Nov 13, 2008
A few days ago the guys behind Pixelmator released the new version of their really cool app, and if you check out the Pixelmator site you will notice that they are using my Bokeh image. I'm very happy :) not just because of that but, also because I had the chance to test Tempo very early and it's good to be part of the testing team.
Anyway, this tutorial is the original Bokeh effect I created, the one I use for my twitter background and the inspiration to the Photoshop version. You will see that this effect can easily be done in Pixelmator, actually much easier than in any other tool.
Open Pixelmator and create a new document, I used 1920x1200 pixels. Fill the background layer with Black.
Add a new layer and go to Quartz Composer>Generator>Defocus. Play with the settings, you can adjust size, blur, density, colors and even use hexagons. The best thing is the Blur because that will simply avoid the use of other filters. For this first layer use a big size and very blurry. I used 0.50 for the Size and 0.30 for the Blur.
After that duplicate the layer and change the Blending to Color Dodge.
Add another layer and simply repeat the previous step, this time however, create much smaller circles. Also change the Primary Color to white and for the Blur use 0.01. The Blendings of this layer will be Screen.
Again, add another layer on top of the others and repeat again the Defocus filter. For this we will create the medium size circles. I used 0.36 for the Size and 0.04 for the Blur. Also the Primary Color is white and the density is 0.50. The Blending for this layer is Screen as well. Tip: The Defocus filter is a Random so probably you won't have the same result in terms of positions.
Duplicate the medium size bokeh layer and just change the Blending to Color Dodge.
Duplicate the Small size bokeh layer and move it up to the other layers. Then just change the Blending to Color Dodge as well. The color dodge will create a very nice light effect and add some depth to the layers.
Select the Gradient Tool (G) and choose the default rainbow gradient preset. Then create another layer on top of the others and fill it with the gradient. Use the image below for reference. After that just change the Blending to Overlay.
The Defocus filter in Pixelmator is really easy to use and the result that you can get just repeating the process changing some values and playing with blendings is really cool. That's why I like and recommend this app, you can create nice effects pretty quickly and with a gorgeous interface. As I said in the other tutorials you will be impressed by how fast some filters are compared with Photoshop. It's definitely worth downloading and testing it.