How to Create a Simple Bokeh Effect

Bokeh effect is nothing but the blurred part of the out-of-focus image. This effect is normally seen in the photography mostly around the light sources. In photography, this effect helps to focus on the object while making the background visually appealing. Today we are going to learn how to create the same beautiful effect in Photoshop. Before starting the tutorial let’s take a look at what we are creating.

Bokeh WordPress Theme

Creating the Brush

Step 1: Open Photoshop and create new file

For creating the Bokeh effect, first we have to create a Bokeh Brush. So start with this.
Open Photoshop and create new file (File>New) with following details.

Step 2: Setting up the Brush

Now select the Elliptical Marque Tool (M) and draw a circle (Press Shift and Draw) to fit in the canvas. Go to Edit>Stroke and add the centered stroke of black with 5px. It will look like this.

Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N) and (if you have deselected) (Ctrl + Click) the small thumbnail in the layers panel of the previous layer. Fill this new layer with black and change its opacity to 30%. Press (Ctrl + E) to merge the layers.

Step 3: Saving your new brush

Okay, we have created the brush. Now go to Edit>Define Brush Preset and give a name to your brush like Bokeh Effect and save it. You can now see the newly created brush in your Brush Panel (Windows>Brushes or F5).

Creating the Bokeh Effect

Step 4: Create a New File and Start editing

Create a new file (New>File) with the following details and create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N).

Select your brush from the Brushes panel (F5), change the foreground color to #0054a6 with a brush size of 40px. Now change the brush setting as follows.

Step 5: Creating the Bokeh

Draw some Bokeh circles with the above setting and change the opacity of the layer to 30%.

Step 6: Adding Blur Effect and more Bokeh circles.

Select the layer and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Add the blur with radius 5px.
Create a new layer (Shift + Ctrl + N). Select your brush and change the size to 91px. Draw some Bokeh circles on the new layer.

Add Gaussian Blur to this layer with 3px radius.

Step 7: Last step

Select the previous layer and add Gradient Map (Image>Adjustments>Gradient Map) or (Windows>Adjustments>Gradient Map) as shown below.

Now add you logo or name and you have successfully created a Beautiful Bokeh Effect.
You may play with different colors and create more awesome effects.



Bokeh WordPress Theme

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  • Join the discussion

    • August 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your content seem to be running off the screen in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue solved soon. Many thanks

    • March 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm

      Sweet. Thanks for the tutorial. :/

    • January 31, 2011 at 12:39 pm

      Brilliant tutorial! I actually stumbled upon this site trying to find out what the bokeh effect was (I heard it mentioned on another forum).

      I’m only really leaving a comment to say that your site header blew my mind. It’s so awesome that I actually spent about 5 minutes just looking at it and enjoying it!

      I’ve bookmarked your site… I can’t wait to have a browse through when I get home from work!

      Consider me inspiredologised!

      - Will

    • December 21, 2010 at 6:17 pm

      Thanks for the tut! Been wondering about this one for a bit now! Made a similar kinda tut about the bendy shadows that everyone likes too, check it out if ya want: http://www.62design.co.uk/2010/11/get-the-look-give-your-website-extra-depth-using-subtle-shadows-and-glows/

      Keep up the good work!

    • November 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm

      I just downloaded Photoshop cs5 for Mac (trial version) but I can’t find Elliptical Marque Tool (M). Can anyone help me?
      Btw, I really like the tutorial! :)

    • November 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      Is there any way, this can be incorporated into photographs?

    • May 18, 2010 at 10:30 am

      Nice effect! I was wondering how to use it for pictures as Irene L does in hers.
      I´ve been trying to make them brighter and more shinny… could you help me?

      Thank you!!!!

    • May 12, 2010 at 2:22 pm

      Oh, we will do some print design with bokeh effect for our furniture ads.

    • April 22, 2010 at 2:02 am

      Hi Nikhil !

      I love this Bokeh Effect , gonna try this very soon :)

      Thanks for Share !!

      ~Avinash

    • April 17, 2010 at 3:40 am

      Just as I said in previous comment — bokeh is cool and some simple effect.

    • March 3, 2010 at 5:39 am

      nice tutorail. thank you for sharing.

    • February 19, 2010 at 9:03 pm

      liked your tutorial and posted your info on my blog:
      http://valentinepiercedesigns.blogspot.com/2010/02/bokeh-effect.html

    • February 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm

      Cheers, bokeh is so hot right now – might as well get the most out of it and without having to fork out for it too – even better!

    • February 12, 2010 at 6:04 am

      Simply is the best….

    • February 11, 2010 at 8:34 am

      Nice tutorial! Thanks.

    • February 10, 2010 at 11:40 pm

      Thanks a million! just in time for a project!

    • February 10, 2010 at 9:16 pm

      Wonderful tutorial. I had always wondered how to do this effect, and to be honest, even more so, I wondered what it was actually called.

    • February 10, 2010 at 10:27 am

      Easy but impressive. Thx for sharing!

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