Learning Analog Efex Pro
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Bokeh effects


Learning Analog Efex Pro

with Tim Grey

Video: Bokeh effects

Analog Efex Pro includes a set of controls that allow you to adjust the bouquet blur.

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Watch the Online Video Course Learning Analog Efex Pro
1h 5m Intermediate May 20, 2014

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Analog Efex Pro, part of the Nik Collection from Google, is focused on adding various film and wet plate effects, enabling you to import a sense of age and a unique look to any digital photo. In this course you'll learn all about the many creative effects you can apply in Analog Efex Pro, such as lens distortion, vignettes, bokeh, and imitated dust and scratches.

Analog Efex Pro
Tim Grey

Bokeh effects

Analog Efex Pro includes a set of controls that allow you to adjust the bouquet blur. However, in order to actually access this set of controls, you need to choose one of the Vintage Camera or Wet Plate presets from the pop-up in the camera section. Or you can also choose the Camera Kit option, and then be sure to turn on bouquet. But in this case, I'm starting with one of the vintage camera presets. You can see in this case a rather strong effect.

But I'm going to turn off most of these other adjustments so that we can focus our attention on the bokeh blur effect. You'll notice that as I increase the blur strength we're not seeing much of an effect in the image. We can see a little bit of an increased blur in this background area. But that's because we're only applying the blur to the area outside the circle. I can change which portion of the image will actually receive the blur, by either moving the circle, which I can do by clicking and dragging the center point.

Or by resizing the circle, which I can do by dragging the handles at the top, bottom, left, and right. I'll go ahead and drag inward here, for example. So we're only protecting the central area of the image, and you can see now a rather strong blur effect for most of the rest of the image. And you'll also notice that the effect is really exaggerated where we see bright lights, and that's part of the typical effect for Bouquet. This is, by the way, an effect that you can see naturally with certain lenses.

We're just able to simulate that effect here in Analogue Efex Pro. At the moment, we're just seeing a basic blur effect, but the blur effect would normally be impacted by the shape of the aperture in the lens. At the moment, we're working with a circular aperture, essentially an idealized aperture shape, but we can also change the shape of the aperture. I can use the arrow buttons to navigate among the various aperture shapes. For the most part, just determining how many blades are in that lens aperture.

I'll go ahead and set this option, for example, but then I'll find the specific shape of that aperture with the aperture variation slider. If I drag to the left, you can see that those blades are dragged inward. And if I drag to the right, they're pushed outward to create more of a circular shape. I'll go ahead and drag to the left here, and in fact, I'm going to choose an option that will give us a little bit more dramatic result, just so that we can see the impact in the image. I'll increase the value for aperture variation here just a little bit, so we don't have quite as extreme a shape, and you can see that I have this star-shaped aperture, essentially.

And now, if I drag the Aperture Rotation Slider, you'll notice that the Bokeh effect, that blurred effect in the image, is rotating along with that aperture. And so I can essentially determine the angle at which the light flare will emanate out from bright areas of the photo. By rotating that aperture, I can then of course fine-tune the strength of the blur. So for example reducing the degree of blur or increasing the degree of blur. In this case I have an image that already includes a starburst effect from the lens aperture.

So I'm essentially enhancing that effect, you might say, as well as adding additional light flair within the image. I can also determine the extent to which I want to boost the existing highlights in the image, which can help to exaggerate the effect. So in this way, I can determine the shape that I want to use. For that lens aperture that's being used to create the Bokeh blur effect. I can then fine tune the variation and rotation for that aperture and then adjust the overall strength and highlight boosting for the photo.

And all the while at any time I can come back into the image and adjust the size of the circle, or the ellipse in this case, that will be protected within the image. As well as the degree of smooth transition from the area that's being protected to the rest of the photo. And I can fine tune the position of that protected area as needed. So, some rather powerful controls when it comes to creating that bouquet type of blur effect within our photos. It should be noted by the way, that the effect works best with images that have a rather strong degree of contrast.

And especially where we have bright areas that are isolated. So, bright lights in small areas of the photo. That's where we're really going to see the impact of this bokeh blur effect.

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