bokeh-light-bubblesphotoshop-tutorial

This tutorial explains how to create a bokeh underwater light bubbles effect using Photoshop.

This will include blending colours using hue and saturation and creating a really cool custom brush.

Create a new document in Photoshop with 1920×1200 pixels screen resolution . Fill the background layer with a very dark grey, not black. If you fill it with black the effect won’t work. The color I used was #151515

background-color

Select the Ellipse Tool (U), and create a circle. Use black for the color, and go to Layer>Layer Style>Blending Options. Change the Fill Opacity to 50%. After that select Stroke. Use 10 pixels for the size, Inside for the Position and Black for the color.

circle-brush

layer-style

Select the ellipse and go to Edit>Define Brush. Name your brush and that’s done. Now we have a new brush.

edit-brush

Go to Window>Brushes (F5). The first thing to do in the Brush Engine is to select our new Brush. The size won’t matter because you will change that when you use it. The Spacing, however, is very important. Chage the value to 100%. After that, select the Shape Dynamics, then Scattering and Other dynamics. For the values use the image below.

brush-export

Before we start painting our bubbles let’s create a new layer and fill it with a colorful gradient. I created a new layer and used the layer styles to do that but feel free to do the way you are used to.

Layer > Layer Style>Blending Options

My gradient settings are as follows: Blend Mode is Overlay, Opacity is 100%, Style is Linear, and the Angle is 40º.

The colors I used are: Blue (#0D283E), Pink (#801258).

overlay-options

background

Let’s create a new Folder in our Layer Palette. Rename the folder to Bubbles and change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. Then create a new layer, choose white for the color and select the Brush Tool (B). Now just paint some ellipses with our custom brush. For this first layer use a big size, like 500-600px.

big

Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. For this first layer use 20 pixels for the Radius.

big-blur

Create another layer and paint more brushes. This time however use a smaller size for the brush. After that go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 4 pixels for the Radius.

medium

Create another layer and repeat the previous step, this time however use a much smaller brush. Apply the Gaussian Blur to this layer as well, but use only 1 pixel for the Radius.

final

Now just add your logo and that’s it. We have a nice wallpaper. The idea of this tutorial was once again to show the power of the Brush Engine. You can try different shapes for this same effect, like hexagons for example. Also you can play a bit with the blurs to add more depth to the final design. Now it’s up to you.

bokeh-final-sample

Optional: Logo Design

Create another layer and change the blending option like in the picture below. The code of the Blue color is: #7991f3

Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options > Outer Glow

logo-layer

Select the Brush tool and change the bubble color to #cce5fd

Be creative and fearless to do a complete mess with the shape, in my experience, the messier the better. I hope this tutorial helped you. If so, please let us know more about your artworks and drawings based on this tutorial on the comments. Thank you!

logo-432q532

Download Wallpaper Pack

bokeh-deviantart

Download the Photoshop .psd File

download-psd





About the Author: Alex Roman

I’m a 23-year old independent graphic artist based in Romania, Bucharest. I design beautiful, engaging user experiences and intuitive user interfaces for the web. I really love what I do. Want to hire me? Follow me on Facebook or Twitter.





  • Carlton Banks:

    Nice tut. Thanks, man.

  • Indhira Miraflor:

    I like your Works… :) keep up a good work.

  • Mitchell:

    Thank you very much for this great tutorial. Really easy to learn.

  • thoungamba:

    thanks for sharing..its very useful

  • naho:

    great!

  • davey:

    doesn’t work for me I think not all the steps are there, everything is okay until Window>Brushes (F5).

  • Chi:

    i can’t define the shape into brush..

  • VivaNet2.0:

    This is a great tutorial! I looked everywhere for a bokeh brush, and didn’t even think to make one myself. Thanks for the post, saved me time and effort!

  • NoName:

    Somehow that tutorial is a mess-up. The colorcode that’s supposed to be pink is orange (#e40fa5 would be pink) and the description to add a layer style (the gradient in question) on an empty (new created) layer won’t work anyway. The brush setting with ‘pen pressure’ won’t work if there’s no tablet but just a mouse, means the settings in Shape Dynamics do shit. I didn’t continue this any further.

    admin edit: thank you for your observations, we fixed them.

  • Susan Gary:

    thanks for the tutorial..I finally made a cool bokeh brush in CS5..had to wing it thru a few of the steps as they weren’t the same as stated..but it finally worked out. I see I have saved the brush in the brush amongst the PS brushes..however..I wanted to send the brush to a friend to use..but when I navigate to the brush folder for CS5, I only see the “sets” or folders of brushes that come with PS. Any ideas??? Would love to share with my photog friends. thanks

  • prem:

    i cant create a brush(define brush is not enabled) after blending the elipse..please any one help me how to define the elipse to brush pattern

  • Damion:

    Thanks very much for sharing. I learnt a lot & great work…

  • Gail:

    Your tool to share this on twitter and fb covers the tutorial. How irritating. I love sharing great tutorials when I find them, but wish you could find somewhere to put that annoying share tool!!!

