How to create a Bokeh Effect In Photoshop?

A Bokeh effect is said to be occurred when points of light are captured which are out of focus. It occurs when an image is blurred in a way that it appears to be pleasing. A Bokeh effect is one of the most beautiful photo effects and it’s not hard to create as well. By using Adobe Photoshop, you can easily create a Bokeh Effect along with many other photography effects through its helpful tools.

In this tutorial, we will guide you to learn how to create a Bokeh Effect in Photoshop.


Step # 1 – Go to the File Menu

In the first step, launch Adobe Photoshop and go to the “File” menu. Click on the “New” option to create a new document.

Open a new file

Step # 2 – Create a New Document

Choose the document’s width as “1900 pixels” and height as “1200 pixels”. Now click on the “OK” button to proceed.

Choose the size

Step # 3 – Create a Bokeh Brush

Once the new document is opened, add a new layer and rename it to “Bokeh Brush”. Now click on the visibility option of the background layer and disable it.

Making a brush preset

Step # 4 – Draw a Circle

Click on the “Ellipse” tool from the menu which is available on the left corner of the screen. Now draw a circle in this new layer. Change the Fill opacity of this layer to “50%”.

Use the circular drawing tool”

<strong>Step # 5 – Open the Blending Options</strong></p>
<p>Right click on this layer and select the “Blending option” from the menu. This will open a blending options panel in which you can make further changes.</p>
<p><center><img src=

Step # 6 – Adjust the Stroke Settings

In the blending options window, go to the “Stroke” tab and increase its size to “10px”. Now change its position to “Inside” and choose a “Black color” from the menu. Click on the “OK” button to apply these settings.

Choose the stroke settings

Step # 7 – Define the Brush Preset

Now go to the “Edit” menu and click on the “Define brush preset” option to create a new brush design. Enter its name as “Bokeh brush” and click on the “OK” button to create it.

Define a preset

Step # 8 – Apply a Grey Color

As we have created our Bokeh brush so disable the Bokeh Brush layer now.

Click on the foreground color option select a “Grey” color. Now use a “Paint bucket” tool to apply it on the layer.

Use the paint bucket

Step # 9 – Create a Color Layer

Now add a new layer, apply the same grey color on it and rename it to “Color layer”.

Insert a new layer

Step # 10 – Open the Blending Options

Right click on this newly created layer and select the “Blending” option from the menu.

Go to the blending mode

Step # 11 – Open the Gradient Colors

Go to the “Gradient Overlay” tab and click on the “Gradient” color option.

Open the gradient settings

Step # 12 – Choose Bright Colors

Now in this window, divide the preset into four parts and select different colors for each part. It is recommended to use bright colors for your gradient. Click on the “OK” button to apply these settings and exit from the Gradient Color mode.

Select colors

Step # 13 – Adjust the Gradient Settings

Now change the Blending mode to “Overlay”, set the angle to “45 degrees” and click on the “OK” button to apply these settings.

Choose the gradient settings

Step # 14 – Create a Group

Create a new group by clicking on the “New group” button and change its name to the “Bokeh Effect”.

Insert a new group

Step # 15 – Create a Lower Part Layer

Create a new layer in this group and rename it to “Lower part”. In this layer select the “Brush” tool from the menu and choose the newly created Bokeh brush.

Add a new layer

Step # 16 – Adjust the Brush Shape

First we have to change the brush diameters and its effect. For this purpose, click on the Brush properties panel and go to the “Brush tip” option from the menu. Now change its “Spacing” to “200%”.

Choose the brush tip’s settings

Step # 17 – Adjust the Shape Dynamics

Move over to the “Shape Dynamics” tab and change the “Size Jitter” to “100%” and “Minimum Diameter” to “50%”.

Choose the shape dynamics settings

Step # 18 – Adjust the Scattering Settings

Click on the “Scattering” tab and increase the “Scatter” to “1000%”. Now choose the “Count” option to “5” and “Count Jitter” to “0%”.

Choose the scattering settings

Step # 19 – Adjust the Other Dynamics Settings

Open the “Other Dynamics” tab and set both the “Opacity” and “Flow Jitters” options to “50%”.

Choose the dynamics settings

Step # 20 – Paint with Bokeh Brush

Now your Bokeh brush is ready to use. Change the “Foreground color” to “White” and increase the brush Diameter to “500px”. After changing it, draw some random circles on the layer.

It is recommended to create single circles by clicking once rather than clicking and draging the brush.

Use Bokeh brush on the layer

Step # 21 – Apply a Gaussian Blur

Now go to the “Filter” menu and click on the “Blur” option from the list. Select the “Gaussian blur” filter from the menu.

Select a Gaussian blur

Step # 22 – Choose the Radius

In the Gaussian Blur filter mode, choose the “Radius” to “20 pixels” and click on the “OK” button to apply it.

Adjust the radius

Step # 23 – Create a Middle Part Layer

Now create a second layer and change its name to “Middle part”. Change the brush diameter to “250px” and create some more random circles like the previous step.

Insert a new layer

Step # 24 – Apply a Gaussian Blur

Now go to the “Filter” menu and click on the “Blur” option from the list. Select the “Gaussian blur” filter from the menu.

Select a Gaussian blur

Step # 25 – Choose the Radius

In the Gaussian Blur filter mode, choose the “Radius” to “5 pixels” and click on the “OK” button to apply it.

Adjust the radius

Step # 26 – Merge all Layers in a New Layer

Now you have to merge all the effects in a single layer. In order to merge them, press “CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + E” keys on the keyboard. This will create a new layer in which all effects are merged together.

Combine all layers

Step # 27 – Apply a Gaussian Blur

Now go to the “Filter” menu and click on the “Blur” option from the list. Select the “Gaussian blur” filter from the menu.

Select a Gaussian blur

Step # 28 – Choose the Radius

In the Gaussian Blur filter mode, choose the “Radius” to “40 pixels” and click on the “OK” button to apply it.

Select the radius

Step # 29 – Change the Blending Mode

Create one more duplicate of the “Layer1” and change its blending mode to the “Vivid light”. Now your “Bokeh Effect” is created successfully.

Choose the blending mode