How to Create Vignette Effect Effectively in Photoshop

Vignette is a popular photo effect that have the power to construct viewer to focus more into the subject by giving a nice soft and gradual fade effect with the background. There many ways to create vignette effect but I prefer only this method since it gave me more control and non-destructive to the photo.

This is a simple Photoshop Tutorial on how you can create vignette effect effectively in Photoshop. Enjoy!

1. Open Image

Open your image in Adobe Photoshop. In this tutorial I use Photoshop CS4
How to Create Vignette Effect in Photoshop - Step 1

2. Duplicate Image

Control + J to duplicate the image or Right Click > Duplicate. You can rename new layer as Vignette or whatever you like. Doesn’t matter.
How to Create Vignette Effect in Photoshop - Step 2

3. Adjust Image Exposure

Click on the Vignette Layer and then goto Images > Adjusments > Curves
How to Create Vignette Effect in Photoshop - Step 2

Move Curves slider down to darken area. You can control your output background by moving and playing with Curves silder.
How to Create Vignette Effect in Photoshop - Step 3

Now you will have an underexpose image. Check for pixel details. You don’t want your image to be too dark and almost black.
How to Create Vignette Effect in Photoshop - Step 4

4. Add Layer Mask

Add Layer Mask to Vignette layer and then make a oval selection as shown by using Elliptical Marquee Tool.
How to Create Vignette Effect in Photoshop - Step 5

Click on Layer Mask and Paint your oval selection with Black
How to Create Vignette Effect in Photoshop - Step 6

5. Add Gaussian Blur

Now goto to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
How to Create Vignette Effect in Photoshop - Step 5

Move slider to the right and control your final output.
How to Create Vignette Effect in Photoshop - Step 5

6. Vignette Effect done!

You are done. This how the result looks like.

Original:
How to Create Vignette Effect in Photoshop - Original

With Vignette Effect:
How to Create Vignette Effect in Photoshop - Result

About Author
Juan Harris is a Web Designer, Photographer and Blogger at Cariblogger.com. He love to daydreaming while drinking fruit juice.

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  • http://blogreaction.com/ Aaron

    Very neat Cari. I’ve always wondering if there was a quick way to do this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cari

    This is my favourite ways creating vignette. Hope it helps.

  • http://atlantaportraitart.com/family-portrait/ Wallace

    What a great suggestion about how to combine darkening and blurring in one step! I also like the increased creative control provided by using curves. Thanks for sharing this technique!

    • Cari

      It will create a nice soft edge for vignette

  • http://emediat.com Emediat

    Simple and nice!

    • Cari

      Thanks dude! Glad you like it.

  • Joshua

    Thank you for the post! Your photoshop technique was great. I love the end result.

    • Cari

      Thanks Joshua.

  • http://technicallyeasy.net Paul

    Gert post, thanks for the tutorial. I’m guessing you can control how dark you want the vignette to be by either through the curves adjustment, or using the opacity option for the layer?

    • Cari

      You can use both curves & opacity :)

  • http://www.article-elf.com/ forex robot

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  • http://www.home-theatre-systems.net HD Guy

    Very good tutorial, the vignette effect looks great

  • http://www.expertulpc.com Marty

    Great tutorial, love it

  • http://www.larissaphotography.com/blog TJ McDowell

    Also, this effect can (and often is) way overdone. More vignette does not mean a better image. Usually the best vignettes are not even something you conciously think about when you look at an image. Just my 2 cents.

    • Cari

      It depends on how much effect or post processing that you & your client prefer. This is just a simple tutorial on how I create my vignette effect

  • ntar

    hi, i was having trouble with step 4. On the Layer Mask part. Kindly bare with me im new. What do you mean when i click on Layer mask? and How do i paint it. Thanks in Advance.

  • Cari

    Refer step 4 screenshots. Select that layer named Vignette and then click at Layer Mask Symbol.

    Then create an oval selection, fill it with black color using Paint Bucket Tool.

  • Melody

    Hi I was wondering if you knew how to add a vignette that uses the colors of the four corners of the picture to make a four colored vignette. Thank you.

    • Cari

      You can just darken your vignette layer using level to preserve colors.

  • Chad

    I think I missed a part between 5 and 6… after adding the blur i still end up with an lightly colored oval in the middle of the screen..

    • Cari

      You have to select the layer before applying blur effect on it

  • http://trevormcinsley.blogspot.com Trevor Mcinsley

    Why is that child trying to tear its face off?

    Are there ants under its skin?

  • http://bit.ly/Vgen joseph

    I made photoshop actions for making vignettes, you can download it free on deviantart: http://bit.ly/Vgen