Help! Why isn't Photoshop Capable of Doing This? [pic]

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by VideoNewbie, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. VideoNewbie macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2009
    How is it that this iphone app can do more to a photo than photoshop?

    the below image is an iphone app which allows you to add various filters one of which is a selection of lighting filters.


    ive been trying to find a simple filter, or brush in photoshop that will replicate similar "Bokeh" sun flare style results for a photo and CANNOT FIND ANYTHING

    when i try to use lens flare/bokeh brushes designed for photoshop that ive downloaded from various places on the net it results in a very fake artificial result that is one dimensional in color.

    and all the "bokeh" filters for photoshop ive seen are just as bad.

    can anyone help me out? why is it that the quality of the filter on an iphone app is better than whats out there for photoshop? i want to be able to produce similar results in photoshop but cant seem to.

    i know nik software supposedly makes the best filters for photoshop but even they dont have something like this.

  2. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    lets start right here, the iPhone app is designed for dummies. Photoshop is designed for professionals.

    the app will apply those filters, and thats that. Photoshop will allow you to make the same effects, and so much more, if you know how to use photoshop. You obviously don't.
  3. mgrayson macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2010
    I fired up Photoshop and it did NOTHING! It just sits there. :rolleyes:

    Or to beat a dead horse, someone once told Jascha Heifetz that his violin sounded wonderful. He held it up to his ear and said "I don't hear anything."
  4. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    You need to go out and shoot some bokeh templates and then use your blending modes to add it to your original picture in a similar style to that of the iPhone app.

    I'm guessing you haven't used photoshop that much and therefore I wonder why you bought it without realising what it can do but then again I guess that you probably haven't bought it in the literal sense at all.
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    You sorta answered your own question. Use the iPhone apps if that meets your needs. PS has tons of canned effects, but they can't cover everything, and as you can see from the snarks it is, in fact, designed as an application for those who spend much of their time producing their own customized effects.

    That being said, there are times when even PS users find it fun/easy/more convenient to use something like Nik's iPad app to manipulate a photo. They have some wonderful stuff and in terms of bang for the buck you can't beat it. And if you like it, try some of their PS stuff.

  6. VideoNewbie thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2009

    k im a dummy im not a professional im completely new to world of macs and photoshop.

    now that weve got your facetious and snarky comments out of the way can u actually provide any advice relevant to the thread?

    im 15 years old and im trying to learn more about photoshop.

    why are you even bothering to comment telling me how much i dont know about photoshop when this thread is already a SELF admission of that?! lol

    OBVIOUSLY i dont know anything about photoshop thats why i made this thread.

    i want to know why photoshop isnt capable of simply applying filters like the photo above.

    i didnt say photoshop is not capable of producing a photo like the above i was saying its not capable of doing it in such a easy manner.

    the question still stands can anyone provide advice i would greatly appreciate it.


    i didnt buy it im using it on the school computer.

    is this the only way ? going out myself and shooting bokeh templates?
    there arent any filters or brushes that would easily produce this effect?


    that wouldve been a perfectly snide comment had my thread been passive in nature

    i am proactively trying to seek out ways to do it myself- so your comment is unwarranted.

    i dont get why people like you spend the energy to do snarky cyber bully type remarks when you could use that same energy to help someone

    such a negative approach to life
  7. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Yes this is the only way as photoshop is about giving the photographer ultimate control with the creativity of the image.

    If you are looking at doing more fun additions to photo's in a similar manner then I would suggest looking for a more consumer orientated program. It will be a lot simpler but the effect will be a lot more easy to recreate by others.

    The benefit of photoshop is that you can fine tune so much that you can create lots of different interpretations where as the iPhone program you link can only do a few iterations of the effect.

    The reason this effect isn't so easily done in photoshop is probably because it's not a very professional effect and wouldn't be required by the pro's. If you want to achieve it it's not two hard about you can probably find some templates by searching "bokeh" on google.

    Take an image like this for example:


    Place it above your photo layer in PS and then play with the blending modes until you get something that looks more like it.

    That's the only way you are going to achieve the effect for free but I'm sure there are some plugins or templates that are available at a price.

    Hope that makes sense!
  8. righteye macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2011
    Topaz Labs have Lens effects and Star effects as a Photoshop plugin but they are based on something nearer a real lens effect and not random dots as your screenshot seems to show ( there should be a real highlight to work from not randomly applied effects)
    If your or original post had been handled as if you were talking to Adults and not someone in the playground i think the responses from other members might have been a bit more favourable.
  9. lucasgladding, Jul 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012

    lucasgladding macrumors 6502

    Feb 16, 2007
    Waterloo, Ontario
    @VideoNewbie: That's pretty much what the app is doing, but packaged as an "effect".

