so much for sharing! Your willingness to learn and share these tips frees the rest of us up to just create and enjoy. I love you for that!

  11. I can't wait for Carnival! You are so generous making these for people to use!

  12. Awesome! Ever since having this option on Instagram I've been wondering an easy way to do it in PSE! :)

  13. Very cool. I saw the link on Jill's blog for her sparkle trail tutorial. Thanks so much!


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