  • kibashi:

    after creating the circular ellipse, PS CS5 won’t let me define the brush preset, it’s just grayed out. Any ideas?

  • lunetmedia:

    superb.. thanks a lot for sharing

  • keyuri:

    nice good bubble

    i like it
    thanks

  • Creative Logo Designers:

    We are LogoProDesign as a Creative Logo Designer, We checked your artwork collections. Those are amazed us. Thanks for that type of good work collections. We regularly checked your website for good artwork example.

    Thanks
    David Thomas

  • Ulises Bolivar:

    interesante

  • Aisyah Chintya Devi:

    boleh tau enggak?gimana cara edit seperti ini?
    makasih

  • Angella Albag:

    Why i can’t draw an ellipse tool :( how to enter it??

  • cheryl:

    Could you tell me what went wrong with my procedure? My outline is completely blurred and I can’t get any white tints.

    Many Thanks! You are awesome!

  • Vishu:

    great tut, here’s what i came up with, work of 5 mins! http://bit.ly/c0xkMn this effect has great potential if given enough time.

  • admin:

    the tutorial is very clear, however, you can download the brush form here:
    http://bit.ly/a2224t

  • Tudor:

    i cant define the brush to…y fallow the steps but not working

  • maybelle:

    uhm.. i cant define the brush. it simply cant be how can i solve this? :((

  • camila:

    Great tips. I was wondering how to make the bubbles so bright… I wasn´t able to get them to shine. Irene L uses a lot of this effect on her pics… can you give me an idea how to make the bubbles brighter and more shinny?

    Thank you!

  • Kushagra:

    Thanks for the tutorial.. It helped me a lot in understanding the brush engine… :)

  • qammar:

    Hi! this is very well explain nice tuts. our designer just created a impressive wallpaper.
    any one can see here http://bit.ly/bn4LQE
    Thanks for sharing,
    qammar feroz

  • Shamima Sultana:

    Nice work..keep it up

  • amit:

    Hi- for some apparent reason it does not let me select the define preset button- to enable it to be a brush?

    can anyone please help- ive been racking my brains over this for a long time!

    Thanks

    Amit

  • Mrpant:

    Great effect. I started to use this when I first read it on psdtuts.

  • Liminal Web Design Cornwall:

    How amazingly simple, I’m starting to look effects like this for website design backdrops so these tips are ideal.

    Thanks

    Ryan

  • mauie:

    This is a very good tutorial. Been looking everywhere for a tutorial on this kind of effect. Thank you. :)

  • Zim:

    It worked very well, excellent tutorial!

  • admin:

    At first i didn’t know why to credit you, i found the video directly on Vimeo. I changed my article and now you have a direct link to your post.

  • Benjamin Reid:

    Erm… Do you mind crediting me for my video tutorial?

  • admin:

    @Joris: i simply love it, great work!

  • Joris:

    Thanks this tutorial is really easy and helpfull.
    This is my outcome:
    backgroundu

  • Tom - New Evolution Designs:

    Very nice tut. Just downloaded the file, thanks!

  • wenshen:

    This was excellent! I’ve been looking for this tip for a long time also. Thanks for the post.

  • Joefrey Mahusay:

    Awesome tutorial I will surely try this. Thanks.

  • Gorny S. Needa:

    Wow so simple yet effective. This is one that i will try, Thanks.

  • kailash:

    Awesome tut. I love your site

  • Novy:

    this tutorial is delicious. thanks for the help and I will definitely be using this to spice up my designs.

  • Clay Jackson:

    Thanks for the great beautiful tutorial. you are one of a kind who have taste creativity on colors and photoshop. Thanks!

  • Rick M.:

    I’ve been looking for a tut like this so I could include this style wallpaper in my website.

    Thank you!

  • Andrew:

    Simple and effective design. The blurred background really pulls it together.

  • Sandy:

    Awsome, great tutorial! Simple and beauty.

  • Joan Iguban:

    Simple yet effective.

    Awesome.

  • Heatherina:

    Great Tutorial! Thanks for the PSD!

  • AGt:

    Wooow!! Really good and easy effect. Thanks for sharing. Good Luck

  • Jonathas Scott:

    Thank you for a great wallpaper, it looks great on my laptop. I will try my hand at the tutorial and see how my one turns out lol lol. Thanks again

  • Ferreira Dani:

    Wow, this is neat! I’ll give it a try.
    Thanks for the post.

  • Danielle:

    Excellent tutorial. I love the simplicity and uniqueness of this one, plus the effect can be used in a variety of ways, which is great. Thanks for sharing this tutorial, keep up the good work!

  • kuekinhas:

    Great tutorial, I liked a lot it’s simplicity.

  • Bobby:

    Hey! Thanks very much for the tut, its briliant, will experiment with it a bit ! :D
    thanks a again

  • Olive:

    This is awesome. I’m well making something like this tomorrow! :D