Photoshop Spin Blur Effect for Spinning Car Wheels


Photoshop CC Spin Blur Effect for Spinning Car Wheels

This short tutorial demonstrates how to use the Photoshop CC Spin Blur filter to give car wheels the appearance that they are spinning. Additionally, Motion Blur will be used to blur the road and scenery behind the car to simulate the effect of the car moving at a high rate of speed. What you will need to make this happen is a photo of a car and background scenery. Note: If you have a separate car image and a scenery image, they can be combined by dragging them into one document as I have already done for this tutorial. Otherwise, this can also be accomplished with a single image by using the lasso tool as I will describe.

About the Photoshop CC Spin Blur Effect & This Fast Moving Car Project

The Photoshop CC Spin Blur is a built-in filter that comes along with newer versions of Photoshop. It allows you fairly precise control over blurring selected regions and the ability to adjust the amount of blur through a selected angle. Spin Blur is found under the top menu Filter > Blur Gallery > Spin Blur.


Below is the original photo of a car with static wheels and a static background:

A car with static wheels and a static background

Steps for Applying Spin Blur to Car Wheels

Spin Blur filter used on car wheels

1. From the top menu choose Filter > Blur Gallery > Spin Blur.

2. Align the circle (click & drag) to target the middle of the first car wheel.

3. Adjust the thin outer circle of the Spin Blur (click & drag the outer circle line toward the middle to make it smaller)

4. Look on the outer circle for small round white guides (they look like white dots). Click & drag the white dots inward to the desired diameter.

5. Choose the slider and click-drag to the desired angle to give the appearance of spinning wheels (I used 33 degrees). See the slider example below if you cannot find it.

Adjustable spin blur guides Adjustable spin blur slider for degrees

6. Before you apply anything, move your cursor entirely outside of the circle until you see a pin (looks like a thumbtack) cursor. Use this to click on the center of the second wheel and apply the same angle.

7. Click Okay to apply. See example below of spin blur applied to both wheels.

spin blur applied to both wheels of the car

Steps for Applying Motion Blur to Background Scenery and the Road to Give the Appearance of Speed

1. If the car and scenery are on separate layers then the process of applying Motion Blur to the scenery layer is easy. With your scenery layer selected choose Filter > Blur > Motion Blur from the top menu. Adjust setting to your preference. In this example, I used a zero 0-degree angle and 10-pixel distance. Apply your change and you are done.

2. If your image is just one layer then you will need to carefully outline the car with the Polygonal Lasso Tool Polygonal Lasso Tool

Car outlined with the Polygonal Lasso Tool

3. To make tracing the outline of your car easier you can press the Ctrl key and plus key + to zoom-in. Once you have traced your car, choose from the top menu Select > Inverse or Shift+Ctrl+I. This will select everything outside of the selected area (outside the car).

4. Choose Filter > Blur > Motion Blur from the top menu. Adjust setting to your preference. In this example, I used a zero 0-degree angle and 10-pixel distance. Apply your change and you are done.

Below is the final photograph of the car with spin blur to the wheels and motion blur applied to the background scenery and road.

photograph of the car with spin blur to the wheels and motion blur applied to the background scenery and road.

Related posts in this series

How to Apply Photoshop Gaussian Blur to Photo Backgrounds | Best Ways to Cutout an Image | Removing a Zoo Photo's Background and Replacing it to Hide People | Photoshop CC Spin Blur Effect | Photoshop Clone Stamp Tool to Alter Landscape Photos