How to Blur in Krita [Quick Guide]

Krita is one of my favorite drawing apps besides Procreate and Clip Studio Paint. It offers users a variety of filters, including adjust, color, blur and enhance filters. Among them, the blur filter is especially useful for digital artists.

The blur filter allows you to create a blurring effect on the canvas. This filter is crucial to create a depth and softening effect on your digital artwork.

In this article, I will explain the four blur filters in Krita and show you the correct way to use them so you can incorporate them into your drawing and painting workflow.

How to Blur in Krita: A Quick Guide 

Open blur filter menu

Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Krita application.
  2. Open the image or project you want to blur.
  3. Click the layer.
  4. Click the Filter menu, then select Blur > “Blur …”
  5. Uptick the preview option.
  6. Adjust the blur’s horizontal radius, vertical radius, strength, angle and shape. 
  7. Click the OK button to apply the blur effect.

If you want only to blur in the specific area of the image instead of everything, then follow these steps:

Regular blur with selection tool in Krita
  1. Create a selection from part of the canvas by using one of the selection tools (rectangular, polygonal, elliptical, freehand and bezier curve selection tools)
  2. Once you create a selection, click the Filter menu, then select Blur > “Blur …”
  3. Adjust the blur value
  4. Click the OK button to apply the blur effect.

If you experience lags while blurring an image, follow our guide on How to Fix Lags in Krita.

But, there are many types of blur filters in Krita. You may need clarification about which blur filter to use when you need them.

Types of Blur Filters in Krita

There are four types of blur filters in Krita. Here are the differences between them

Blur (Regular Blur)

The blur (regular blur) filter is the most basic and easy blur filter to use in Krita. You can adjust the blur’s horizontal radius, vertical radius, strength, angle and shape.

I mostly use the regular blur compared to other available blur. If you use blur multiple times, you can create a preset by clicking the Edit Preset option.

Gaussian Blur

Gaussian blur

Gaussian blur will apply global horizontal and vertical blur radius while reducing the noise. Gaussian blur will create a softer blur compared to regular blur.

Click the chain icon to separate the horizontal and vertical radius.

For example, you can see the effect of 30 px of vertical blur and 15 px of horizontal blur on my canvas.

Motion Blur

Motion blur

The Motion blur filter will smudge your image based on the chosen angle, giving a rapid motion effect to the image. This filter is helpful if you want to draw a fast-moving object in Krita.

Lens Blur

Lens blur

With lens blur, you can apply blur using multiple shapes like triangles, squares, pentagons, hexagons and more. 

Lens blur can also create a depth of field or an out-of-focus (bokeh) effect in your images. 

It’s not on par with a professional DSLR camera or Photoshop, but it’s great that Krita provides this option.

Here’s how to apply each blur type in Krita from the beginning.

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Blur in Krita

Step 1: Start Krita and Open a File.

Open file in Krita

You can apply the blur filter to both your art projects and any image files you possess. Start Krita and open your chosen image document.

Step 2: Select the layer or part of the image you want to blur.

Selecting the Layer

Clicking a layer

To apply a global blurring effect to an entire layer, simply click on the layer you wish to edit.

If you have multiple layers on your digital art, choose the layer that contains the lines or brush strokes you want to blur.

You can select multiple layers if you want to blur numerous layers on your canvas.

Using the Selection Tool

Use one of the selection tools: rectangular, polygonal, elliptical, freehand, or bezier curve selection tool.

You can choose the shape selection tool to create a quick selection of your images.

Creating a selection in Krita

However, the Freehand and bezier curve selection tool is better if you want to apply precise blurring effects.

You can also copy the selected area to a new layer if you don’t want to destroy your digital artwork accidentally.

Step 3: Open The Filter Menu

Open the filter menu

On Both Windows and MacOS, head into the top menu, click Filter > Blur

There will be four available blur filter options to use

Step 4: Choose a Blur Type

Each blur filter creates a different result. Choose the type that best suits your needs. 

The regular filter or “blur…” filter is usually the filter you should choose because it’s easy to use and adjustable

I rarely see artists using Gaussian, lens, and motion blur because the software does an average job when applying these filters. 

Lens and motion blur filters are also hard to use, and the Krita documentation doesn’t adequately explain how to adjust the settings.

As an example, I will use the regular Blur Filter.

Step 5: Adjust the Blur Filter Settings

Adjust the blur filter value

Before adjusting the blur settings, always enable the preview option. You can see the effect of the blur in real-time before finally applying it.

Adjust the horizontal radius, vertical radius, strength and angle of blur by using the slider. Increase the value if you think you need stronger blur; decrease it if you think it’s too excessive.

You can also change the shape of the blur. From my experience, choosing the circle option is better than using a rectangle as the blur shape.

Step 6: Saves the New Blur Preset

Create a new blur filter preset

Krita allows you to create and save blur presets. You can create a new preset if you frequently use specific blur settings. 

This feature is convenient for maintaining consistency across different artworks or speeding up your workflow. 

To create a new preset, adjust your blur settings and click the “Edit presets” button. Click the bookmark current button to save the current presets

This way, you won’t have to adjust the settings from the beginning whenever you want to use the blur filter in Krita.

Step 7: Click OK To Apply the Blur Effect

After ensuring the preview filter is perfect, you can click the OK button to apply the blur effect.

But, I recommend you choose the create filter mask option instead.

blur filter mask

The Create filter mask option will create a new mask layer on the specified area you blur. The filter mask layer doesn’t permanently alter the original image. 

So, if you want to edit the blur, you can edit the blur filter mask instead of undoing and doing the blur again.

How to eliminate the blur effect in Krita

There are two ways to eliminate the blur effect in Krita

The first method is by pressing the Undo (Ctrl + Z or Cmd ⌘ + Z) shortcut. This method only applies if you have the original Krita file instead of the exported image file.

The second method is by using the Enhance filter in Krita. The enhance filter is the opposite of the blur filter in Krita.

With the Enhance filter, you can reduce the blur by sharpening and enhancing details in the images.

Depending on the type of blur previously used on the images, you can use the sharpen filter, Gaussian noise reduction, mean removal and wavelet noise reducer filter.

Remember, using the sharpen filter to eliminate the blur effect fully will be hard. The final result might be flawed.

You must always save your Krita document file before applying any new change.

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Author
Kenny Houle
Hi, I’m Kenny. I’m a digital artist who began learning art at the age of 21. I enjoy drawing cartoons and fan art.

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