Tutorial: Bokeh-Faker

Sometimes it just doesn't happen, you don't get the great bokeh....so sometimes you have to fake it!

You start by opening up your image and making your adjustments in RAW. Once you have that completed you will select your magnetic lasso tool.

Using your magnetic lasso select your subject, it doesn't have to be perfect.

Once you complete the subject from beginning to end you will see the "marching ants"

Then you want to utilize your refine edge option
In PS you will have a brush that comes up, adjust the size and paint around the subject, also doesn't have to be perfect.
(PSE users you do have this but not exactly the same, you will have to adjust sliders, set your feather to 3-5 and play with the rest)

Then duplicate the layer. 

You will repeat using your magnetic lasso, and refining the edge just as before but on your background layer.
Then you will select the inverse so that you are grabbing the background without the subject.
Then you will duplicate the layer.

So now you have your background (original), your background without subject, and your subject only.

You will want your background without the subject layer selected and you will run a gaussian blur.
I find 10-13 to be a great natural blur.

Now you want to add a layer mask so that you can perfect it.
There is a great layer mask action over at CoffeeShop.

Next I paint away, using my soft black brush first at 100 % opacity, then at 50%, then 25% so you get a natural taper.
Black - I used 100%
Red - I used 50%
Green - I used 25%
all using the soft black brush

Enjoy, I can't wait to see your fake bokeh!


  1. wow....never thought about faking it! thanks!

  2. This is awesome! Thank you! Going to search for a picture right now to work on!

  3. Awesome tutorial Morgan! I'm using it on a pic now!

  4. Have done this before but not with the tapering at the end will try thanks awesome tutorial

  5. This is amazing!!!!! Thanks!


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