Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Creating a Bokeh texture

From: Photoshop for Designers: Textures

Video: Creating a Bokeh texture

Bokeh is the name given to these out of focus discs of light and these tend to occur in the background of your image especially if you're working with a shallow depth of field. There are numerous ways that you could create bokeh digitally; I am going to share with you a technique that I adapted from various different others and what we are going to achieve is something like this. Bokeh with a crunch and I say with a crunch because if we look at these discs of light they actually have texture in them and that texture is derived from this Background here, this background texture of ice and if I turn on the different discs especially when you put them against a black background, just to see the large ones.

Creating a Bokeh texture

Bokeh is the name given to these out of focus discs of light and these tend to occur in the background of your image especially if you're working with a shallow depth of field. There are numerous ways that you could create bokeh digitally; I am going to share with you a technique that I adapted from various different others and what we are going to achieve is something like this. Bokeh with a crunch and I say with a crunch because if we look at these discs of light they actually have texture in them and that texture is derived from this Background here, this background texture of ice and if I turn on the different discs especially when you put them against a black background, just to see the large ones.

You can see that there is actually the texture of that ice within those rings. So we are going to create something like this, I will say something like it because we are going to get slightly different result, I will probably use different colors and it's going to be slightly different but just as good. Okay, so now we are ready to create a bokeh brush and I'm in the documents that I am going to be painting in and at the top of the layer stack I am going to create a new layer, I am going to come to my Elliptical Marquee tool and I am going to fix size of 400 X 400 pixels and then click, and then I am going to fill that with black, Option or Alt+ Delete if black is your foreground color.

Reduce the Fill Opacity to 30%. Now the reason we are adjusting the fill Opacity is because in the next step we are going to add a Stroke and that Stroke needs to be at 100% and I am going to make the stroke weight 6 pixels and Position it Inside so that it's going to be captured by the active selection. I will click OK, I need to make sure I turn these other layers off so that they are not captured as part of the brush preset and then Define Brush Preset and I am going to call it bokeh.

Right, so I am now delete that layer and we will just take a look at what we have going on here, so at the top we have this field of black ultimately, out blurry discs are going to be against this black background but we need to turn that off for the time being because what we are going to be doing is we are going to painting these using the Mixer brush and the Mixer brush is going to be picking up the color from the layers beneath as well as picking up the texture, and that's why the ice is here.

Now because it's picking up the texture and we wanted to pick up more of the texture, I have added Levels adjustment layer above that just to boost the contrast a bit. So what I am going to do next is add a Gradient Fill layer because we needed to pick up some color as well. So I am going to lay some color down over the whole thing. And the Gradient Fill that I am going to use is a medium spectrum. Now this is one of the Spectrum presets which you may need to load, if you don't already see it and you can choose to append that to your current gradients.

Now you can use anyone you want. I didn't used this in the finished examples so I am going to get a different result, so it really is a case of mixing and matching with this technique. I am going to set the angle of this gradient to 45?, and then I am going to set the Blend mode of the gradient to Overlay. So now on a new layer, I am going to start painting with my bokeh brush but I need to come and choose the Mixer brush first off all and set the options for the Mixer brush.

Now I am going to use this preset, Very Wet and most importantly though I am going to make sure this options is turned off. This is going to mean that we are just working with the colors that are already in the image, we are not actually introducing new color, so I am not going to be smearing new colors around we are just picking up the colors that are already there. So now on this layers I am about to paint on, I need to change the Blend mode, I need to change the Blend mode to Color Burn I think will work well and if I click, you can see what I am doing is, I am laying down these discs of color, that overlapping creating noise, overlapping transparency effects but they are color burning into the background, picking up the background, not just the background color but also the background texture.

Now if turn off the Gradient Fill and I turn on the Background field of black, everything becomes black but if I turn the Blend mode of my bokeh layer back to normal then we see we get this and this is what we are after. Now that we know what's going on, I am going to select All and delete those few that I laid down, so I am going to turn off the field of black, turn back on the Gradient, change the Blend mode back to Color Burn and I am also going to change a few settings about the way my brush behaves.

So I am going to come over to my Brushes panel and I want to change the Spacing settings. I am going to change the Spacing to 150%, I am going to come to the Shape Dynamics and I'm going to have a Size Jitter of 100%, Minimum Diameter 50 that's all good, and then I want some Scattering on Both Axes and let's just see how the preview is looking down there, give you an idea what's going on. I think I want a few more, let's go for a Count of 5 and then Count Jitter and of course nothing is happening because I don't have my Scatter turned on, I was wondering what was going on there.

So I need to then bring that up somewhere about there. So I have Scattering on Both Axes, I am scattering at 350%, I have the Count set of 5 and the Count Jitter set at 8%. More importantly than that I am looking at what's going on this preview down here and this is the kind of effect I am after. So I am now going to close my Brush panel and start painting with my brush. Now I don't want to overdo it, so just going to lay down a few and what we are not getting there is we are not getting any Size Jitter, so I am going to Undo that, come back to Brush panel, come back to my Shape Dynamics, so there is the problem right there, I am controlling this with Pen Pressure but I prefer that to be off even though I am using a Pen.

