Radial blur, also known as motion blur, is a special effect used to mimic how objects look when moving toward, away from, or in front of a stationary viewer. Example uses for this versatile feature include:
- Authentically depicting people or objects in motion
- Creating the impression of superspeed or warped time, with the final effect making the viewer feel like traveling at light speed
- Adding a dramatic effect to an otherwise stable clip
- Depicting an overwhelmed or unsettled state of mind
- Creating visual contrast to capture the viewer’s attention and giving more emphasis to the main subject
Radial blur is a common feature in a variety of mediums. If you’re wondering how to make the most of this effect, consider the following ideas:
- Create an immersive video game environment – Game designers commonly use the radial blur effect when players look through a scope or are on the move. It's common among 1st POV games to suggest movement. Add motion blur to your own video game design or promotional videos to create a more authentic, immersive experience. Radial blur can enhance the dynamism of your game setting, heightening the suspense of the moment. This helps to engage the viewer, especially in first-person games where their decisions change the trajectory of the experience.
- Establish a subjective cinematic world – Radial blur is often used to help the viewer understand the inner world of the character. While the radial blur effect is not usually sustained throughout the entire film or even an entire scene, its appearance in small doses powerfully reveals subjective feelings and sensations. For example, you can use radial blur to isolate a character from their surroundings, depicting them as a single static element in a sea of movement. This effect can also show an overwhelmed state of mind where no single object stands still, used after a character hears the devastating news that throws their world off its axis.
- Design captivating static images – Adding motion blur to your static images creates a sense of contrast and motion that reels the viewer into the world. Try incorporating this effect with objects commonly in motion, such as speeding cars, bustling crowds, or a baseball hit out of the park.
- Share a unique message – Experimental work often challenges the status quo, constructing a world that is reflective of yet vastly different from our daily lives. Adding radial blur is a helpful technique when designing a specific, unfamiliar environment. Whether it’s a looped video exhibition or an image collage, combine your content with motion blur to defamiliarize the visual space. Such an effect can encourage your viewer to ask deeper questions about the work and your overall theme.
Ready to put your next creative project in motion? Add a powerful radial blur effect with just a click. Easily experiment with the intensity, duration, direction, and placement of our radial gradient tool in our intuitive editing suite. And for a masterful finishing touch, combine this effect with abundant filters, features, and effects.