Depth of Field Generator PRO is the result of ongoing research, development and programming collaboration between Richard Rosenman and Martin Vicanek in an effort to produce a Photoshop® compliant plugin capable of delivering high quality, sophisticated Depth of Field and Bokeh effects quickly and efficiently as a post process.
Depth Of field (DOF) is the amount of distance between the nearest and furthest objects that appear in acceptably sharp focus as seen by a camera lens. This field varies with the focal length of the lens, its f-stop setting, and the wavelength of light.
Depth of field is heavily used in photography, film and computer graphics as a creative element, in typical examples ranging from portraiture to macro photography. In photography, DOF is governed by three factors: aperture, lens focal length and shooting distance. Many consumer class cameras, however, do not provide sufficient and independent control of these parameters. Digital cameras, in particular, usually show a wide depth of field - i.e. they are more tolerant to defocus effects. While this may be welcome in some instances (e.g. snapshot applications), it is often a serious deficiency in others (e.g. portraiture/macro photography). In computer graphics, physically accurate DOF can be effectively generated using complex raytracing techniques that tend to increase rendering times significantly. As a result, computer generated broadcast, print and film production often lacks DOF as a consequence of the lengthy calculation times.
Depth of Field Generator PRO is available in two versions. v1.5 is intended for photographers and digital artists who require DOF processing on single frames only with a limited featureset. v3.0 is intended for photographers, digital artists and production studios who require DOF processing for animation, video, film and print, or for those who wish to have additional DOF control using v3.0's advanced features.
The term "Bokeh", which in Japanese literally means "blurring", has been introduced into the film, photography and computer graphics industries to describe the out-of-focus blur characteristics. It is determined mainly by the shape of the camera lens and can be best seen on out-of-focus highlights which assume the shape of the lens aperture. A lens with few aperture diaphragm blades (say 5) tends to produce pentagonal highlights, whereas a lens with more aperture blades (say 7-8) tends to produce rounder (heptagonal/octagonal) highlights. Ultimately, a higher number of aperture blades will produce more circular highlights.
Depth of Field Generator PRO features numerous modes of operation to suit virtually any requirement. In its most powerful mode, DOF PRO uses a specified depth map to derive an accurate DOF effect. A Depth Map is a greyscale image where the grey level at any given point represents the distance of the object from the camera at the same point in the original image. Most 3D Computer Graphics applications are easily capable of producing depth maps along with the rendered image. For photographic images, the user has to create the depth map manually which can be greatly facilitated through the use of the filter's powerful gradient features. DOF PRO v3.0 can not only accept single frame source and depth maps, but also animated sequences in a wide variety of file formats.
Why Depth of Field Generator PRO? Naturally occurring depth of field has extremely complex optical characteristics. It cannot be simply simulated through the use of a standard blur filter. Lens size, subject distance, aperture shape, lens curvature, film grain, spherical aberration, lens asymmetry, transparency, light refraction, motion blur and much more must be taken into account in order to achieve an accurate and convincing depth of field effect. A simple gaussian blur is one of the least effective methods of reproducing a believable DOF effect. In addition, a competent DOF filter must also have additional features for dealing with unavoidable post-processing artefacts such as edge management controls, depth map aliasing tools, and highlight enhancement functions. DOF PRO carefully takes into consideration all of these aspects in order to produce the highest quality depth of field output possible.
Depth of Field Generator PRO comes with an impressive featureset to meet today's creative industry requirements. v1.5 and v3.0 now feature completely new and improved highlight preservation algorithms as well as new and improved Bokeh visibility algorithms. Various automatic depth map generation and modification tools are available to assist artists in the creation of hand-made depth maps. Numerous aperture shapes are available, each with the ability to control it's size, angle, curvature and even aberration (v3.0). Custom aperture maps have been implemented in DOF PRO v3.0 allowing the artist to create his or her own aperture shapes resulting in unlimited flexibility and control over your Bokeh effects. Support for all common graphics file formats including .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff, .tga has now been included in v3.0 allowing DOF PRO to be easily integrated into your studio pipeline. A powerful grain generation engine has been developed for v3.0 to assist in the realistic simulation of today's digital imaging pixel noise effects often present in both photographic and monte-carlo raytraced images. Industry-standardized keyframing complete with editable function curves has been introduced in v3.0 allowing the artist to freely animate any / all sliders. This allows common effects such as focus sweeps to be performed easily and professionally with very little setup time required. The interface for v3.0 has been greatly improved and most effects now offer realtime visualization including aperture display, grain representation, function curve updates and slider animation. The aperture size limit has been significantly extended in v3.0 to further assist print and film studio production houses. A highly advanced rendering console provides the artist with detailed status messages, concise progress meters and estimated processing timeframes. All of these new code implementations produce depth of field camera effects that are extremely accurate and precise in simulating real-world phenomena.
