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Re: Depth of Field Issues - Maya, Arnold and After Effects Zblur

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Ingram Blakelock
Re: Depth of Field Issues - Maya, Arnold and After Effects Zblur
on Feb 22, 2017 at 3:14:35 pm



I'm having an issue with After Effects and creating a nice smooth depth of field blur - what I'm asking for might be impossible but it's exactly the sort of problem that someone must have dealt with before. In this image above you can see clearly the bottle in the foreground is blurred heavily but the outline of it is extremely strong.



I'd like to create a very specific effect with heavily blurred foreground and background with a creamy bokeh but I can only achieve it by setting the plane of focus a long way away from either point (at the moment it's in the middle of the image). So I can either have creamy background bokeh or creamy foreground bokeh, not both. I've tried various ways of compositing the two together, even with a third focused layer but it comes out a complete mess. I've tried to get this effect with several different Zblur effects and so far no luck.

The software I'm using is Arnold within Maya if that helps.



Z Depth info - 32 bit float



Current focal distance.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Depth of Field Issues - Maya, Arnold and After Effects Zblur
on Feb 22, 2017 at 7:53:50 pm

What effect are you using in AE? ZBlur is a node in Nuke, but I don't know of an After Effects effect called that.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Ingram Blakelock
Re: Depth of Field Issues - Maya, Arnold and After Effects Zblur
on Feb 22, 2017 at 7:56:51 pm

I have tried using the inbuilt Camera Lens Blur and Sapphires entire range of Z-blur options - playing around with all the settings to try and get something to work. I even tried Nuke out to see if I could get a better result but a similar issue appeared (although I think it managed it better than AE).


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Depth of Field Issues - Maya, Arnold and After Effects Zblur
on Feb 22, 2017 at 8:30:05 pm

Oh, Sapphire effects! I've heard good things. ☺ (Well, about the tools - not the pricing.)

You might consider precomping your depth pass. Then, inside the precomp, apply the Tri-Tone effect with white on both ends and black in the middle (or vice-versa).

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Ingram Blakelock
Re: Depth of Field Issues - Maya, Arnold and After Effects Zblur
on Feb 22, 2017 at 8:35:56 pm

I believe I found the solution - at least it improves things an awful lot - however it requires another 3rd party piece of software to do best (although apparently you can achieve a similar effect using built in effects).



Here is the link to the video which solved my issue - essentially what you need to do is apply a very specific soft blurring effect to the edge of the sharper parts of the depth pass. Using a regular blur won't work it has to be offset by a negative vector blur to make it work.


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Ingram Blakelock
Re: Depth of Field Issues - Maya, Arnold and After Effects Zblur
on Feb 22, 2017 at 8:37:58 pm

Oh and thanks Micheal for replying so quickly - this is my first time posting on Creative Cow but I've been taking advice from here for many years!


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Depth of Field Issues - Maya, Arnold and After Effects Zblur
on Feb 22, 2017 at 8:46:11 pm

You're welcome! I'm glad you've found a workaround.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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