DOF PRO (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 / filter 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 object distance from the camera.
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.
The term "Bokeh",
which in Japanese literally means "blurring", has been introduced into the film, photography and computer graphics industries to describe these particular 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.
DOF 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 can not only accept single frame source and depth maps, but also animated sequences in a wide variety of file formats.
Why DOF 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, chromatic 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 provide 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.
DOF PRO comes with an impressive featureset to meet today's creative industry requirements. New and improved highlight preservation and Bokeh visibility algorithms deliver cutting-edge output. 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 (including the new "Cat's Eye" Bokeh), each with the ability to control it's size, angle, curvature and even aberration characteristics such as spherical and chromatic abberations combined with Bokeh edge thickness control. Custom aperture maps have been implemented in DOF PRO (along with a massive online apeture map library) allowing artists to create his or her own aperture shapes thus providing unlimited flexibility and control over your Bokeh effects. Support for all common graphics file formats including .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff, .tga allows DOF PRO to be easily integrated into your studio pipeline. Pixel aspect ratios can be set to accomodate a wide variety of broadcast standards such as NTSC, PAL, 16:9 and more. A powerful grain generation engine has been developed 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 animation curves allow artists to freely animate any / all sliders along with fully-editable function curves. This allows common effects such as focus sweeps to be easily created in very little time. The DOF PRO interface has been greatly improved and most effects now offer realtime visualization including aperture display, grain representation, function curve updates and slider animation. The dialog can now be interactively resized, maximized and minimized thus allowing larger preview displays. The aperture size limit has been significantly extended to further assist high resolution 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. Multicore rendering technology and gigabyte memory management boasts significantly improved performance. All of these new code implementations produce depth of field camera effects that are extremely accurate and precise in simulating real-world phenomena.
DOF PRO fully supports spherical aberrations,
a particular effect that 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, including aberration thickness, in order to achieve stunningly realistic Bokeh effects.
DOF PRO now offers the capability to independently control the spherical aberration edge thickness,
an important characteristic of optically-correct bokeh effects. This results in crisp bokeh edges matching real-world bokeh abnormalities.
DOF PRO now features chromatic aberrations,
a unique effect caused by a lens having a different refractive index for different wavelengths of light. Longitudinal and lateral chromatic aberration of a lens is seen as "fringes" of color around the subject since each color in the optical spectrum cannot be focused at a single point on the optical axis. DOF PRO chromatic aberration features produce spectacular optical imperfections rarely seen in any commercial DOF filter.
DOF PRO now offers fully customizable (and 100% animateable) pixel aspect ratio (PAR) features. DOF PRO ships with commonly used PAR values for NTSC, PAL, 4:3 and 16:9 aspects, as well as programmable settings, all of which can be fully animateable through the batch processing engine. DOF PRO PAR capabilities allow for international multi-format display output.
DOF PRO now supports "The Cat's Eye" effect,
also known as optical vignetting. Because the shape of an out-of-focus highlight mimics the shape of the clear aperture, an increasing distance from the optical axis results in out-of-focus highlights progressively narrowing and beginning to resemble a cat's eye. The larger the distance from the image center, the narrower the cat's eye becomes. Optical vignetting tends to be stronger in wideangle lenses and large aperture lenses, but the effect can be noticed with most photographic lenses. Zoom lenses also tend to produce a fair amount of optical vignetting.
DOF PRO also offers the capability to use custom aperture maps.
Custom aperture maps are images that can be personally created as your own aperture shapes. This is a significant feature as users can now produce specialized Bokeh effects in addition to DOF PRO's built-in aperture shapes. 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, unique apertures containing refractive dispersion can be designed, and best of all, real-world Bokehs can be extracted from photographic images to produce extremely realistic depth of field effects. 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.
DOF PRO features full batch / animation / keyframing
capabilities internally from within the filter. This completely eliminates the setup time required for Adobe 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 DOF PRO compatibility list.
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.
DOF PRO now includes an advanced pixel grain rendering engine for producing 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. 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 easily compensates for this and additionally 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.
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.
DOF PRO is now 100% multithreaded and fully capable of using an unlimited number of rendering cores. This results in performance increases of up to 400% on a quad-core system compared to previous versions of DOF PRO. In addition, memory management has been greatly improved and DOF PRO can now use up to 3GB of RAM under 32bit Windows (2000, XP, Vista) and up to 4GB of RAM under 64bit Windows.
DOF 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.
DOF 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) DOF 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 DOF PRO on multiple workstations such as in a studio environment, multiple licenses are required: one for EACH node.
To register your copy of DOF PRO, please click here,
or select REGISTRATION
from the top menu. DOF PRO has been priced competitively in an effort to ensure the plugin is accessible by independent artists as well as large production studios.
Click icon for DOF PRO v4.0 PDF user manual.