How to make a Fun Background Using Bokeh

What exactly is a Bokeh? It is a Japanese term that literally means “blur” in the language. This is to make the picture more visually pleasing and make the person look at a particular area of the picture. I’m going to show you a simple way of making one. By the end of this tutorial, you should be able to make as many different Bokehs as you want.

Step 1: Open up a new Photoshop document. For this tutorial I would do 1900 x 1200 or 1920 x 1200 for the dimensions. This will be of course in pixels. After that, then you will want to change the color to a really dark grey and not the color black.  The parts that are circled are the dimensions and the color that I used when making the background layer. Step 2: The next thing that you want to is to select the ellipse tool and draw a circle on the background and the color of it needs to be black. Then you will want to click the layer option on top of the menu and scroll down to layer style. Then click blending options. This menu will pop up and you’ll want to turn the fill opacity down to 50%. Step 3: The next thing that you will want to do it select the stroke option on the same menu. When you click this, this menu will come up and the size you’ll want to slide it to 10 px. The opacity you don’t have to mess with at all. Just make sure that the color is still black. Then hit the OK button after you are doneStep 4: After this, I made sure that the background is invisible so click on the eye and all you should have is the ellipse layer. You’ll then want to make sure that your ellipse is selected and then in the Edit option on the top menu and select Define Brush Preset. After you do this, then Step 5: After you select that, you will hit F5 on the keyboard then the following menu will pop up. This is where we will be customizing our own brush that we will use the rest of the tutorial. On this menu, where the arrow is at is what needs to be adjusted. The spacing will help space the blurry line that you have to the circles that show up in the picture below.Step 6: The next thing that you want to click in the menu is the option is Scattering. On the Scatter bar, move the arrow all the way to 1000%. It may not seem like a lot of the circles on the preview but that’s what the Count bar is going to fix. I found that when I have it at 7, I love the way that it looks. This is the same for you when you do this. See how it looks but I wouldn’t go past 10.Step 7: The last thing that you will want to click is the Transfer option. In this, you will be setting the Opacity and Flow Jitter bars to 50%. This will change the opacity of the circles and the flow of them as well. Step 8: After all of this, you will then X out of this menu. The next thing that you will do is make a new layer. Once you do this, you will double click on it and then go to Gradient Overlay. From here, you will click on Gradient. This is where you can really customize to your liking. You will have a lot of options and can chose whichever one that you want. You can click and customize the colors. I went with one that had 5 colors and I made it to where I loved it.Step 9: After you have chosen the color gradient that you wanted, now it’s time to make a few more adjustments before getting to the fun part. You change the blend mode to Overlay, make the angle to 45 degrees, and finally the Scale bar goes to 100%. After you are done, click OK and it’s time for the next step.Step 10: Make it to where the new layer that you made is the only thing that you see now. Mine looks like this and again yours may be different than this:So after this what is next you may ask? Now we get into the fun part! Now you make a folder in your layer palette named Bokeh. Then you will make a new layer under that. Double click on the layer and then this menu will pop up again. The blending mode this time will be Color Dodge. And the opacity and fill will stay at 100%. Then click on Color Overlay. Here you will change the color to white and the opacity I actually have at 24% and this is what I would recommend but it can be between 20-25% Step 11: When you hit OK, then you will now get to draw with the brush that you made earlier. You’ll want to have the brush size between 400-500: As you can see, I have mine at 411. Afterwards, you can now brush a little bit on your gradient layer. Once you are done, then you will go to the Filter option and go to blur then select Gaussian Blur. Once you do, the following screen will pop up. For this first go around, you will need to set the radius to 10 pixels. This will blur it quite a bit. Here is what mine looks like: Step 12: Now repeat Step 10 and 11 to make another layer, the color overlay, the brush, and Gaussian blur. However, the size of the brush needs to be between 200-300 just so that it’s slightly smaller than the first. When you go back to the Gaussian blur, this time it will be at 4 for the radius. This what mine looks like after this step:Step 13: Again repeat Steps 10 and 11. Now you will make the brush size much smaller and with the Gaussian blur, now the radius will be 1 instead of 4. Now brush across the screen with the smaller brush and now this will be your final product. Here is the final look of how mine looks like:And now you are finally done! Doesn’t it look absolutely beautiful? Yours may look different than mine and that is because of your preference of the color and how big or small your circles are. I hope that this was fun for you to make! Try and experiment with other shapes and gradient colors. You never know what you’ll get unless you try other things out. See you next time and remember…#create