Faking DoF without nodes

I don’t, as of yet, know properly how to use nodes to create DoF (Depth of Field). So I’ve thought of a simple way to fake DoF with only using a plane. My tests results turned out better than I thought they would.
… If someone already did this, or it’s not useful, well… Oh well for me, then…

*I do not know why the yellow ball’s reflection is like that.
*Note: I have not yet found a way to mask out the foreground.


not too bad!

Clever, but not really practicle…sometimes you need to blur a front object. How are you going to do that? Its easy to make blur in nodes + its even easier to control it. If you need a tutorial, let me know…I will give you one.

Take care

Not bad… but once you learn how to do it with nodes (REALLY easy now that we have a defocus node) you’ll realize that this is… well… unnecessary work to get a worse effect.

Nonetheless, I congratulate you on accomplishing this.:slight_smile:

This is quite interesting for me as i haven’t a clue about nodes yet - and find it quite confusing to be honest. What was your method?

I kinda figured that it wouldn’t be useful, I just thought of the idea and wanted to see if it’d work.

 This is quite interesting for me as i haven't a clue about nodes yet - and find it quite confusing to be honest. What was your method?

Well I used a huge plane, then put it right behind the object I wanted to be focus. I then set ray transparencies settings so the other objects could be visible. I set a tiny, tiny amount of gloss (about 0.95) to blur and defocus the spheres.


Oh, yeah, about the defocus node… I can’t find it, anywhere.

Here’s what you need to know:

Yeah, make sure to “unclick” the “Preview” button too in the defocus node (defocus node is the the Filter menu when are trying to add a new node if you can’t find it)

And then you can easely animate the “dof dist” value using the “i” key and placing your mouse above the editing menu (Camera options) and create some really cool/easy effects in a render!

All right, I figured it out. Thanks everyone!

this technique actually has some benefits to the node-based one. the edges are anti-aliased correctly, which can be really bothersome with the defocus node. it’s something to keep in mind for certain compositions. Thanks for sharing

True. Could be useful for that ‘2.5-D’ look, with definite foreground/background.

I think that the aliasing problem is solved in 2.46, with the option to turn on FSA


no, that only effects HDR renders and some z-transparency effects

I have some comparison renders to show the benefits and weaknesses of each method


notice the bleedover where the image intersects the focal plane. also, the green pixels on the bottom right edge of the red cube pop out when compared to the other method


The transitions are much smoother, but there is the problem of no foreground DOF. also, the result can be noisier in the blurred area. finally, the issue of rendertime is important as well. using the gloss DOF technique, it took 3 minutes 8 seconds. using nodes only took anout 30 seconds.

I just don’t think this technique should be dismissed because we can just use nodes to do DOF. there are some things that the nodes can do better (foreground, Speed, cleaner blurring) but the quality of the transitional areas using nodes has always been really difficult to work around. the gloss method has beautiful, correctly antialiased edges and can be more flexible.

Thank you for sharing this Wiiario. it’s a good technique that is really thinking outside the box.

Thanks. It’s not as useless as I thought, but yeah, it’s it’s only real use, like Blenditall said, would work for more 2.5D type stuff. I never thought of any real good uses this technique could be used for. But, I’m pretty surprised.

I just tried this technique and I think it’s very nice. Thanks for sharing.

I think it is a nice method for getting DOF. Thanks.