Recreate the bokeh look with a quick Photoshop Action for all your portrait or landscape photography. This tutorial will show you how to make that beautiful bokeh effect achieved by out-of-focus photography. Learn how to use a custom brush, layer styles, and more to achieve this look!
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Prefer to follow along via video? Check out our lesson over on the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:
The following assets were used in the production of this tutorial.
1. How to Create a Bokeh Effect Photoshop Action
Start by creating a custom brush. Hit F5 to bring up the Brush panel. Using a Hard Round Brush, adjust the Scatter to 1000%, and then Save your custom brush so that we can use it later for the action.
Now go to Window > Actions and set up a new bokeh Action in the Actions panel. When you're ready, click Record to begin recording the next steps.
Open your photo in Photoshop. Here I'll be using this Woman Stock.
Copy (Control-C) and Paste (Control-V) two backgrounds from this Noise Blurred Backgrounds set above your image. Select both layers and lower the Opacity to 20%, and then set the Blend Mode of the first one to Hard Light and the second one to Screen.
Create a New Layer and use the custom Bokeh Brush we created earlier to apply a few bokeh. Set the Layer Blend Mode to Overlay, and then Right-click and go to Blending Options, adding a quick Inner Glow with the following settings:
- Blend Mode: Color Dodge
- Opacity: 53%
- Choke Size: 2 pixels
Quality Range: 40%
Duplicate (Control-J) the layer, bringing the copy down slightly, before going to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and blurring it with a Radius of 5 pixels.
Set a New Layer to Color Dodge. Paint soft brown colors (or use the Eyedropper Tool to select dark colors from the photo) for more intensity. Lower the Opacity to 22%. Follow up with a New Adjustment Layer for Exposure, setting the Exposure to 1 and the Opacity to 20%.
When you're finished, remember to click the Stop button on the Actions panel to use this action for future photos.
Here is the final effect.
Experiment with this action on more images for awesome results!
Bokeh effects can add magic and wonder to your work! I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. And be sure to browse our wide range of Bokeh Photo Effect Actions available on GraphicRiver and Envato Elements.
Learn how to create more photo effects from our experts! Check out the following tutorials below:
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Bokeh Photoshop Actions
Need a great set of bokeh effects? Check out this collection of phenomenal premium Photoshop actions below! Use them for posters, social media posts, and photo effects!
Easy and fast, this first Photoshop action transforms your pictures in seconds! This Photoshop action includes 10 color effects you can customize to play with different effects. Get it for just $6!
Turn your selfies into professional photo shoots! This next Photoshop action includes 49 variations of amazing bokeh overlays. Just download and install the action to enjoy various bokeh styles and sizes. Check out the user guide to see how it works!
Need a cool way to add bokeh to your work? Consider a Photoshop action! This next action creates amazing effects for text, shapes, path and images. Included in this download are 10 bokeh effects that are fully customizable. Get it for just under $10!
This dual light Photoshop action blends two trendy effects into one. Enjoy an awesome duotone effect along with a beautiful bokeh look. This action has been tried and tested on Photoshop versions CS3 and above.
Need some creative energy? Try this next Photoshop action. Created by designer Hemalaya1, this action helps you make beautiful images that include bokeh, smoke and light effects. Check out the video tutorial to see how it works!