Distance - Blur in Cycles

I know, basically, how to set the distance via the camera however I can’t quite figure for the life of me how to give it a blur / smudge you see in distance shots.

Not a terrible lot but even to convey that the chair which will on the other side of the sugar bowl would be behind the table


I believe you’re talking about depth of field: http://www.blenderguru.com/creating-depth-of-field/ (Outdated but still the same principal)

you won’t do that in cycles.
Go to the cameratab, increase the aperture (a little bit) and set the focal distance to the desired point. (If you turn on ‘limits’, the focal point will be indicated by a yellow cross in the viewport)

Depth of field in Cycles is quite easy:

form the manual:

Aperture Type
Method with which to specify the size of the camera opening through which light enters. With Radius the radius of the opening can be specified, while F/Stop specifies the size relative to the camera focal length, a measure more common in photography. Their relation is: aperture radius = focal length / (2 f-stop) Aperture Size Also called lens radius. If this is zero, all objects will appear in focus, while larger values will make objects farther than the focal distance appear out of focus. Aperture F/Stop Also called F-number or relative aperture. Lower numbers give more depth of field; higher numbers give a sharper image. Aperture Blades If this setting is 3 or more, a polygonal-shaped aperture will be used instead of a circle, which will affect the shape of out of focus highlights in the rendered image. Aperture Rotation Rotation of the Aperture Blades. Focal Distance Distance at which objects are in perfect focus. Alternatively, an object can be specified whose distance from the camera will be used.

You can still do it, it just isnt the preferred method…

Wow, I didn’t know you don’t have to use the defocus node anymore, now it would definitely be simpler. Sorry for the inaccurate info.