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Bokeh Background for Instagram

In the previous tutorial, we created a Bokeh background in grayscale and then added a gradient to add color to our Bokeh. Now, let's add more details to our Bokeh background, which we will use as a background for an Instagram video holiday message. Then, we will try an alternative method to create a different style Bokeh, by starting with a render of fibers instead of clouds. Let's see what we get.

Add Details

As this will be used in a holiday Instagram post, let's add a little snow (see screenshot).

  1. Add a new layer above the Bokeh layer, name it "noise" and fill it with white.

  2. In the Layers panel, set the Blend Mode to Dissolve.

  3. Set the Opacity to 15% and the Fill to 5%. If you wish more snow, raise the Opacity and Fill settings.

    Now let's put some Bokeh circles in the foreground. By drawing the circles with harder edges, these circles will appear closer then the circles with softer edges (see screenshot).

  4. Add a new layer above the noise layer and name it "circles".

  5. With the Ellipse tool, draw several white circles of various sizes (see screenshot).

    Now, let's turn these white circles in to Bokeh circles.

  6. Set the Blend Mode for the circle layer to Soft Light and the Opacity of the layer to 50%.

    Finally, let's add some white stars (see screenshot).

  7. Add a new layer above the circles layer and name it "stars".

  8. Draw a few small white circles.

    Let's blur the edges of our stars.

  9. Click Filter - Blur - Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 10 pixels.

An alternative Bokeh design is to start with a render of fibers instead of clouds.

  1. Add a new layer above the Bokeh layer and name it "Bokeh 2". Fill the layer with white.

  2. Click Filter - Render - Fibers. Set the Variance to 20 and the Strength to 5 (see screenshot).

  3. As before, we will go to the Filter Gallery but this time we will us a different filter. Click Filter - Filter Gallery - Distort - Glass. Use the settings of your choice to create curvy vertical streaks (see screenshot).

  4. Now we will use the Field Blur again but with different settings. Click Filter - Blur - Field Blur. Set the Blur slider to 10, the Light Bokeh slider to 25% and the Light Range slider to 225 to 255 (see screenshot).

  5. Turn off the visibility of the first Bokeh layer.

  6. Set the Blend Mode for the Bokeh 2 layer to Overlay or Soft Light (see screenshot).


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