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In this movie, I'll show you how to add a synthetic bokeh to your depth-of-field effect and when I say bokeh I mean the one that spelled either b-o-k-e or if you prefer Adobe's spelling b-o-k-e-h. And it's essentially the interplay of light, the iridescence of the Blur effect. And I want to create a little action down here inside the highlights in the canal, so I am going to select the Background, press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Opt+J on a Mac, and I'll call this new layer "canal bokeh" like so, and then click OK.
Now I'll drag that layer above the 2nd pass layer, because we're going to eventually mask it into place, and I'll press Ctrl+Alt+F or Command+Opt+F on the Mac in order to revisit my pins. Now, you get to the Bokeh options here inside the Blur Effects panel, but it's very possible the panel will be collapsed. If so, double-click on words Blur Effects in order to bring up these options. Now I'm going to crank up this Light Bokeh value to 55%, like so. Notice that that just blows the heck out of the highlights toward the top of the image, and we'll address that in just a minute.
But you'll also notice that the Bokeh is fairly neutral; in other words, we have white blown highlights that transition into the original colors inside the image. If you want to light up those edges, then you increase the Bokeh Color value, and I'm going to take it all the way up to 60%, like so. Now at this point I've affected the highlights at the top of the image, but I'm not affecting any of the light that's being cast onto the canal. And you can change the range of luminance levels that are affected using this Light Range slider. So notice right now we're affecting any luminance levels between 210 and 255, so just the brightest luminous levels inside the image.
I'm going to drag this black slider triangle all the way down to 115, like so, and that's going to light up these highlights, really these midtones in the lower-left region of the image. And now to better focus the effect on those midtones, I'll go ahead and drag the white slider triangle down to a value of 160, is actually what I'm looking for. So I'll just go and nudge that value up. And you can see that ends up giving us these wonderful highlights on the water. Now, that really messes up the details at the top of the image, and I have all these crazy color effects going on.
But that's okay, because we're going to mask that region out. So once you achieve an effect like I have here, go ahead and click the OK button in order to apply about that blur to the active layer. You'll get the progress bar once again. And then once it's finished, because we want to mask away most of this layer, drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the panel and then press Alt key or the Option key and click on it, and that will mask that entire layer away. Then go ahead and grab the Brush tool, which you can get by pressing the B key.
I still have my Hardness value set to 75%, as you can see if I right-click inside the image window. So I'll go ahead and press the Enter key to hide that panel. Now I'll press the D key in order to establish white as my foreground color, and I'll begin painting those highlights into the water, like so. Now I might want to scroll down, just to make sure that I'm painting all the way to the bottom of the image. Then I'll reduce the size of my cursor and paint in a couple of other highlights over this location. But I don't want to go too far with it. If you start painting over like that, we end up getting an effect that's not quite that realistic.
Anyway, I'm going to press the X key in order to switch the foreground and background colors, so I can paint with black, and then I'll paint these little bits of highlight away. And I think that's actually pretty interesting effect, although I might want to get rid of him. All right, you can do what you want, make whatever aesthetic choices seem right to you, but this is the effect I was going for. So I'll press Shift+F once again to switch to the Fill Screen mode, and I'll scroll down a little bit as well. And that is my final synthetic bokeh, thanks to the Blur Effect options that are available to you anytime you're working inside the Blur Gallery.
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