You want the isolated player above the blurred background.
So, you want the inverse of that mask on top layer, and the bottom layer is the blurred original image.
Or you could have just used a selection of the background around the player and apply the blur through the selection.
Expand the selection a bit then Content Aware Fill the player out of the background before blurring it.
Chris, I may not be following you. Top layer is masked player (if I turn off all other layers, all I see is the player). Bottom layer is blurred layer. Player on top layer is in focus, and bottom layer is blurred, BUT ... the image of the player on the bottom layer is blurred along with the rest of the image on that bottom layer, and blurred edges of the player extend out beyond the mask on the top layer to create the "halo."
Inverse of that mask on top layer => player blurred and everything else sharp. What am I missing?
Maybe I'm using the terminology wrong ... if all other layers are turned off and the only thing remaining is the player, I referred to that as the "mask." Should I refer to the "mask" as being everything else on that layer OTHER than the player?
Noel, what do you mean by "expand the selection"? Right now there is a mask around the player, but nothing is selected. Do I re-select the player on the bottom layer, expand THAT selection, then Content Aware Fill before blurring? If so, since I already have the outline of the player defined by the mask on the top layer, is there any way to use that mask to make a selection on the bottom layer so as to avoid the tedium of having to re-select a complex object? (Many curves and angles, multi-colored background, multi-colored uniform, so selection is not easily done).
Control-click the mask to use it as a selection.