Step 1: Select The Object You Want To Apply The Motion Blur To

In many of our photo effects tutorials, the first step is to protect our original image from harm by creating and then working on a duplicate of the Background layer. For our motion blur effect though, there’s no need to do that because we’re not going to be working on the entire image. Instead, we’re going to apply the motion blur only to the main subject in the photo. To do that, we’ll need to separate the main subject from the rest of the image and place it on its own layer. In my case, I want to apply the motion blur to the racecar, so the first thing I need to do is draw a selection around the racecar.

Use the selection tool of your choice (Lasso Tool, Pen Tool, etc.) to draw a selection around your main subject. When you’re done, you should see a selection outline (sometimes called “marching ants”) around the entire object (or person, whatever the case may be). Try to make as accurate a selection as possible. For best results, I highly recommend using the Pen Tool. Check out our Making Selections with the Pen Tool tutorial for full instructions on how to use it. You can also read our Full Power Of Basic Selections In Photoshop tutorial for help with getting the most out of Photoshop’s basic selection tools: