In this tutorial, we’ll be creating a digital bokeh effect with Photoshop. According to Wikipedia, bokeh is the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light. This effect helps the eye to focus on an object while also making the background visually appealing.
A) Creating a Bokeh Brush
In order to create the bokeh effect, we’ll first need to create a bokeh brush. Create a new document 500 X 500 pixels in size and with a transparent background. Then create a perfect circle by selecting the Elliptical Marquee Tool and holding down the Shift key. Fill it with any color.
Go to Edit – Stroke and set the Inside stroke to black 8 px. It will look like this.
Lower the Opacity to 50% to get a more transparent look instead of a solid bokeh brush.
Now that we’ve created the brush, go to Edit>Define Brush Preset, name your brush “BOKEH” and save it. You can now see the newly created brush in your Brush Panel (Windows – Brushes).
B) Setting the Brush
Change the brush settings to as shown below:
C) Creating Bokeh Effects
Before we start painting our bokeh, let’s create a new layer ( 900×900 ) and fill it with a colorful gradient. I created a new layer and used the layer styles (Layer >Layer Style>Blending Options) to do this, but feel free to do it any way you prefer. Here’s how my document looks like so far.
Create a new layer and name it Bokeh 1. Select the Brush Tool (B) and set its color as white. Now simply paint some circles with your custom brush. Use a big brush size for this first layer. Then change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge.
Lastly, adjust the colors to enhance the bokeh effects.