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In today’s tutorial, we’ll be creating a bokeh effect in Affinity Photo. In photography, the bokeh effect is a blur/haze effect that occurs in various parts of an out-of-focus image. This effect is produced by a camera lens, but it can also be created in a photo editing software. You can see this effect in movies, tv shows, music videos, etc.
Go to the links below and download the images used in this tutorial.
First, go to File > Open and open the cat image you downloaded.
Second, go to File > Open again. This time open the bokeh image (it’ll appear in a new tab).
With the Move tool, right click on the bokeh image and select Copy (or press CTRL + C).
Go to the cat image. With the Move tool, right click on the image and select Paste (or press CTRL + V).
With the bokeh image selected, go to the Layers Panel and change the Blend Mode to Screen.
Next, go to the Layers Panel and click on the Adjustments icon. Select Recolor.
In the Layers Panel, drag the Recolor Adjustment layer inside of the bokeh image layer so that it is the only layer being affected.
Now, set the Recolor Adjustments to the following properties.
Then, go to the Layers Panel, click on the Adjustments icon and select Levels. The Levels Adjustment layer should be placed inside of the bokeh image layer (if it didn’t end up there, drag the Levels layer inside of the bokeh layer).
After that, set the Black Level to 20%.
Select the bokeh layer. Then, click on the Mask Layer icon to add a mask to this layer.
Next, select the Mask Layer. Activate the Black color on the Color Panel.
Now, grab the Paintbrush tool from the Tools Panel. In the Context toolbar, set the Opacity to 75%, Flow to 15%, and Hardness to 0%.
Go over the bokeh lights to get rid of some of them and to fade some other ones out. Make sure you get rid of the bokeh effect that is on the cat’s face.
In the Layers Panel, select the bokeh image and lower the Opacity of the layer to about 75%.
Congratulations! This tutorial is complete. You’ve created a bokeh effect in Affinity Photo. For more Affinity Photo tutorials, check out this article on how to create a pop art effect.