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Depth of field on just one layer

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Chris Marker
Depth of field on just one layer
on Oct 25, 2010 at 9:58:19 pm

Hey guys,

is there any way to turn the depth of field off for some layers and keep it for the rest?


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Depth of field on just one layer
on Oct 26, 2010 at 1:57:58 pm

I don't know of any way to do that using the in-camera DOF, but you could set a blur effect on all of your layers with an expression to set the blur amount to be relative to the distance to the camera and turn it off on the layers you don't want to be blurred.

Why would you want to turn off the depth of field on a layer in the first place? It seems to be something you wouldn't want to do. It sorta destroys the illusion of 3d.

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Walter Soyka
Re: Depth of field on just one layer
on Oct 26, 2010 at 11:38:42 pm

Without any other tools, you'd have to do a lot of duplication, precomping, and masking to achieve this directly in After Effects.

A couple third-party tools would make this very easy.

You can use Digieffects Depth to generate a depth map for your layer, and then use Frischluft LensCare with your footage and the depth map to simulate DoF.

Walter Soyka
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Eric Kirk
Re: Depth of field on just one layer
on Mar 24, 2011 at 6:48:22 pm

I am actually about to purchase Depth by Digieffects. It looks pretty cool. Any comments on how well it performs?

Also, I know it is commonly used for background blur and that type thing but I am actually more interested in using it with Trapcode Form. More specifically, I want to figure out how to create the effect used in Terminator Salvation that Aharon Rabinowitz talks about in this Trapcode Form tutorial:

In the video above he mentions how he was inspired by the Terminator shown in this short clip below:

I am wondering if Depth can be used in this manner and even more importantly, does anyone know more specifically how it was used? It would be great to see a tutorial on this.



Eric D. Kirk

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