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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Photoshop Brushes

How to Make a Bokeh Brush in Photoshop

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:MediumLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a bokeh brush in Photoshop. I will explain everything in so much detail that everyone can create the brush, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time.

If you would like to download bokeh effect Photoshop brushes, check out the 30 Bokeh Photoshop Brushes from Envato Elements. There you can find incredible brushes, from bokeh brush sets to bokeh action and brush packs and more!

30 bokeh photoshop brushes

What You'll Learn in This Bokeh Brush Photoshop Tutorial

  • What is a bokeh effect?
  • How to make a bokeh brush in Photoshop
  • How to use a bokeh brush in Photoshop
  • How to adjust the brush settings in Photoshop
  • How to apply brushes to a photo

What You'll Need

To recreate the design above, you will need the following image:

What Is a Bokeh Effect?

Bokeh is a photographic term that refers to intentionally blurry or out-of-focus areas of an image. A good bokeh effect consists of a blurry background dotted with hazy, brightly colored spots of light. The idea is to direct the viewer's attention to the subject, which should be sharp and in clear focus against the hazy, colorful backdrop.

1. How to Start Creating a Bokeh Photoshop Brush

First, create a new file. To create a new file, go to File > New and set the Width and Height to 2500 px and the Resolution to 72 px/in.

creating new file

2. How to Create the First Bokeh Photoshop Brush

Step 1

In this section, we're going to create the first bokeh light Photoshop brush. Choose the Ellipse Tool (U), click anywhere inside the canvas to create a new ellipse shape layer, and set the Width to 500 px and Height to 500 px. Then, set the Fill Solid Color to #000000 and Stroke Solid Color to No Color and center this layer both vertically and horizontally on the canvas. Name this layer Bokeh_1.

creating ellipse

Step 2

Now go to Edit > Define Brush to define this ellipse shape layer as a brush, and name it Temp_1.

defining brush

Step 3

Press B on your keyboard, right-click anywhere inside the canvas, select the Temp_1 brush, and hit Enter. Then go to Window > Brush and, in the Brush window, use the settings below:

adjusting brush settings

Step 4

Now, to define this brush with new settings as a new brush, click on the top-right icon in the bottom-right corner of the Brush panel, and name it Bokeh_Brush_1.

defining new brush

3. How to Create the Second Bokeh Photoshop Brush

Step 1

In this section, we're going to create the second bokeh light Photoshop brush. Press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate the current layer. Then, drag this new layer just below the Bokeh_1 layer and name it Bokeh_2.

duplicating layer

Step 2

Now hide the Bokeh_1 layer, Right-click on the Bokeh_2 layer, and choose Rasterize Layer. Then, go to Filter > Blur > Lens Blur and enter the settings below:

adding lens blur filter

Step 3

Go to Edit > Define Brush to define this ellipse shape layer as a brush, and name it Temp_2.

defining brush

Step 4

Now press B on your keyboard, right-click anywhere inside the canvas, select the Temp_2 brush, and hit Enter. Then go to Window > Brush and, in the Brush window, use the settings below:

adjusting brush settings

Step 5

To define this brush with new settings as a new brush, click on the top-right icon in the bottom-right corner of the Brush panel, and name it Bokeh_Brush_2.

defining new brush

4. How to Apply Bokeh Brushes for Photoshop

Step 1

In this section, we are going to apply the bokeh brushes to a photo. First, open the photo that you want to work with by going to File > Open, choose your photo, and click Open. Then, choose the Crop Tool (C) and transform the Crop Box as shown below:

cropping image

Step 2

Now go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer, and name it Bokeh_1.

creating new layer

Step 3

Choose the Brush Tool (B), pick the Bokeh_Brush_1 brush, set the foreground color to #ffffff, and brush over your photo.

brushing into layer

Step 4

Now go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 10 px.

adding gaussian blur filter

Step 5

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Overlay, and set the Opacity to 75%.

changing blending mode and opacity

Step 6

Repeat these steps to create as many bokeh layers as you want. Feel free to use different brush and color settings. Here is my result:

repeating steps

Step 7

Now select the Background layer and press Control-Shift-N to create a new layer, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick the Bokeh_Brush_2 brush, set the foreground color to #e4e669, and brush over your photo. After that, change the Blending Mode of this new layer to Overlay and name it Bokeh_5.

brushing into layer

Step 8

Right-click on this layer and choose Blending Options. Then, select and check the Inner Glow and Outer Glow styles and use the settings below:

adding layer style

Step 9

Now go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 10 px. Then, change the Blending Mode of this layer to Linear Dodge (Add) and set the Fill to 75%.

adding gaussian blur filter

Step 10

Repeat these steps to create as many bokeh layers as you want. Feel free to use different brush and color settings. Here is my result:

repeating steps

You Made It!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! You've learned how to create bokeh brushes for Photoshop and how to use them to create a bokeh Photoshop effect. Here is our final result:

final result

5 Best Bokeh Photoshop Brushes

Want to see some of the best bokeh effect Photoshop brushes? Check out this list of bokeh brushes from Envato Elements. Enjoy incredible brushes, from bokeh brush sets to bokeh action and brush packs and more!

30 Bokeh Photoshop Brushes (ABR)

30 bokeh photoshop brushes

Add beautiful bokeh effects with this set of 30 high-resolution bokeh Photoshop brushes. They are easy to use and don't require a graphics tablet, although by using it you could realize their full potential!

Bokeh 2 Photoshop Action (ATN, PAT)

bokeh 2 photoshop action

Create amazing bokeh Photoshop effects from your photos with just a few clicks. Open your photo, brush over your subject, choose the shape, and just play the action. It’s really that simple! You can choose from five different shapes including circle, heart, hexagon, music note, and snowflake, and there are 15 color looks that you can choose from!

30 Bokeh Photoshop Stamp Brushes (ABR)

30 bokeh photoshop brushes

This is another set of 30 high-resolution bokeh Photoshop brushes. The set includes 2500 px size brushes which work with any Photoshop version, and you can use them for any type of project.

Bokeh Kit for Photoshop (ABR, ATN, GRD)

bokeh kit for photoshop

With this bokeh bundle of Photoshop actions, brushes, and gradients, you can create bokeh effects in no time. There are 40 bokeh Photoshop brushes, eight bokeh gradients, and one easy-to-use bokeh action included!

Bokeh Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN)

bokeh photoshop action

Transform your selfies into professional-looking images by adding a nice bokeh effect with this bokeh Photoshop action. The action also includes ten color effects that you can use to further improve the look of the effect.

Did you like this tutorial on creating bokeh brushes and applying them to create a bokeh brush Photoshop effect? Then you may also like:

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