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Iris properties in CS5.5 and later

From: After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

Video: Iris properties in CS5.5 and later

In After Effects CS5 and earlier, the camera Depth of Field blur tended to calculate slowly, and didn't really look all that good. Well this changed as of After Effects CS5.5, where the camera now gained a large number of iris-related parameters. The iris being the opening in a camera, which determines the shape and quality of the blur. The default is Fast Rectangle, which is how After Effects CS5 and earlier looked. However, you now have a long list of different basic iris shapes, from ones that can be quite graphical, like Triangle, to once that are more similar to a real camera. Hexagon has six vein iris, Heptagon is a to seven vein iris, et cetera.

Iris properties in CS5.5 and later

In After Effects CS5 and earlier, the camera Depth of Field blur tended to calculate slowly, and didn't really look all that good. Well this changed as of After Effects CS5.5, where the camera now gained a large number of iris-related parameters. The iris being the opening in a camera, which determines the shape and quality of the blur. The default is Fast Rectangle, which is how After Effects CS5 and earlier looked. However, you now have a long list of different basic iris shapes, from ones that can be quite graphical, like Triangle, to once that are more similar to a real camera. Hexagon has six vein iris, Heptagon is a to seven vein iris, et cetera.

Hexagon is a good typical camera look. I'll take a snapshot of that for comparison. And go back to Fast Rectangle for comparison. Very much like a box blur compared to the more realistic Hexagon form. These various Blur parameters were both added to the Camera and also to a 2D effect called Camera Lens Blur. To explore these parameters, sometimes it can be faster to work with a 2D version of this blur, than to work in 3D space, which can be more computationally intensive.

So just for the sake of learning what these parameters do, I am going to open up a new composition, 05c-Camera Lens Blur*starter, and I am going to back to 1 View, make sure that I can see this at 100% magnification. Camera Lens Blur works particularly well when you have a lot have contrast, little highlights, like light sources, compared to an otherwise darker background. That's where you can really see nice Lens Blur patterns. I am going to select my 2D footage and apply Effect > Blur&Sharpen > Camera Lens Blur, as of After Effects CS5.5, this replaced the old lens blur effect, and apply it.

Now you see some nice circular highlights for these blurs. I'm going to increase the Blur Radius, so you can really see what's going on here. Now we can see some pretty large shapes, and for this effect I am going to turn on Repeat Edge Pixels. That means don't blur the alpha channel, just blur the RGB channels. You don't need to worry about this with a normal 3D Camera Blur. Now you have a much better view of what's happening with the different shapes. Triangle, which now has a very obvious shape to it. Square, and by the wa,y you can rotate, so you can be very graphical, such as this, or even animate it to create some interesting graphical effects. I'll return to 0 for now.

And other shapes up through Decagon, a 10-sided Iris, which is almost round. These more complex shapes attend to take longer to render then say the Fast Rectangle we had back with the 3D Camera. However, you can round these Shapes out. I am going to go back to something like, say, Pentagon, which is a five-sided shape, and play around with a Roundness parameter, where I can make it a completely perfect circle, or something in between with just a little bit of bowing to the sides of that Iris shape. You have Aspect Ratio. If you shoot with an anamorphic camera, your blurs tend to take on the different shapes, so you set that to match your pixel Aspect Ratio. And Diffraction Fringe, which is kind of a fun effect. Again, take a look at how nicely filled in these circles are.

As I increase Diffraction Fringe, you'll notice that the brightness tends to creep out more towards the outside of the circle, and it tends to be less bright or less luminance in the middle of the circle. Diffraction Fridge up to 0, Fridge of a maximum of 500. And again this is another path to a more graphical look, particularly as we try out larger Blur Radius settings, such as around there. Another area very much worth exploring in both the 2D Camera Lens Blur Effect and 3D Cameras is the highlight section. It's the ability to pump up the gain of specular highlights, brighter than they would normally be, which can give that extra pop in a scene.

The two main parameters are Gain and Threshold. I am going quite Gain up for now, now you see my bright circles getting even brighter. Threshold is very important as well. This says, above what luminance value do we brighten those highlights. Now with the 3D Camera this defaults to the highest value, 255 out of a 0 to 255 range, which means virtually no pixels qualified to be increased, or to have Gain applied to them. I far prefer the default value in the Cameras Lens Blur effect, which allows the top 20% or so of your luminous values to give this extra gain.