    I'm not sure I agree about Photoshop just being for professional use, though that does effect what is and isn't included from the factory. For things like this, you probably won't find a plugin because the effect is better packaged as a brush/action/etc. You'll need to do some work, but it won't be much (once you are familiar with the application), and you'll have control over the result.

    Here is one collection of brushes that might get you started:

    Mentioning Photoshop, especially criticizing it for not including a preset, invites responses like the ones you received. Unfortunately the legitimate comments/questions you're asking are very similar to the ones that come from "graphic designers" who just pirated Photoshop, learned how to add layer effects, and suddenly think they can compete for contracts. To be clear: I think you were being reasonable, but I understand where the snarky comments are coming from.

    PS: Now that you've given context, you probably won't have any more insults on this thread.

    Update: Re-reading your original post, there was some attitude (probably frustration) in the post that did contribute to the responses. Simply saying that you're new to Photoshop and can't figure out how to accomplish the effect would have avoided the issues. The entire post criticized Photoshop without acknowledging that you might be the problem.
  10. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    Doesn't the Iris Blur function in Photoshop CS6 Extended attempt to mimic a lens blur and create artificial bokeh?
  11. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I think the summary version is..... iPhone/iPad apps pre-package some tools that allow you to create a limited number of effects easily, and without having to learn anything too complicated.

    Photoshop gives you the tools you need to build your own effects, that you then apply to the images. Because of this you can build a virtually unlimited number of effects to apply... but only after you have taken the time to learn how to use the tools.

    "Professional" users don't necessarily mean "better"... it just means somebody who makes their living at something... and as such probably spends 6+ hours a day every day, week in and week out, using the tools and learning how to use them. You don't. If you are in school you are probably spending that time learning other tools. Not a judgement.... just a statement of (probable) facts.

    Your initial post was very judgemental - lots of words implying (and explicitly) calling Photoshop not as 'good' as iPhone apps. People who know Photoshop called you on it. Please excuse the lecture.... but one of the great lessons in life is how to ask for help without alienating those who can offer that help. [/lecture].

    This is a really helpful forum. Learn to use it well, and we can become a tool for you to use. Hmm.... that might not sound quite how I meant it... :)
  12. VideoNewbie thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2009

    Thanks but just to be clear i never implied that photoshop was not as "good" as iphone apps what i said was that the premade brushes and filters for photoshop dont seem to be as good.

    if i didnt think photoshop would be good i woudlnt be using it.
    i know it is much more powerful than an iphone app but i was having trouble working with it

    there are those who like to help and there are those who are just waiting to pounce on the opportunity to make a snide remark and cyber bully someone. i dont get these kinds of people especially since i made no personal attacks against anyone but whatever

    starting to get some real leads here so thanks to those of u who are actually willing to help

    looking into Topaz Labs as we speak
  13. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Software like instagram was really made to replicate popular effects. In a few years from now the popular ones today will look dated. Photoshop had its roots in desktop publishing. Anyway it's obviously become somewhat more mass market and much easier to use over the years. What's odd with the bokeh filter there is that it's not applying bokeh where you would have highlights or scaling it correctly. Pentagonal shutters (which would give you 5 sided bokeh) also aren't that common on modern camera lenses. You may to use an additional plugin or design the effect yourself. The power there is you can make it create pretty much anything. You can redraw such an image from scratch if you have the patience and some skill with the program. The point is that in some ways it's less powerful than something like instagram before you start to learn it. It grows more powerful as you become used to it. For any painting if you are forced to use a mouse, do yourself a favor and turn off mouse acceleration. From there mapping can be tuned to whatever makes you comfortable.
  14. Sebct macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2010
    London, UK.
    With CS6 master collection the model is included also. :rolleyes:
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Your title and then the 1st line:
    This sets the basic assumption that Photoshop can not do as much as an iPhone app. And the rest of your post is then interpreted in this light. Read through other posts I make in the digital photographer forum, and you'll see I offer a lot of help and don't bully. Heck - the 1st part of my last post was me trying to be helpful by explaining the packaging of tools vs giving you the means to create your own tools. I left the lecture to the end, to get the useful stuff out of the way first.

