bokeh photoshop

In this quick video tutorial by PiXimperfect, we see how to create the fabulous Bokeh effect in Photoshop.

The underlying principle behind the technique is to create a shallow depth of field. Now, let me tell you upfront that there are some intricate steps involved in this process but the end result is stunning.

For those of you who have not heard of Bokeh effect before, it’s a kind of Blur effect but an aesthetic quality of Blur. Bokeh occurs due to differential rendering of out of focus regions of a photograph by the lens. To put in simple terms, a camera lens often renders parts of a photo which are not in focus in a different manner. This sometimes produces both good & bad kind of Bokeh effect. Professional photographers deliberately use shallow focus to create good Bokeh.

As you can see, creating this effect at the time of taking the photograph is fairly straightforward. However, recreating this effect after the photograph is taken is a different story. In this video, you will learn how to recreate Bokeh in Photoshop by using ‘Depth maps’. Depth maps basically lets you define proximity of various elements of an image to the camera.

Firstly, you need to select the part of photo which you want to be in focus. Do this step carefully as it will decide whether the end result is a good Bokeh or a bad one. So, do the refinements until you are content. This mask will serve as a guideline for your depth map.

depth map


Now, all that is left is to vary the amount of blur in selected objects to create a sense of depth.

This method transforms a photo from this…

before bokeh


…to a stunning scene like this:

after bokeh


This technique can also be used as a corrective mechanism in case you didn’t capture the shot perfectly with your camera.