Alien Skin Software Announces Bokeh 2 Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS5

August 30, 2010 12:51 am

Tags: Adobe, Alien Skin, CS5, Lightroom, photography, Photoshop

Easy to use tools for creative blurring, including spiral motion blur. New support for Adobe Photoshop CS5 64-bit and Lightroom.

Raleigh, North Carolina – August 24, 2010 – Alien Skin Software, maker of simple photography tools that render beautiful pictures, today announces the immediate availability of Bokeh® 2, the new version of its lens simulation plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom®. Bokeh provides a wide range of creative focus effects and accurate lens simulation in a simple interface. Photographers use Bokeh to draw attention to their subject by manipulating focus, vignette, and depth of field.

We used a subtle motion blur and dark vignette in the image except on her face. The result is not obvious enough to be a distraction. Instead, the eye is simply drawn to the bride's glowing face.

"Bokeh has grown beyond lens simulation into a creativity tool, especially with the addition of motion blur," said Terence Tay, the architect of Bokeh. "Now photographers can get sophisticated focus effects without the hassle and expense of using tilt-shift or special effect lenses."

Creative Focus

Bokeh gives photographers a wide range of tools to focus attention where they want it. The focus region is easily placed over the subject and then the fun begins. Every aspect of the lens blur can be customized, from highlight intensity and shape to motion blur and vignette. The vignette can change the mood of the scene through darkening or desaturation. The new motion blur can give the illusion of movement like expensive creative lenses, but it is even more flexible, allowing spiral and rotational blurs.

file_458538.jpg file_458537.jpg
Before Bokeh® 2
After Bokeh® 2
The little boy in the grass demonstrates how Bokeh can change the depth of field of a photo. Before and after versions are supplied so it is clear what we did. By realistically blurring the background, attention is drawn to the subject by reducing distractions.

Accurate Lens Simulation

Bokeh accurately simulates the distinctive blurring and creamy highlights of real lenses. This was achieved through careful experiments with lenses famous for their bokeh highlights, such as the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 II and the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Macro. Now Bokeh renders film grain to match the original photo which makes defocused regions look completely natural. Bokeh can even change the depth of field of a photo after it was shot by realistically blurring the background.

Adobe Photoshop CS5 64-bit and Lightroom Support

Bokeh 2 now works in Lightroom, including batch processing. The 64-bit version of Photoshop CS5 works great with Bokeh on both platforms. Bokeh provides multiple techniques for non-destructive editing in Photoshop, including Smart Filter support and rendering effects on a duplicate of the original layer.

This shows off our new motion blur. Some expensive special effect lenses can produce radial streaks, but Bokeh goes further by allowing rotation to make spiral or circular motion. And of course Bokeh is cheaper and easier to use that specialized lenses.

Ease of Use

Bokeh has a slick new interface for easily placing focus regions. Now multiple focus regions are supported and there are new focus region shapes. The preview is now much faster and more interactive, making experimentation easier. To help get started and for advanced techniques, the Web site has a large library of tutorial videos and example images.

We shortened the depth of field to make the waves less distracting, just like we did in the happy baby photo. But the main effect we are trying to show off here is our vignette. Bokeh 2 gives you the flexibility to use dark or light vignettes to add subtle or striking effects. In this case we were going for a pinhole camera look. The bride photo demonstrates a much more subtle use of vignette.

Pricing and Availability

file_458535.jpgBokeh 2 sells for $199 USD. Owners of Bokeh 1 may upgrade for $99 USD. Online or physical delivery is available through the Alien Skin website at Free upgrades will be automatically sent to purchasers of Bokeh 1 who purchased in April 2010 or later.

Host Requirements

Bokeh 2 is a plug-in and requires one of the following host applications:

  • Adobe Photoshop CS3 or later
  • Adobe Lightroom 2 or later
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 or later
  • Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X3

System Requirements

Microsoft Windows users must have at least a Pentium 4 processor or compatible and Windows XP SP3 or later. Apple Macintosh users must have an Intel processor and Mac OS X 10.5 or later. A monitor with 1024x768 resolution or greater is required.

About Alien Skin Software

Alien Skin Software makes Photoshop plug-ins for photographers and graphic designers.  We distill advanced math and cutting edge research into simple tools that render beautiful pictures.  Our reputation for bug-free software and fast, friendly tech support has grown worldwide since 1993.  For more information, visit our website at


Bokeh, Alien Skin Software, and the Alien Skin Software logo are registered trademarks of Alien Skin Software, LLC. Adobe, Lightroom, and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Article Comments

PiXeLCandy ( posted at 8:20PM Sat, 04 September 2010

Awesome! I love eyecandy6 and have to have this as well.

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