    I'm willing to move on and put this behind us if you are?
  16. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    There are some people who agree you working on PS Defaults, a kickstarter for a set of replacement defaults. They've got a free sample that is interesting. The sample includes a bunch of bokeh brushes that could help you do a technique like this.
  17. VideoNewbie thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2009

    yes ;)


    Thank you. how do i make this bokeh brush appear more 3 dimensional like the image i posted above?
    it only lets me paint the brush in flat one dimensional colors.


    after using topaz lens effects its not really giving me the bokeh or scattered sun flares that i am looking for.

    this program only lets you adjust light brightness contrast, and such things as creating prisms all great but not what i need....

    im downloading "Star effects" as we speak hopefully that will be better.

    any other reccs?
  18. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Looking at the picture you could recreate this effect by using gradients, brushes, and blend modes if you didn't want to use bokeh pics.

    It would take a little bit of time, not a ton but its doable.
  19. mgrayson, Jul 7, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012

    mgrayson macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2010
    Reread your thread title and opening sentence and see if that sounds like a request for help from experts. I confess that I didn't get any further before my quip. If that's the worst cheap shot someone takes at your expense, then you will lead a charmed life indeed.

    I actually find Heifitz's response to his admirer incredibly hostile, but the message is still an important one. It's what YOU do that matters, not what the tools do.

    Nevertheless, as you were overall asking for help, and I was unhelpful, I apologize.

    Good Luck,

  20. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    Take a look at the steps at
  21. VideoNewbie thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2009

    This is what i dont get.

    I understand Photoshop is a very powerful tool used by professionals capable of doing some really amazing things, things that simple apps wouldnt even begin to touch on
    i do understand this.

    but what i don't get is why if you try to replicate something that is easily done on an iphone app on photoshop that it takes a much longer time with much more considerable effort and in my case a less desirable result!

    on iphone i click one thing and it adds the bokeh lights. on photoshop i would have to use gradients,brushes, blend modes, filters and heck even take my own bokeh light pics for a very similar effect.

    ive tried at least 10 different brushes (all of which produce a one dimensional flat color) now along with 2 different Filter plugins by Topaz Labs and it still is not as good of an effect as the simple iphone app.

    the topaz labs star filter only adds flares and stars or whatever to areas of the photo that have a light source. i m not able to add custom flares and lights wherever i want. only to lights that only exist on the actual photo.

    the only reaosn i dont want to use the iphone app is because i want to work the image in photoshop , save at highest resolution, and also do other things in photoshop that the app cant do

    i wish somebody would just create a simple easy nice to use plugin for photoshop that works the same way those iphone apps do.

    im sure something like it exists i just dont know where or how to find it

  22. PantherCreek macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2011
    Dallas/Ft. Worth
    Photoshop just isn't about applying a filter, it's about digital manipulation. To have complete control over what you are doing.

    You could create an effect in PS, save it, and apply it to any photo you have to mimic your app better, but the work would need to be done first, just how the creators of the app you are using had to do.

    Learning how to use PS will make effects like the one pictured very easy, and once created you could just layer it over photos.

    If you're trying to learn PS, I would check out things like this.
  23. deep diver macrumors 65816

    deep diver

    Jan 17, 2008
    Solon, OH
    It looks to me like you decided what you want and how you want it, and now cannot understand why PS does not do it the way you want. You have gotten a lot of good feedback here that says you can, if you do the work, get the effect you want.

    As for "saving it in the highest resolution" -- the highest resolution at which an image can be saved is limited by the resolution of the original image. PS cannot increase the resolution of your iPhone snap. If that is what you are going for, then stick with the iPhone app. If you want to learn PS, then take the time to do it. A PS class might be a good idea.
  24. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar

    Photoshop isn't an instant fix kind of tool. If it had that capability almost no one would use it. Think of Photoshop more as a compositing type of image editor where you can build layers and layers of effects to come out with a finished result.

    If you had a hexagonal brush for example, you could make a layer, put some hexagons on it, lower the opacity (to make them look translucent), then make another layer, do the same thing only add a slight blur to them (notice how some hexagons are blurrier than others) and keep tweaking until you get the perfect result that you want. Photoshop is all about 100% control. The glow would be added by using a blend mode.

    For the lens flare, you can use a radial gradient in photoshop, place it wherever you like, use a blending mode to blend it into your image, and get the same effect.

    Honestly once you learn some Photoshop you'll see it is far more capable than an iPhone app any day and you'll understand why Photoshop doesn't do what the app does.

    Something that may get you closer to what you want is Pixelmator. They have a noise generator that does hexagons and bokeh and Pixelmator is a lot faster than Photoshop, and has some features Photoshop doesn't (like real time gradients, I wish PS had those).

    EDIT: Here is one on bokeh, its not hexagonal but it may give you some ideas:
  25. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2010

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