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You don't need the After Effects camera to apply lens blur or depth of field to a composition. The new Camera Lens Blur effect is optimized to apply soft focus characteristics to any 2D layer or composition. Here we have just a shot of some waves rolling into a rock. I'm going to apply the Camera Lens Blur effect and I could search for it here, but I know it's under Blur. There it is. I'll just double click it, and you'll see instantly that the image goes a little bit soft and there's also this black border around the edge.
I'm going to go ahead and crank up Blur Radius. So it's pretty heavy, so the image is defocused. Now when I raise the Blur Radius this high, the image looks quite defocused but this vignette like effect around the edges is more problematic. To get rid of that, I'm going to toggle Repeat Edge Pixels. Now I'd like to animate an effect of the shot coming into focus. To do that, I'll just set an initial keyframe for Blur Radius right here.
Twirl down to reveal that keyframe. I will go a few seconds in and bring the Blur Radius back down to 0. Let's take a look at the result. So this simple effect transforms the shot from a static rock in the water to what could be perhaps the opening shot of a scene. It creates some interest by first disguising what we're seeing and then revealing it. Any 2D image or composition can be made to look as if it was shot in soft focus with Camera Lens Blur.
Despite all the calculations required to produce the effect, it doesn't add the performance hit of some alternative effects that have been available in the past in After Effects.
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