View Full Version : Depth buffer tutorial ?

04-04-2006, 12:24 PM
Hello all,

Does anyone know of any tutorials on getting good depth of field buffer output for use in AE?

I know this is a hot topic and it seems that there should be some good info on it somewhere, but I haven't had much luck locating any tutorials on the subject.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

Animotion :)

04-04-2006, 11:18 PM
You can use the Render Buffer Export image filter to get the z-buffer. I'm not sure if you can use it with AE but certainly I use this information with other programs to control bur.

04-04-2006, 11:39 PM
Thanks, I already have used this and pretty much all of LW's built in z buffer options (I think) plus I purchased IDOF and downladed others.

I guess what I meant was somthing that was an advanced workflow type of tute or somthing that could streamline my current worklow.

Thanks for the reply anyway.


04-05-2006, 03:56 AM
Have you tried the "brute force" method? Where you turn all your objects matte black and apply a fog? Doesn't really streamline things, but does have the advantage of being very controllable.

There's also the Extended RPF Export Image Filter for a choice of embedded buffers.

04-06-2006, 05:43 AM
try psd export, with the depth info and use it as a blurring mask over a duplicated layer in AE - which is similar to what MooseDog posted regarding its usage in AE.

04-06-2006, 07:55 AM
here's a mini-tut I did elsewhere for iDof and Depth Blurring in AE.


04-06-2006, 09:18 AM
quick question
what advantage does idof have over dstorms buffer saver?

04-06-2006, 09:26 AM
hi adboy.

I haven't used dstorm's buffer saver, but from the looks of it, it outputs a normalized version of LW's depth matte. i assume that in specifying the near and far clip, you are specifying where the black and white points are numerically.

So the main differences based on the above would be iDof's use of objects rather than numbers, and the fact that iDof's Depth Matte is specifically for depth of field, and fades from white to black to white (that way you have a defined focal point and out of focus areas nearer and further than that focal point), whereas Dstorm's depth matte is still a linear fade from black to white with no clear focal point. which is fine, it's just not ideal for Depth of Field in post.

04-06-2006, 09:57 AM
ah i see what u mean, i use fusion for the depth blur based on the zbuffer so the dstorms output is cool, i'm confused tho cos if your focal object was mid scene and with a short depth range , if the scene was well populated u would end up with near and far objects having the same depth grey value which as u say is fine if u want to stay focused on the one point u specify but if u wanted to vary it in comp would be a pain, but as u say because its specified with object u can always produce the same results as dstorms anyway

hmm i think i answered my own rant :)

04-06-2006, 10:05 AM
hehe. indeed you did.
of note, iDof is stackable so you can output as many different depth mattes as you want from one render from one scene.

most times i make one of my depth matte outputs a linear gradient from camera to back, but i'm using the objects to control it rather than numbers. and still you can vary it in comp in an infinite number of ways.

04-06-2006, 10:09 AM
cool, i have to say i normaly use my depth passes for color correction to add range to a scene rather then dof, i'll download the demo of idof tho and see what it can offer

04-06-2006, 11:57 PM
Thanks guys but these are things I was already doing. I wanted to streamline this proccess for an upcoming animated series. its still good to see how willing people are to help here.

Animotion :)

04-07-2006, 06:31 AM
sorry we weren't more help animotion.

adboy, me too. that's exactly what I use the depth mattes for. other than sometimes needing the gradient changed a bit, that's what they're good for. iDof is just a better depth matte for DOF, or a more controlled depth matte for general purposes. :thumbsup:

04-07-2006, 10:26 AM
Well I use combustion and shake, but a simple search in google gave me these tutorials:



04-07-2006, 01:26 PM

Animotion :)