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Creating depth of field in a composition

From: Motion 5 Essential Training

Video: Creating depth of field in a composition

Enabling depth of field will take your projects from "Hey, that looks pretty cool" to "Oh my goodness! Look at that!" Last I checked that's a pretty good thing, because honestly, any little thing you can do to add polish to your animations will help set you apart. Now if we look at our project here, you can see it's a very basic project. All it is, we have the camera and then we have three objects in our scene and then one object that's kind of laying lengthwise down the side of our scene here.

Creating depth of field in a composition

Enabling depth of field will take your projects from "Hey, that looks pretty cool" to "Oh my goodness! Look at that!" Last I checked that's a pretty good thing, because honestly, any little thing you can do to add polish to your animations will help set you apart. Now if we look at our project here, you can see it's a very basic project. All it is, we have the camera and then we have three objects in our scene and then one object that's kind of laying lengthwise down the side of our scene here.

Now, depth of field is going to add just a little bit more interest to what's going on here, because right now I've got her name in the background, which is pretty large and dominant, and I've also got her standing here. And yes, we do have some leading lines that draw our eyes to this general area, but there's no dominance as to whether I should be looking at Jess or her name or the graphic or whatever. So the depth of field is going to help lead people to that. To enable depth of field, make sure the Camera layer is selected and then in the Inspector, go to the Camera section.

In there we have Depth of Field underneath the Camera Controls. So make sure to go to the right side of the bar and say Show if you're not already seeing these options. Now the fastest way to see depth of field is to just crank up the Depth of Field Blur Amount. I am going to crank this up to around 75 and just wait a second see what happens. See, depth of field is rather processor intensive. So notice the second I dragged that, it took a minute or two and notice it's still blurring.

Now, we've got this cool blur, but how do we know what's in focus and what isn't? That's when you start adjusting the Near Focus and the Far Focus. So if I drag the Near Focus to the right, notice this yellow line that pops out to letting me know that focus is now starting to move back closer towards my camera. That's the near plane of focus. We can do the same thing with Far Focus; if we just click and drag, it starts dragging out to the right. Now we are doing little bit of a faux pas here in that we are actually using the perspective view to figure out how the focal plane lines up with our objects. And to be quite truthful, you very rarely, if ever, want to do that.

Most of the times when you do things like this you want to go ahead and lay things out from a perspective that doesn't really have perspective, like the top. These are called orthographic views. Now in the top area here notice I have my camera and I have its angle of view, its focal plane, its Near Focus, and its Far Focus. It's pretty straightforward. Well, if I want to adjust, let's say, do kind of a rack-focus here, the parameter that you want to look at moving is Focus Offset.

Notice as I drag that back to the left, it's now bringing the focus closer back to the camera. Now if we drag this back out to the right, you notice we can set focus to be significantly farther along. So all the while you have to wait for the refresh to happen. Now if you're having issues waiting for this refresh to happen, you can go in under your Render Settings and change the quality from Best to Normal. A lot of times that will definitely help with speed. So if I were to try and create a rack-focus right now, what I would typically adjust is the Focus Offset.

If I drag this back to left, again it's going to bring sharpness to the front part of my image. Now this option here, Filter, as you are first working and your kind getting your depth of field settings set, you want to leave this set to Gaussian. But if you think you are going to be away from your computer for a little while and you know you've got a little time for render, go ahead and change Gaussian to Defocus before you do your final output. So if we further analyze the camera and its depth-of-field settings, you'll notice that now I've got Jess kind of sharp here in the front and now this background color line is still leading our eyes over towards Jess, but since her name is out of focus and that's slightly out of focus, it's not nearly as distracting.

Now obviously you can see how to keyframe each one of these parameters just by clicking on the Add keyframe button, but there is an actual behavior that's set up to help do rack-focuses as well and we will explore that later in the chapter. But it's really important, before you start getting into camera behaviors and other things like that, you have to understand exactly how to view the camera and what elements you are actually looking for when you're attempting to make adjustments.