Depth of Field Generator PRO v3.0 now supports an impressive new feature called Spherical Aberration. This particular effect occurs when an increased refraction of light strikes the lens edge as opposed to the center. While a perfect lens focuses all incoming rays to a point on the optical axis, a real lens with spherical surfaces suffers from spherical aberration: it focuses rays more tightly if they enter further from the optical axis than if they enter closer to the axis. It therefore does not produce a perfect focal point. When the focus is closer to the lens than the axial focus, it is called undercorrected spherical aberration and is often exhibited by a brighter halo around the focus point. Conversely, when the focus is located further than the axial focus, it is called overcorrected spherical aberration and is often exhibited by a brighter core and faint halo around the focus point. DOF PRO can handle positive and negative spherical aberration for any of the predefined aperture shapes in order to achieve stunningly realistic Bokeh effects.Depth of Field Generator PRO v3.0 Spherical AberrationsReal-world examples of spherical aberrations emphasizing Bokeh edges Depth of Field Generator PRO v3.0 also offers the capability to use custom aperture maps. Custom aperture maps are images that can be personally created as your own aperture shapes. The benefit of this is significant as users can now produce specialized Bokeh effects previously not possible with v2.0. Starbursts can replace your standard Bokeh effects for enhanced photographic optical glitters, polygonal aperture shapes with more than 8 blades can be used, highly-specific spherical aberration profiles can be created, apertures containing refractive dispersion can be developed, and best of all, real-world Bokehs can be extracted from photographic images to produce extremely realistic depth of field. Access our DOF PRO Aperture Map Library or create your own and share it with other users on our forum. Custom aperture maps will take your DOF PRO renderings to a much higher level than previously possible.
Depth of Field Generator PRO v3.0 features full batch / animation / keyframing capabilities internally from within the filter. This completely eliminates the setup time required for Photoshop® actions and allows batch / animation / keyframing capabilities to be used from within any host capable of running Adobe Photoshop® compliant filters. For a list of compatible hosts, please see the compatibility list here. DOF PRO uses industry-standardized keyframing techniques combined with fully editable animation curves and interactive updates. Any number of sliders in DOF PRO can now be keyframed over any number of frames using single or batch RGB and / or depth map sequences. Eight different interpolation schemes are provided including custom curves for user-defined ease-ins and ease-outs. A new timeline slider provides the user with realtime animation scrubbing control and additional keyframing tools have been implemented such as keyframe jumping, copying and pasting. Existing keyframed data can be saved and reloaded for future use and a preview frame option allows the user to see the results of the keyframed sequence at any frame within the timeline. DOF PRO's powerful keyframing features provide a complete DOF animation and processing package suitable for use in any production environment capable of running Adobe Photoshop® compliant filters.
Depth of Field Generator PRO v3.0 now includes an advanced pixel grain rendering engine for even more realistic DOF effects. Noise and grain are important naturally-occurring byproducts of most monte-carlo raytraced images, digital CCD cameras and conventional film stocks. The introduction of grain and noise in defocused image areas is crucial in producing a realistic DOF effect. However, this is often difficult to achieve due to varying degrees of defocusing throughout the image which therefore requires varying degrees of pixel grain. DOF PRO v3.0 allows pixel grain to be applied in an animated or non-animated fashion and in monochromatic or random color channel methods. The grain can be applied uniformly, photometrically (luma-sensitive), additively, or subtractively and can be distributed in a fixed manner, or even through the use of the focus map which effectively allows the user to recover lost grain of varying intensity. The grain can be tinted in color and a realtime GUI window displays a preview of your currently selected noise attributes. DOF PRO's new pixel grain rendering engine takes your images from a realistic to a photorealistic level.
Photometric burnout resulting in corroded edges Photometric Burnout is a specific effect that occurs when a subject is photographed in front of an intense backlight (natural or artificial). This produces overexposed image areas in which the subject appears to be silhouetted against the background and it's edges become corroded and contracted. Burnouts are quite different than blurs because the corroded edges of the subject(s) remain sharp and faithfully represent the camera's aperture shape. Since DOF PRO uses optically correct DOF algorithms, photometric burnouts can be easily simulated with virtually no setup time involved.
Depth of Field Generator PRO is a production tested plugin currently being used by thousands of satisfied customers worldwide. Our users range from individual freelance digital artists and photographers to major broadcast, film and print production studios. DOF PRO has been developed with quality output being the number one priority - to produce the most sophisticated and photorealistic DOF effects possible as a post process thus providing a faster alternative to computationally-intensive traditional 3D raytracing techniques. We work closely with our users and production studios in an effort to further develop DOF PRO and meet the digital community's creative demands. We continue to maintain our commitment to making DOF PRO as accessible as possible, often by working directly with other software developers to ensure third-party applications are fully compatible. DOF PRO has been reviewed by numerous publishers world-wide, always receiving outstanding reviews, honorary mentions and feature publications. Most important of all, DOF PRO has become the chosen tool for uncompromised, high-quality DOF effects.
Depth Of Field Generator PRO is a commercial tool. You may freely download the plugin and try it as much as you want, whenever you want, wherever you want, by whomever you want, while in DEMO mode. In DEMO mode, the plugin is a FULLY FUNCTIONAL VERSION with the exception of being able to apply the filter to your image. Everything works unrestricted, even loading and saving, so that you can understand how this plugin works before you register it. Upon registering, you will receive a personalized license by email, which will switch it to REGISTERED mode. ONE (1) Depth Of Field Generator PRO license entitles ANY user to UNLIMITED use of the software, for an INDEFINITE period of time, on ONE (1) workstation ONLY. Currently, there is no floating license option. If you wish to use Depth Of Field Generator PRO on multiple workstations such as in a studio environment, multiple licenses are required for EACH node.
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