3D Depth Matte

Depth of Field is a wonderful thing. Many 3D programs can render this, but it takes a deathly long time. After Effects has a plugin called Lens Blur that does a nice job of taking a depth matte and using it to generate depth of field. Most 3D programs allow you to render a depth matte which is basically a black and white image, where white shows things close to the camera and black is far away.

You can even rack focus from the foreground to the background using this plugin. I’m working on a spot for Monster Energy Drink and this is one of the elements that will be incorporated.

The lens blur pugin I’m using is right Here:

June 22nd, 2007 @ 11:44 am
WOW! That looks flippin' sweet! I gotta get that plugin right now.
Keep up the good work, Andrew!
June 22nd, 2007 @ 11:47 am
wow, thats an awesome plug in... looks awesome!
Rodrigo Rodriguez
June 22nd, 2007 @ 12:07 pm
Andrew, thank you very much!!!!!!
June 22nd, 2007 @ 12:08 pm
Yeah, After Effects really is powerful to use with 3d compositing. And in some cases can also look a lot better with less render time.
June 22nd, 2007 @ 12:14 pm

How about posting the Monster Drink Spot when you have completed it. I don't think it sells in my market so I doubt I'll see it on TV.

Also - Where do you get your music score for your product ads like iot Gear and so on?

June 22nd, 2007 @ 12:14 pm
Andrew u should to consider make some 3D Integration with AE..
Really cool!.
June 22nd, 2007 @ 12:30 pm
impressive...most impressive.
Dustin James
June 22nd, 2007 @ 12:40 pm
I want to make water drops that are liquid in motion in AE like this...

and also, I was wondering about when you create something in 3DSmax do you just put that element in AE or do you animate it and all in the 3D program?
June 22nd, 2007 @ 1:14 pm
Another good one Andrew. I use that with a planet picture I made cuz its so easy with AE to push planets in front and back and make the depth look realistic. Rock on dude!
June 22nd, 2007 @ 2:26 pm
Actually, 3D rendering products usually implement depth of field as a post effect anyway, so technically, it shouldn't actually take them longer to render it than it takes AE to do it.

Anyway, thanks for the info and the link! I, too, would love to see the finished spot, and maybe even a breakdown/tutorial.

And keep up the fantastic blog, it's the best AE resource on the entire internet!
June 22nd, 2007 @ 2:32 pm
awsome...awesom to the max!.... i'm looking forvard to the tutorial... hintedi hint hint ;)
Iliès S.
June 22nd, 2007 @ 4:25 pm
This will definitely save me a lot of (render)time on my future short films. Thanks.

Iliès, cg student
June 22nd, 2007 @ 5:47 pm
pretty nice.

Boston, Mass. USA
John Paite
June 22nd, 2007 @ 6:13 pm
I was going thru the plugins and I have a hunch(maybe u guys already figure it out)
The ZbornToy is an awesome plugin( just the one that I have checked it out, the rest will do later) Im wondering whether this could be used to create or make up for matching up lightings when shooting a person infront of a greenscreen to the replacement background..umm i hope i made myself understandable hehe...Anyone???
June 22nd, 2007 @ 7:25 pm
Hey it looks like you guys made some real progress after I left the office yesterday, I'm very interested in seeing the end result, before you post it on this blog, its like you are giving all these people access to your diary! I might even come to work on a saturday!
June 22nd, 2007 @ 8:06 pm
awesome andrew
it's cool that you share stuff from your work with us
i appreciate it
June 22nd, 2007 @ 9:05 pm
SuperbWork Andrew!!!!

Thankyou for sharing & helping us.

Warm Regards
June 23rd, 2007 @ 2:25 am
Good point about the 3D program render times, I never used it that way. Although, once it is rendered I imagine you can't change it. Using AE, allow you to play with the DOF non-destructively so that you make small changes and refinements.

Hey Mark!

As for 3D integration. Of course. I'm slowly greasing the wheels. We also plan to do some Flash integration as well. Who knows.
June 23rd, 2007 @ 4:38 am
Wow that looks hawt...
June 23rd, 2007 @ 6:10 am
How'd u create that water drop effect? Lens Blur dont do that :D Wich Frischluft plug-in does that?
June 23rd, 2007 @ 8:43 am
where am i missing this plugin?
i cant seem to see it in the website
Jammin’ JJ
June 23rd, 2007 @ 3:17 pm
Do I have this straight? You created the water droplets in a 3D program, then exported a depth matte from said 3D program, then used this plugin and depth matte in AE to blur out additional elements. How does this plugin work with live action footage? Do you have to manually create an animated depth matte somehow?
June 23rd, 2007 @ 4:10 pm
we need answers andrew :D answersss....! :D
June 23rd, 2007 @ 5:47 pm
The spot is finally finished, I'll get it online soon. The bubbles are just spheres in 3Ds max and i used an HDR map to light the scene. You could do something similar in AE but this is the easiest way.
June 23rd, 2007 @ 6:16 pm
Hey Andrew, looks great this pic i can't wait to see the spot (and maybe a tutorial jejeje)

you just keep impressing me man.

June 24th, 2007 @ 5:59 am
I'm loving you very much~!!
and thanks so~much for giving me the greatest tutorials~
June 24th, 2007 @ 7:37 am
I hope u can make a tutorial in how to make a cool looking raindrop in AE, ben looking for a way for a long time but i never seem to get a good result.
M. van Drunen
June 25th, 2007 @ 6:59 am

Keep up the awesome work. Nice things you have overthere!


June 25th, 2007 @ 10:50 pm
Yes, the fantastic Depth Matte! Thanks Andrew...You are a God! :P
June 25th, 2007 @ 10:51 pm
What I love about your tutorials is that 90% are only using the what ships with the core packages of After Effects. A lot of my teachers don't like outside plug ins but I don't like that we aren't exposed to them that often. I would consider Plug in spot lights once a month or how ever often you want to share them. I've heard of this one but never seen what it can do. Glad to see some more information on it.

Best of luck with the spot,hope you don't loose so much sleep over it... A late night monster would fix that right up.
June 26th, 2007 @ 7:48 pm
Hey dude so like any way you could tell us how you did this? Whats the EXACT plugin name cause depth of feild wasnt a Plug-in. Also in your support page it still has the wrong number, says email us until we get our phones up, but on contact it has your phone number. Just wanted to let you know.
Curtis H
June 27th, 2007 @ 11:10 am
Hey! It looks good.... But I was wondering why you chose to use the fischluft lens blur and not the AE lens blur?
June 28th, 2007 @ 6:22 am
Would love to see a tutorial of the whole process, liquids are becoming a very IN theme in adverts.

Keep up the outstanding quality of work, love the tutorials.
April 5th, 2008 @ 3:27 pm
Andrew, thank you very much
John Doe
November 19th, 2008 @ 2:44 pm
This tutorial is still awesome, a year and a half later.
Andrew, I hereby declare you, The Man.
March 10th, 2010 @ 5:04 am
Are you going to be at AENY this year too?
June 13th, 2011 @ 6:56 am
Andre this is awsome plug....
December 7th, 2011 @ 5:44 pm
I love it! and 10q for tutorial's
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