August 26, 2010

64-bit Alien Skin Bokeh filter now shipping

People sometimes ask for a faster, easier-to-control version of Photoshop’s venerable Lens Blur filter.  Alien Skin’s just-released Bokeh 2.0 is a great answer, providing fast on-image control, compatibility with both Photoshop and Lightroom, and interesting creative effects like spiral blurs.  I’ve just taken it for a spin and am impressed.

 

Bokeh costs $199. See their press release for more details.

Posted by John Nack at 11:38 AM on August 26, 2010

Comments

  • Glyn Dewis — 12:04 PM on August 26, 2010

    I must admit until now I’ve resisted any form of faux lens blur filters, but am very tempted to give this a closer look.

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’ John,
    Cheers,
    Glyn

  • Craig — 12:17 PM on August 26, 2010

    I just upgraded yesterday. It’s way faster than Lens Blur and it works with Smart Objects. PS Lens Blur does not. Also they have great support. I had an activation issue and they responded and fixed it almost immediately.

    The downside to the filter is that it does not use a PS vignetted or soft mask properly. It threshold’s the soft mask creating a hard line at about 50%. So for creating a true progressive depth of field effect by filtering through a mask – Photoshop Lens Blur wins hands down. I still can’t wait ’till Adobe multithread’s Lens Blur! Hint hint.

  • BJN — 12:50 PM on August 26, 2010

    Thanks for the link, Craig. I agree that the filter is too expensive and I think depth map capability is a no-brainer must-have for a focus effects plugin.

    I’m all for plugins and other third party tools for Adobe apps, but I’ve been put off by high prices and very slow updates/upgrades to keep pace with the latest CS versions. It seems that the ecosystem for plugins is losing species and habitat. Perhaps it’s the 18-month or less Adobe release cycle. Perhaps it’s not profitable enough to develop and support good filters at a reasonable price. And it’s a dicey business proposition to sell something like HDR or stitching that eventually gets done well enough in the basic app.

    • Craig — 1:11 PM on August 26, 2010

      Actually I think that the filter is well worth the price. PS Lens Blur is so slow on large files it’s almost unusable. So if you’re just going for a cool effect buy Bokeh. If you need the depth mask then use Lens Blur and plan on processing the file while you’re at lunch!

      Also, I tested Bokeh against other filters and it was the only one that had the image quality of PS Lens Blur. Of course that was a couple of years ago and things move quickly.

  • Zev — 4:31 PM on August 26, 2010

    This looks fantastic. I do miss the ability to use feathered masks but there’s other solutions for that.

    Wish PS’s bult in Lens Blur worked more like this.

  • Andi — 9:16 AM on August 28, 2010

    Craig, the best filter to add depth of field is this:

    http://www.frischluft.com/lenscare/index.php

    it’s more realistic than the Adobe one and works in CS5 on a Mac.

    • Craig — 7:23 AM on September 02, 2010

      Andi – Doesn’t look like it work in PS on a mac. Too bad.

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