So I am going to close that now and now start painting and yes we are getting that Size Jitter that we weren't getting before. Okay, those are my large discs, let's just see how they look. I am going turn off my Gradient Fill, turn off my Background Pivot of color, change my Blend mode to Normal. Okay, so those are my big disc. Now I am going to create a new layer above that, so it's Blend mode to Color Burn. I am going to reduce the Size of my brush, let's come down 250 pixel brush, turn back on my Gradient Fill, turn off Background Field to black, also turn off the large discs that I have already laid down and just repeat the process, so that we get some smaller disc right there.

Okay, and then I am going to do another layer and this will be for smaller still and I am going to reduce the Size here down to 125. Set this Blend mode to Color Burn and I am going to add some of these in this as well. Okay, turn off the Gradient Fill, turn on the Background Field of color, change the Blends modes to Normal and there you can see this is the affect that we are going to get.

So not only has it picked up the color a bit also picked up a texture from the ice background layer. And our final step is we are going to blur these discs now, so I am going to turn off everything but the big ones, and then I am going to Convert for Smart Filters and come to Gaussian Blur and I am going to blur these by I estimate 8 pixels. Now I am working with a 1,200 pixel wide image and the amount of that you blur is going to vary according to the resolution of your image, and then I am going to come to the medium-size one's, turn those on, I will convert these to Smart Filters as well, Gaussian Blur and I am going to blur these half as much, and then I am going to turn on the small ones and you guessed it, Converts for Smart Filters and I am just doing this so I can go back and change the amount of blurring if I didn't' get it right first time.

Gaussian Blur again but this time we will go down to just 1 pixel and there is our result. To just refine this further, I of course can change the Blending modes of the different layers and I can always go in at more of these color circles as well if I want to. A big variant here was the actual gradient that I used. If we take a look at my original finished piece, it's a much more pastel hued results and that's because I began with a pastel gradient.

But I think you agree that's a very interesting technique lovely that picks up the texture from what's below and working with the Mixer brush. It's really a fantastic new tool and it's the Mixer brush that really allows us here to paint with that color as well as bring up the texture from whatever is below.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Textures
Photoshop for Designers: Textures

60 video lessons · 19579 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 30s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      28s
  2. 6m 52s
    1. Working with textures
      6m 52s
  3. 30m 19s
    1. Creating a rocklike texture with Clouds
      6m 17s
    2. Improving a flat sky with Difference Clouds
      3m 43s
    3. Creating a grunge effect with Fibers
      11m 30s
    4. Applying a texture channel with Lighting Effects
      4m 22s
    5. Adding an effect and blending with Lens Flare
      4m 27s
  4. 15m 20s
    1. Applying textures with Texturizer
      6m 8s
    2. Applying realistic cracks with Craquelure
      5m 11s
    3. Preparing an image for a stained glass effect
      4m 1s
  5. 30m 48s
    1. Adding noise to an overlay layer
      1m 33s
    2. Adding film grain
      6m 5s
    3. Painting with grain
      4m 10s
    4. Adding grain to a Camera Raw image
      2m 21s
    5. Matching grain when cloning
      5m 32s
    6. Accentuating texture with Speckle grain
      3m 4s
    7. Creating a split-toning effect with Stippled grain
      4m 20s
    8. Beyond the Mezzotint filter
      3m 43s
  6. 18m 5s
    1. Creating deckled edges and sepia tone
      8m 6s
    2. Adding water stains
      5m 41s
    3. Adding cracks
      4m 18s
  7. 38m 16s
    1. Blending textures with Soft Light
      4m 15s
    2. Blending textures with Hard Light
      54s
    3. Blending groups
      3m 59s
    4. Blending textures with layer masks
      3m 49s
    5. Creating an antique poster
      5m 59s
    6. Blending mode sandwich
      4m 34s
    7. Blending texture from a pattern fill
      4m 9s
    8. Applying texture to an uneven surface
      10m 37s
  8. 42m 43s
    1. Creating a watercolor effect
      5m 30s
    2. Painting on canvas
      9m 57s
    3. Creating a rubber stamp
      8m 42s
    4. Converting a photograph to a drawing with Find Edges
      2m 58s
    5. Combining a black-and-white halftone with color images
      5m 6s
    6. Creating a textured duotone effect with Conté Crayon
      2m 33s
    7. Creating an abstract image with Mosaic
      6m 2s
    8. Creating a reticulation effect
      1m 55s
  9. 59m 11s
    1. Finding and installing brushes
      2m 19s
    2. Creating a shatter effect
      3m 58s
    3. Creating a smoke brush
      3m 50s
    4. Combining Photoshop with Illustrator to create a sample brush
      9m 56s
    5. Creating coffee rings
      4m 13s
    6. Creating a Bokeh texture
      9m 50s
    7. Creating corner brushes
      4m 24s
    8. Sampling a brush stroke
      3m 3s
    9. Creating a rust jewel brush
      5m 43s
    10. Building density with brush settings
      6m 45s
    11. Painting with the Mixer Brush
      5m 10s
  10. 17m 30s
    1. Adding texture to type using clipping masks
      2m 25s
    2. Applying texture to type with layer effects
      2m 53s
    3. Applying texture to type using a layer mask
      5m 33s
    4. Painting with a texture brush
      4m 31s
    5. Blending type into background texture
      2m 8s
  11. 17m 55s
    1. Using the texture actions set
      3m 12s
    2. Editing an action
      3m 18s
    3. Creating your own texture action
      5m 14s
    4. Finding, downloading, and installing actions
      3m 2s
    5. Applying texture styles
      3m 9s
  12. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop for Designers: Textures.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.