When capturing photos, it is often desirable to place the area behind a subject out of focus. The Japanese word bokeh is used to describe the aesthetic nature of the blur that is produced in these out-of-focus areas. Traditionally, to achieve this effect, it often takes a high-quality lens and involves shooting at a wide-open aperture like ƒ2.0.

To simulate this effect and allow it to be used on most portrait photos LuminarAI offers the Portrait BokehAI Tool. It works on just about any portrait image – regardless of the lens used or the lighting conditions.


When you adjust this slider, artificial intelligence recognizes people in the frame, including those in groups or unusual positions, and creates an initial mask that separates them from the background. Then, by moving this slider, you adjust the amount of blur in the background.

Brush Control

In most cases, the initial mask created by the Amount slider is ready to use. If you want to refine the initial mask, use these controls. This can be useful to refine complex masks, for example, adding an object held in your portrait subject’s hands.

These brushes refine the mask:

  • Focus. Used to define the active area of the mask. The parts of the image that are selected will remain in focus.
  • Defocus. Used to identify areas as the background and to remove focus in this area.
  • Restore. Painting with this brush reverts back to the original automatically generated mask in the areas where a stroke is applied. It is useful if you want to restore an area to the default selection that was originally created.

These controls refine the brush you use to refine your mask.

  • Radius. Adjusts the size of your brush.
  • Softness. Adjusts the softness of the effect by feathering the edges of the brush.
  • Opacity. Sets the opacity of the brush.
[ Decrease the brush radius
] Increase the brush radius
Shift + [ Decrease the brush softness
Shift + ] Increase the brush softness
X Toggle between Focus and Defocus mode when editing


The Background controls help you refine the quality of the bokeh or background blur. These are essential controls to be adjusted to match your personal taste.

  • Brightness. Controls the overall exposure of the background. You can lighten or darken the background to further offset your subject.
  • Highlights Glow. Adjusts the brightness of the brightest areas of the background adding a soft glow.
  • Depth Correction. Controls where the out-of-focus area begins in a photo. Moving this slider to the left sets it closer to the camera and to the right moves it further away. As a result, the bokeh effect appears stronger or weaker.
  • Edges Correction. Used to expand or contract the soft edges of the mask; useful for adjusting the fine details in a mask, like hair.

Need more help with this?
Skylum Customer Service

Was this helpful?

Yes No
You indicated this topic was not helpful to you ...
Could you please leave a comment telling us why? Thank you!
Thanks for your feedback.