Tutorial Details
Subject: Pixlr
Difficulty: Beginner
Published: January 2, 2014

The Pixlr smudge tool is a great tool to use if you want to add perceived motion into your images. For instance, a sports car manufacturer will want their cars to look fast in magazines, however since images take a static shot you will need to use a photo editing tool such as the smudge tool to achieve the desired effect. The same goes for sports brands such as Nike and Adidas, they want professionals that wear their brand to look fast within magazine shots, and again such requirements can be fulfilled with the smudge tool.

Lets assume that we sell mountain climbing / adventure equipment and we want to use a photo within our marketing material that represents the brand professionally.

You could produce or source a photo that would do the job such as the one below.  This will not fulfill your requirements in its entirety however, as you really want to use an image that not only looks professional but also emphasizes the energy, power and adventure that your brand brings to the customer and their experience of adventure.

Smudge Tool - Man Jumping

Now lets add some emphasis to our image; motion, impact, anything that takes an ‘OK’ looking image to the next level. We want to wow and captivate customers and not just present them with a standard image.

We will need to use the smudge tool to make it look as though this young man is jumping across at speed. The smudge tool will enable us to add motion and impact. The first impression will be completely different once such effects have been added.

Select the smudge tool, which is located in the left hand side tool bar. Move your cursor to the edge of the image or to any point that you wish to drag from. Remember that the point you drag from is also the point that perceived motion will be added.

The key to retaining authenticity whilst emphasizing your image is to reduce the strength at which the smudge tool is applied. In most instances it is best to use the spray paint looking application of your smudge tool as this will add the most natural effects to the image as well as being the most effective way to add perceived motion.

Place and click the smudge tool over the area you wish to add the effect to. Click down with the left hand button on the mouse and very slowly begin to smudge away from the starting point and you will soon see that a nice effect is being applied.

Smudge Tool - Man Jumping & Smudges

As you can see, with just a few applications of the smudge tool, the image is transformed.

How you use the smudge tool is down to your imagination, needs and creativity.

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