#4 Using the Focus Blur Plugin
This provided the "sweetest" results, creating a true variable blur, rather than a blend between two blurs, as the other three do. The plugin is computationally intensive, however. This sample took 4 minutes to run on my machine...
If running Linux, head over to the plugin home page and get the plugin and install it as per the instructions there. There is also a windows binary mirror here but I don't know for how long...
Start with the base image:
Create a new layer, and fill it with a gradient that will be the focal blur map:
Run the Focal Blur plugin. Set Focus to 255 (white in the map will be in focus, the more black, the more blurred). Select the distance map option, and select the map you made. The bigger the radius here, the longer it will take to run... start small and work it up. Here were my settings:
Notice how the blur blends smoothly from the narrow area to the wide area. Nice...
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