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Version: 1.2
License: Commercial
Price: $99.99
OS: Windows
Product URL: Link

MBL PRO (Motion Blur Lab PRO) is an Adobe Photoshop (or compatible host) plugin capable of producing high-quality, multi-directional and variable-strength motion blur effects quickly and efficiently using motion vectors.


MBL PRO was developed in an effort to achieve complex motion blur effects difficult to produce with today’s existing digital retouching software. It is of particular interest to professional photographers, retouchers and digital artists everywhere.


Motion blur is an apparent streaking of moving objects inherent in photography, film and computer graphics when the image being recorded changes during the capture of a single frame, either due to rapid movement or long exposure. The camera’s captured image does not always represent an instant of time but rather the scene over a period of time. Any moving objects in the scene are presented in the image as an integration of all positions, as well as the camera’s viewpoint throughout the exposure time. In such an image, any moving object with respect to the camera will look blurred or smeared along the direction of relative motion. This smearing may occur on an object that is moving or on a static background if the camera is moving. In a film or television image, this looks natural because the human eye perceives it in much the same way. Because the effect is caused by the relative motion between the camera, the objects and the scene, motion blur may be minimized or avoided by panning the camera to track those moving objects. In this case, even with long exposure times, the objects will appear sharper, and the background more blurred.


MBL PRO features numerous modes of operation for simulating virtually any type of real-world motion blur. Single vector blurs are useful for linear motion blurs. Zoom blurs are useful for depth-driven motion blurs while spin blurs are useful for rotationally-driven motion blurs. Both offer sophisticated ellipticity and orientation options for dealing with varying perspectives. Finally, multiple vector blurs are useful for complex, multi-directional and variable-strength motion blurs. All motion blur types feature various distribution methods such as constant, increasing, decreasing and soft. Motion blur can be introduced to subjects, backgrounds or both.


Why MBL PRO? Naturally occurring motion blur has extremely complex optical characteristics that are quite difficult to accurately simulate with today’s array of underdeveloped tools. Traditional digital retouching software such as Photoshop provide very basic motion blur capabilities. The linear motion blur filter suffers from severe highlight decay while the zoom and spin filters suffer from excessive noise. The emitters are constrained within the image bounding box and are limited to circular output only, making them unsuitable for perspective-driven images. Multi-directional motion blur with variable-strength output is impossible to achieve as is. Poorly designed GUI’s are hardly intuitive and far too cumbersome for most visual artists. MBL PRO carefully takes into consideration all of these aspects in order to produce a powerful and easy-to-use filter delivering the highest quality motion blur output possible.


MBL PRO features various motion blur distribution models for more creative results. Distribution affects the way in which the blur is performed throughout the exposure and can vary from the default constant to increasing, decreasing and soft. The effects of the distribution can be especially seen in the highlights.


MBL PRO features a powerful, robust and easy-to-use graphical user interface specifically designed for working with motion blur. Motion vectors (in red) are adjusted and the flow field (in white) provides an interpolated preview of the motion blur strength and direction. Motion vectors can be scaled independently to produce varying motion blur strengths for simulating real-world phenomena.


MBL PRO boasts an impressive featureset to meet today’s creative industry requirements. A fast render preview window with statistical data provides immediate feedback. Multiple types of blur capabilities allow complex simulation of virtually any type of real-world motion blur. Elliptical adjustment along with 360 degree orientation provides options for dealing with subject perspective. Off-image emission centers allow for advanced motion blur effects. Global velocity strength combined with interactive vector lengths offer precise motion blur strength controls. Alternative motion blur distribution models provide creative alternatives to traditional blur results. Powerful highlight preservation and enhancement tuning delivers uncompromised highlights. Motion vector and flow-field customization offers artists the ability to fully customize the GUI. The dialog can be interactively resized allowing larger preview displays limited only by the monitor size. An advanced rendering console provides the artist with detailed instructional messages and responsive progress bars, complete with processing statistics. 24 and 48 bit image processing capabilities ensure compatibility with today’s demanding technical standards. Multicore rendering technology and gigabyte memory management offer unparalleled performance when using production-ready workstations.


MBL PRO can work on a single composited image or multiple elements broken up into separate layers. Layers can use transparency for motion blur masking. Additionally, any of these workflows can be combined with selections for area masking and even feathered selections for area masking with falloff.

Richard Rosenman is a digital creative director working in the 3D computer graphics and animation industry. He also develops a collection of professional software tools used throughout the digital art industry.

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