How to Create Realistic Spinning Wheels in Photoshop

The 2014 version of Photoshop CC brought some really cool new features to designers and photographers alike. In this video tutorial I’ll walk you through one of my favorite new features, the Spin Blur, and show you how to create realistic spinning wheels using Photoshop CC. You must have the 2014 version of Photoshop CC installed in order to complete this tutorial.

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Step 1: Convert Your Layer to a Smart Object

You can easily convert your layer to a Smart Object by right clicking and choosing “Convert to Smart Object” in the menu. I do this because I want to run the filter non-destructively, and also so I have the ability to mask out any unnecessarily blurred areas after the fact.

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Step 2: Run the Spin Blur Filter

You can access Spin Blur by going to Filter > Blur Gallery > Spin Blur.

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Step 3: Move and Adjust the Blur Ellipse

Drag the default blur ellipse over the first wheel you’d like to Blur. Then using the adjustment handles, resize the ellipse to fit the shape of the wheel. Once in place, adjust the blur settings (see photo for my settings) until you’re happy with the blur appearance.

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Step 4: Duplicate the Blur

Holding down Option/Alt + Command/Ctrl, drag the blur ellipse to create a copy onto the second wheel of the car. Make any necessary adjustments to the blur settings and then click OK.

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Step 5: Add Motion Blur (Optional)

The final step is to add in a motion blur to the car itself, but this is only optional. You may be happy with the results above.