April 3, 2005

Shallow DOF achieved!

Filed under: fanmail — Tags: , — Eric Jeschke @ 11:10 pm

Dear Eric: I desperately needed to make the background of my head shot out of focus, and I’d never worked with Photoshop or the Gimp before. The most experience I’d ever had messing with images has been cropping and adjusting the gamma and the contrast (so essentially, nothing).

So I downloaded and installed the Gimp, and even though some of the screens looked a little different, I managed to figure it out (I am using the Windows version). Thanks to your amazing tutorial on blurring the background, I DID IT! I am so proud of myself! So I wanted you to see for yourself that your efforts in making your web page are very useful and that you are helping people like me.

Thank you so much again!





  1. Please can anyone help?

    I am following the ‘SIMULATING SHALLOW DEPTH OF FIELD WITH THE GIMP’ and aswell as some of the other fantastic tutorials but have become stuck on the below instruction and connot seem to make it work and it is driving me mad trying to figure it out!!!


    Now invert the selection (Ctrl+I), choose the fill tool (), make sure Black is selected as the foreground color and click in the image.Clear the selection (Shift+Ctrl+A). You should see something as shown on the right.


    I can invert the selection (tried using both the lasso and quick mask tool for variation) then use the bucket fill option and click on the image with black being the forground colour but then when I hold sft+ctrl+A, no colours separate it justs stays the same… i thought the background should go black and the foreground picture stands out?

    I have tried varying fill options (foreground/background fill)and mode options but no such luck. Should I try creating more layers?

    Please help!! thank you and love GIMPGURU I am trying to teach myself and find this tool wonderful. Thanks

    Comment by Maya — February 10, 2011 @ 4:31 am

  2. Hi Maya,

    When you select the subject, then invert the selection, it should be selecting everything BUT the subject. Then when you fill with black (be sure to click somewhere in the non-subject area) it should fill the selection (which is not the subject) with black. You should be able to test this out very simply with any image. Just use the rectangle select to select a square, then invert the selection, and fill the image with black. Only the square you originally selected should still have any of the image left in it.

    Hope this helps,

    Comment by Eric Jeschke — February 10, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

  3. Whoops! I just tested my advice and noticed that I forgot something. On the newer versions of GIMP you will need to show the tool options. When you have chosen the bucket fill tool, then in the tool options, select the option to “Fill whole selection”. Then click in the image. If you didn’t choose this option, the inverted selection won’t be filled.

    Comment by Eric Jeschke — February 10, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

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