Since my last post about optimizing render settings in Cinema 4D in order to reduce overall render times was so well-received by everyone, I thought that I would continue with these kinds of posts.
What I want to tell you about today is the built in ‘Depth of Field’ in Cinema 4D. With my latest project (name: ‘chaos’) I wanted to go crazy with effects and one thing that’s been really popular lately is to use depth of field almost to a point of overexagguration. This results - if used properly - in a really nice effect that adds a lot of realism to your scene even if like in my case you’re rendering colored bars flying about.
So as I started out, I went with the formula of rendering as few as possible effects and then adding them in the post-processing-process (after effects). This was an okay option back then but playing around with DOF (depth of field) in after effects was becoming quite difficult and also annying, having to adjust 3D layers, camera effects, quality and everything else.
Next step I did was to go back into Cinema 4D and try the built-in DOF and it really changed my workflow, sure I needed some time to get used to it and figure out what works and what doesn’t but in the end I was and still am very pleased with the outcome. (teaser made with Cinema 4D DOF)
The only problem I had with the DOF was adjusting it. In order to do this, I heavily recommend that you go out of your active camera view and switch to the top view which allows you to see your whole set of active objects including the camera. Now turn on the DOF and play around with the camera settings and for the beginning ONLY the camera settings, leave the DOF settings in the render settings alone for now. Make sure you set up your ‘Target Distance’ to the correct value and adjust front and rear blur to your liking.
When rendering a movie or short scene DOF tends to create some crazy blurred edges which don’t look very nice. My solution for this is the ‘Autofocus’ option under ‘Depth of Field’ in your render settings. I can’t really give you a specific formula to go by since this setting and its respective values vary from setup to setup and from scene to scene. My advice is to pick out every 10 (100, 500) frames of your render timeline and to do a quick render of that one frame (Ctrl + R on windows machines) and to then adjust the autofocus value to suit this frame.
As always, I hope this helps you guys just the way it has helped me!
Feel free to comment, like, reblog, whatever you want to and criticism is also accepted and welcome since this is only the second post of this very new series!