Unfocused or Bokeh light effects made easy using Adobe Photoshop
Unfocused light effects, or more formally known as Bokeh effects, are used in many creative style designs for booklet printing, brochure printing, web designs, and sometimes even in movies. The original source of this effect are cameras that are unfocused when recording lights. However, in Adobe Photoshop, you can simulate the same effect easily. If you want to apply this kind of effect to your own printed cover designs and of course your digital graphics, here are the steps that you should follow.
1. First let us set up the background. A black background of course is best for these kinds of effects. So just fill in your background with a black colour using the paint bucket
2. Next, create a new layer by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N. Just select the default options on the window that opens and press OK.
3. Next, select your new layer in the layer view. Using the brush tool pain 1-3 large fuzzy spots on the center of our design. Choose a light blue or white colour for now.
4. Remember to change the values of your brushes by just right clicking on the canvass and then selecting the brush type, size and hardness. For our example, you should select a 0% hardness and a standard round brush. We used a pretty big diameter here at 400px+
5. Once you have your spots, select Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian blur.
6. In the Gaussian blur settings, increase the radius pixels depending on the size of your canvass. For our example we are using 80 pixels.
7. Next, reduce the opacity of your blurred spots a bit.
8. Now, create a new layer again. This time select a full hardness of your brush.
9. Just place some random circles in your canvass. Be sure to use the color that you want for the Bokeh effect.
10. Reduce this layer’s opacity by about 50%.
11. Then, create a new layer again, and repeat the process. THIS TIME, reduce the size of your brush a bit and then have some of your circles intersect other circles.
12. Reduce this layer’s opacity by about 40%.
13. Then repeat the process with smaller circles with a slightly different colour depending on your theme.
14. After creating many different layers with different sized circles and opacity you should get something like this.
15. Make things more interesting by adding other colors to your bokeh spots. Just change the color of your brush and experiment.
16. Finally, try to add a gradient style on our original background that matches the colours you picked for your bokeh spots. Just select the background layer, and then use the gradient tool to paint the gradient.
17. For our example we used a deep violet and a deep red gradient for the background.
18. Great! Now you know how to create a very simple and very creative looking Bokeh effect using Adobe Photoshop. You can apply this effect as a background for your special objects. Or you can use it as the cover design itself depending on your theme.
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