Depth of Field

The depth of field effect simulates image blurring of photographs. Cameras (except the pinhole camera) use a certain aperture for exposing the image to the film. Therefore, rays coming from different parts of the scene can expose the same point on the film. The greater the aperture, the more blur the photograph will contain.

The effect has the following controls:

  • Camera defined: If set, the amount of depth of field blur is defined by the settings of the current camera (focal length, F-stop, focusing distance). Experienced photographers can estimate the amount of blur from the camera properties. Other users may find it more suitable to clear this option and use the other settings listed below to directly control the effect.

Camera defined depth of field for view rendering

1. Go to the Post Image Effects tab. Drag and drop the post image you find suitable to the view window (for example 'Default Effects').

2. Open the property window to see the properties of the above mentioned post image. Make sure that a 'depth of field' object is included in the active effects. If not, add one to the active effects (you may first have to create a depth of field effect using the 'New' popup menu of the select window). Select the depth of field effect and verify from the property window that 'Camera defined' is set.

3. Open the view property window. Go to the Camera tab and set the Depth of Field option. Close the window and render the view. You can adjust the amount of blur from the F-Stop gadget of the view property window. The smaller the value, the more blur. Typical real world F-stop values range from 1.8 to 22.

The post effect configuration includes Camera defined depth of field and the view has Depth of field enabled

Camera defined depth of field for file rendering

1. Go to the Post Image Effects tab. Select the post image you plan to use for file rendering (for example 'Default Effects'). Open the property window to see the properties of the post image. Make sure that a 'depth of field' object is included in the 'Active Effects'. If not, add one to the active effects. Select the depth of field effect and verify from the property window that 'Camera defined' is set.

2. Go to the Geometric Objects tab of the Select window. Make sure that there is a camera object included in the scene. If not, create one using the camera tool. Select the current camera object from the hierarchy (or all of them in case you are using multiple cameras for animation). Go to the Camera tab of the property window and set the 'Depth of Field' option. Close the property window.

The scene contains a camera, which has Depth of field option set. File rendering uses a post processing configuration Default Effects, which includes a Camera defined depth of field effect.

3. Open the file rendering window. Prepare settings as usual, but remember to select the post processing configuration which includes the depth of field effect. Render as usual.

Custom depth of field for view rendering

1. Go to the Post Image Effects tab. Drag and drop the post image you find suitable to the view window (for example 'Default Effects').

2. Open the property window to see the properties of the selected post image. Make sure that a 'depth of field' object is included in the 'Active Effects'. If not, add one to the active effects (create a new one using the 'New' popup menu of the select window if necessary). Select the depth of field effect and clear the 'Camera defined' option using the property window.

3. Render the view. Note that a strong depth of field effect may take a long time to render, so it may be a good idea to use 'Render/Define render box' menu of the view popup menu to render suitable test areas only. Adjust the 'Depth of Field' attributes from the property window and re-render (or post process only if backup buffer is enabled) until the result is suitable.

Note that you do not have to pay attention to the view property window's 'Depth of field' option in this case.

Custom depth of field for file rendering

1. Go to the Post Image Effects tab. Select the post image you plan to use for file rendering (for example 'Default Effects'). Open the property window to see the properties of the post image. Make sure that a 'depth of field' object is included in the 'Active Effects'. If not, add one to the configuration. Select the depth of field effect and clear the 'Camera defined' option using the property window.

2. Open the file rendering window. Select the post processing configuration, which includes the depth of field effect prepared above, to the 'Effect/Box' field.

3. Render as usual.