In the scene, which is predominantly dark, I might even lower it, so that more of my brights get pumped up by this Gain setting. Again that's Gain 0, Gain 100. As you increase Gain, you'll notice that these Highlights start moving towards white. If you want to get color back in these highlights, increase the Saturation parameter. I tend to like colorful, graphical looks, and don't worry all that much of about realism. So quite often I will increase the Saturation to get my color back in these highlights, and create them more colorful scene. And again before, and after, maxing out the Saturation setting.

Again, these Highlights settings and these Iris properties are identical between the Camera Lens Blur Effect applied to 2D Footage and 3D Cameras. And you'll see all these parameters down here in the Timeline Panel. The Cameras Lens Blur Effect has I one more advantage of allowing you to apply a Blur Map, and this way it becomes a compound blur effect, where you can look at another layer to decide what sections of this layer will receive the blur. We talked about compound effects in depth back in the lesson on testing and pre-composing compositions.

So that's Camera Lens Blur, and also Depth of Field Blur, in After Effects. Again, as of After Effects CS5.5, there was a major change in allowing you to have more control over how those blurs actually looked.

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This video is part of

Image for After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space
After Effects Apprentice 11: 3D Space

54 video lessons · 14582 viewers

Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer
Author

 
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  1. 4m 47s
    1. Welcome
      2m 47s
    2. Using the exercise files
      2m 0s
  2. 15m 12s
    1. Comparing 2D and 3D
      5m 30s
    2. Rotation in 3D
      4m 47s
    3. Keyframing in 3D
      4m 55s
  3. 15m 9s
    1. Multi-planing workaround in 2D
      3m 21s
    2. Using 3D views
      6m 45s
    3. Natural multi-planing in 3D
      5m 3s
  4. 13m 9s
    1. Keyframing a fly-in
      5m 24s
    2. Editing 3D motion paths
      5m 43s
    3. Auto-orienting a layer along its path
      2m 2s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. Adding a camera to a composition
      9m 0s
    2. Comparing camera presets
      2m 48s
    3. Using the camera tools with the active camera
      4m 48s
    4. Using the camera tools in the alternate views
      4m 50s
    5. 3D view options
      1m 58s
    6. Animating a 3D camera
      6m 20s
    7. Creating an orbit camera rig
      5m 42s
    8. Extending your camera rig
      4m 31s
    9. Auto-orientation with 3D cameras
      7m 33s
    10. Depth of field blur in CS5.5 and later
      5m 47s
    11. Controlling the focal plane in CS5.5 and later
      5m 12s
    12. Iris properties in CS5.5 and later
      6m 16s
  6. 29m 15s
    1. Creating a 3D light
      6m 35s
    2. Working with Point lights
      3m 20s
    3. Working with Spot lights
      3m 48s
    4. Creating shadows
      10m 13s
    5. The Light Falloff feature in After Effects CS5.5 and later
      5m 19s
  7. 48m 6s
    1. Enabling ray-traced 3D in CS6
      3m 26s
    2. Extrusions in CS6
      3m 39s
    3. Bevels in CS6
      5m 39s
    4. Bending layers in CS6
      5m 35s
    5. Transparency in CS6
      4m 20s
    6. Refraction in CS6
      4m 6s
    7. Targeting Surfaces in CS6
      3m 23s
    8. Reflections in CS6
      7m 35s
    9. Environment layers in CS6
      5m 40s
    10. Quality vs. speed in CS6
      4m 43s
  8. 11m 33s
    1. Quizzler challenge for CS6
      1m 42s
    2. Quizzler solution for CS6
      9m 51s
  9. 41m 6s
    1. Vanishing Point Exchange in Photoshop Extended
      9m 18s
    2. Vanishing Point Exchange in After Effects
      4m 38s
    3. Importing a 3D model into Photoshop Extended in CS5.5 and earlier
      9m 7s
    4. Creating 3D objects using Repoussé in CS5.5 and earlier
      9m 46s
    5. Live Photoshop 3D inside After Effects in CS5.5 and earlier
      8m 17s
  10. 20m 58s
    1. Introduction to dimensional stills
      3m 41s
    2. Cutting up the source image
      2m 25s
    3. Repairing the layers in Photoshop
      8m 26s
    4. Animating the resulting layers in After Effects
      6m 26s
  11. 25m 27s
    1. Rotation vs. orientation
      3m 15s
    2. Understanding the axis modes
      4m 4s
    3. Scaling issues in 3D
      4m 57s
    4. OpenGL acceleration in CS5 and earlier
      6m 23s
    5. Fast previews in CS6 and later
      6m 48s

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