A Gaussian blur (also known as Gaussian smoothing) is the result of blurring an image by a Gaussian function. It is a widely used effect in graphics software, typically to reduce image noise and reduce detail. The visual effect of this blurring technique is a smooth blur resembling that of viewing the image through a translucent screen, distinctly different from the bokeh effect produced by an out-of-focus lens or the shadow of an object under usual illumination. Gaussian smoothing is also used as a pre-processing stage in computer vision algorithms in order to enhance image structures at different scales—see scale-space representation and scale-space implementation.
Mathematically, applying a Gaussian blur to an image is the same as convolving the image with a Gaussian function; this is also known as a two-dimensional Weierstrass transform. By contrast, convolving by a circle (i.e., a circular box blur) would more accurately reproduce the bokeh effect. Since the Fourier transform of a Gaussian is another Gaussian, applying a Gaussian blur has the effect of reducing the image's high-frequency components; a Gaussian blur is thus a low pass filter.