So again, if you want to draw your attention to a specific area of the image without necessarily having to redesign everything, you might want to consider enabling Depth of Field.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Motion 5 Essential Training
Motion 5 Essential Training

77 video lessons · 26358 viewers

Ian Robinson
Author

 
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  1. 14m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Learning important definitions
      8m 13s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 37s
    4. Relinking missing media
      3m 22s
  2. 49m 41s
    1. Launching Motion for the first time
      4m 3s
    2. Navigating the interface
      9m 27s
    3. Creating and transforming objects in the Canvas
      6m 9s
    4. Controlling the Timing pane
      6m 29s
    5. Setting essential preferences
      6m 41s
    6. Customizing the keyboard
      5m 5s
    7. Using RAM preview and audio controls to get smooth preview playback
      5m 26s
    8. Introducing markers and audio
      6m 21s
  3. 26m 9s
    1. Adding assets to a project
      7m 56s
    2. Using the Library
      6m 4s
    3. Working with layers and groups
      6m 9s
    4. Understanding and using blend modes
      6m 0s
  4. 31m 15s
    1. Adding and adjusting behaviors
      7m 5s
    2. Adding multiple behaviors
      6m 31s
    3. Trimming and sliding behaviors
      8m 40s
    4. Using custom presets to create a slideshow
      8m 59s
  5. 29m 49s
    1. Animating manually using keyframes
      7m 49s
    2. Using the Record button
      6m 28s
    3. Manipulating keyframes with the Keyframe Editor
      10m 9s
    4. Combining keyframes and behaviors
      5m 23s
  6. 52m 33s
    1. Adding and formatting text
      7m 50s
    2. Using text styles
      10m 36s
    3. Formatting with the Transform Glyph tool
      5m 33s
    4. Animating text
      11m 17s
    5. Working with text on a path
      8m 16s
    6. Creating credit rolls
      9m 1s
  7. 31m 19s
    1. Match Move: Four-corner pin
      7m 25s
    2. Match Move: Transform
      11m 27s
    3. Stabilization
      5m 4s
    4. Retiming footage with behaviors
      7m 23s
  8. 16m 42s
    1. Applying and adjusting filters
      4m 18s
    2. Applying multiple filters
      7m 32s
    3. Timing a style with filters
      4m 52s
  9. 33m 35s
    1. Creating and adjusting shapes
      10m 7s
    2. Using shape behaviors
      7m 40s
    3. Creating and adjusting masks
      10m 47s
    4. Creating masks with objects
      5m 1s
  10. 34m 3s
    1. Using the keyer to composite green screen footage
      7m 28s
    2. Refining a key
      11m 6s
    3. Using masks to refine a green screen composite
      7m 54s
    4. Color-correcting elements to match within a green screen composite
      7m 35s
  11. 50m 2s
    1. Understanding generators
      4m 52s
    2. Applying text generators
      5m 41s
    3. Creating particle systems
      5m 49s
    4. Making adjustments to a particle system
      7m 33s
    5. Using particle behaviors
      5m 18s
    6. Creating paint strokes
      6m 58s
    7. Animating paint strokes
      4m 57s
    8. Using the Replicator
      5m 1s
    9. Replicating video
      3m 53s
  12. 47m 28s
    1. Viewing a scene in different layouts
      7m 17s
    2. Working with lights
      8m 12s
    3. Adjusting lighting and reflectivity
      9m 13s
    4. Creating and adjusting shadows
      4m 3s
    5. Creating replicators in 3D
      7m 50s
    6. Creating particles in 3D
      5m 7s
    7. Creating text in 3D
      5m 46s
  13. 42m 14s
    1. Working with cameras
      9m 3s
    2. Creating depth of field in a composition
      4m 55s
    3. Using camera behaviors
      9m 53s
    4. Create interest with the Focus behavior
      7m 26s
    5. Animating cameras with camera framing
      10m 57s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Adding and adjusting audio
      9m 29s
    2. Adding audio markers
      7m 7s
  15. 17m 37s
    1. Sharing files
      6m 58s
    2. Creating a pre-render
      7m 5s
    3. Archiving a project
      3m 34s
  16. 26m 5s
    1. Creating drop zones
      4m 21s
    2. Setting up rigs: Slider rigs
      6m 56s
    3. Setting up rigs: Pop-up rigs
      4m 49s
    4. Making templates for Motion
      4m 3s
    5. Making templates for Final Cut Pro
      5m 56s
  17. 1m 32s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 32s

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