Tutorials

How to Create a Bubble Brush in Photoshop 2021

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a bubble brush in Photoshop. I will explain everything in so much detail that everyone can create the brush, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time.

50 bubble photoshop brushes

What You Will Learn in This Bubble Brush Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to create brushes from scratch in Photoshop
  • How to create a bubble Photoshop brush
  • How to adjust brush settings in Photoshop
  • How to apply brushes to a photo

What You’ll Need

To recreate the design above, you will need the following resources:

1. How to Start Creating a Bubble Photoshop Brush

First, create a new file. To create a new file, go to File > New and set the Width and Height to 2500 px and the Resolution to 72 px/in.

creating new bubble brush Photoshop file

2. How to Create a Bubble Photoshop Brush

Step 1

In this section, we are going to create a bubble brush Photoshop add-on. Go to Layer > New > Layer to create a new layer and name it Bubble.

creating new layer

Step 2

Now choose the Ellipse Tool (U), click anywhere inside the canvas to create a new ellipse shape layer, and set the Width and Height to 1000 px. Then, set the Fill Solid Color to No Color, Stroke Solid Color to #4c4c4c, and Stroke Width to 20 px. After that, center this layer both vertically and horizontally on the canvas.

creating ellipse

Step 3

Right-click on this layer and choose Blending Options. Then, select and check the Outer Glow style and use the settings below:

adjusting blending options

Step 4

Now go to Layer > Layer Style > Create Layer to create a new layer using the layer style of the current layer.

creating new layer

Step 5

Select the Bubble’s Outer Glow layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate this layer. Then, press Control-E to merge this new layer with the one below.

duplicating layer

Step 6

Now go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 5 px.

adding gaussian blur filter

Step 7

Control-click on the Bubble layer thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. Then, go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to add a layer mask that reveals the selected area of the layer.

adding layer mask

Step 8

Now select the Bubble layer, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Gradient Fill to create a new gradient fill adjustment layer, name it Reflection_1, and use the settings below:

creating new gradient fill layer

Step 9

Double-click on this layer thumbnail and, using the Move Tool (V), click and drag anywhere inside the canvas to position the gradient fill as shown below.

positioning gradient fill

Step 10

Now Right-click on this layer and choose Rasterize Layer to rasterize it. Then, Alt-click on the layer mask of the Bubble’s Outer Glow layer and drag it over the layer mask of the Reflection_1 layer to replace it.

replacing layer mask

Step 11

Select the Bubble layer, go to Layer > New Fill Layer > Gradient Fill to create a new gradient fill adjustment layer, name it Reflection_2, and use the settings below:

creating new gradient fill layer

Step 12

Now Right-click on this layer and choose Rasterize Layer to rasterize it. Then, press Control-A on your keyboard to make a selection of the canvas, choose the Move Tool (V), and click on Align Bottom Edges to align this layer vertically. After that, go to Filter > Distort > Pinch and set the Amount to -100%.

adding pinch filter

Step 13

Position this layer with the coordinates X: 1250.5 px and Y: 1587.5 px. Then, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 10 px.

adding gaussian blur filter

Step 14

Now Alt-click on the layer mask of the Reflection_1 layer and drag it over the layer mask of the Reflection_2 layer to replace it. After that, change the Opacity of this layer to 80%.

adding layer mask

Step 15

Select the thumbnail of the Reflection_1 layer, go to Edit > Define Brush to define this shape as a brush, and name it Temp.

defining brush

Step 16

Now press B on your keyboard, Right-click anywhere inside the canvas, select the Temp brush, and hit Enter. Then go to Window > Brush and, in the Brush window, use the settings below:

adjusting brush settings

Step 17

To define this brush with new settings as a new brush, click on the top-right icon in the bottom-right corner of the Brush panel, and name it Bubble Brush.

defining new brush

3. How to Apply Your Bubble Brush to a Photo

Step 1

In this section, we are going to apply the bubble brush to a photo.

First, open the photo that you want to work with by going to File > Open, choosing your photo, and clicking Open. Then, press Control-Shift-N on your keyboard to create a new layer, choose the Brush Tool (B), pick the Bubble Brush brush, set the foreground color to #ffffff, and brush over your photo. Feel free to use a different brush size and settings. After that, name this layer Bubbles.

brushing into layer

Step 2

Now change the Blending Mode of this layer to Overlay. Then, press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate this layer. After that, change the Blending Mode of this new layer to Normal and the Opacity to 50%, and name it Bubbles_Intensity.

duplicating layer

Step 3

Select the Bubbles layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate it. Then, drag this new layer just below the Bubbles layer in the Layers panel. After that, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 5 px, and change the Blending Mode of this layer to Linear Dodge (Add), set the Opacity to 50%, and name it Bubbles_Glow.

duplicating layer

You Made It!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! You’ve learned how to create a bubble brush in Photoshop. Here is our final result:

final result

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