More than two years ago, I created an image of a digital bokeh using Pixelmator that became incredibly popular on the Internet. I easily created the image using Pixelmator’s filter, which was new at the time, called Defocus. I simply applied the filter and added a gradient overlay layer to create the effect. Therefore, in this tutorial, I will show you how to create a bokeh effect in a slightly different, but simple manner to achieve a beautiful outcome.

Step 1

Open Pixelmator and fill the background layer with a very dark grey color (#0a0a0a).

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 2

Add a new layer and change the Blending to Color Dodge. Go to Filter > Quartz Composer > Generator > Floor. Use the default values.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 3

Add another layer and fill it with black. Next, change the Blending to Color Dodge. With this new layer selected, go to Filter > Quartz Composer > Generator > Defocus. This filter is random, so you will not be able to replicate the same effect I created.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 4

Duplicate the layer with the hexagons layer. If there are some areas that are too bright, use the Eraser Tool (E) to erase them.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 5

Duplicate the layer once again.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 6

Duplicate the layer again and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Use 60 for the amount. Once again, change the Blending to Color Dodge.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 7

Add another layer and go to Filter > Generator > Stripes. Use 2 for the width and 0 for the sharpness.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 8

Go to Edit > Free Transform. Rotate the stripes 30º to match the hexagons. Then, change the Blending to Color Dodge.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 9

With the stripes layer selected, go to Layer > Add Layer Mask. Select the layer mask thumb over the layer palette and then go to Filter > Generator > Clouds. Use the clouds filter to mask the stripes.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 10

Add a new layer on top of the others, but beneath the stripe layers. Fill this new layer with black. Then, change the Blending to Color Dodge. Next, select the Brush Tool (B). Using a basic, but very soft brush, start painting to add some white some flares to your design.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 11

Add another layer, fill it with black, and change the Blending to Color Dodge. With the Brush Tool (B), select the clouds default brush. Then, with white paint, add some clouds over one area.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 12

Go to Filter > Blur > Zoom Blur. Place the controller at the center of the area where you want to create the light burst. Then, change the amount to 60.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 13

Add a new layer on top of the floor layer and beneath the other layers. Change the blending to overlay. With the Gradient Tool (G), fill the layer with a gradient. I am using a gradient with yellow, red, and blue.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Step 14

Here you can see the order of the layers.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Conclusion

Here is the final result of this tutorial. As you can see, we only used basic filters and blended modes to create this effect. We did not utilize any stock photo to achieve these effects. One of the best features of Pixelmator is its speed. You complete this tutorial relatively quickly because the filters are fast. Now, it is up to you.

Hexagons Bokeh in Pixelmator

Dowload the Pixelmator File

Download the Pixelmator file used for this tutorial.

About the author of this post

Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator Tutorials. Of course there are other softwares conteplated like Pixelmator, Fireworks, and web design tutorials.