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How was the following design made? It's very beautiful, and I'm trying to recreate it on my own. When I'm done, I'd like to have a "correct answer" to check my answer against.

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4  
Broaden your search to bokeh...might help you quite a bit! –  Brendan Mar 13 '13 at 2:18
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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Very nice tutorial, Check this link http://abduzeedo.com/awesome-digital-bokeh-effect-photoshop

http://www.photoshopwebsite.com/photoshop-tutorials/35-beautiful-bubbles-photoshop-tutorials/

Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop. As usual I will use a nice scree resolution, 1920x1200 pixels. 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 #262626.

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Step 2

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.

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Step 3

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

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Step 4

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.

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Step 5

Before we start painting our bokehs 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. My gradient settings are as follows: Blend Mode is Overlay, Opacity is 100%, Style is Linear, and the Angle is 45º. The colors I used are: Yellow (#00085), Cyan (#1bdaeb), Purple (#9b3b81), Orange (#d27e34).

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Step 6

Let's create a new Folder in our Layer Palette. Rename the folder to Bokehs 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.

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Step 7

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

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Step 8

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.

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Step 9

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.

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Conclusion

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.

enter image description here

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Wow, it's exactly the answer! Thank you. What in the world is a "Bokeh" though? The sound made when you hit someone with a rubber hammer? –  a20 Mar 14 '13 at 6:08
    
@alexarul - it's a photography thing...basically how the lens blurs things. –  Brendan Mar 14 '13 at 16:54
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You can start with a Lens Flare Photoshop Brush such as this one:

enter image description here

Or this one (both free):

enter image description here

Draw circles with the brushes, in different colors. Apply Blur to some of them, and then use Blend Modes to overlap them (I'll start with Multiply and try some options from there).

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It looks like multiple layers, some with gradient, and circles at all layers, some cutting down one layer, some cutting through many layers etc, and multiple styles of circles too - sharp edged, fuzzy edged etc .. does this sound correct? –  a20 Mar 13 '13 at 3:15
    
Correct :) You don't even have to use colors, you can have all your circles in white and then add a gradient (blue, purple, pink, yellow) in the bottom layer. If you're giving it a try you can upload your result in the original question! –  Yisela Mar 13 '13 at 3:22
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