Over the years, I've had many a supervisor ask me 'is that a blur or a defocus'?  At the time, I thought a blur and defocus were the same thing.  If I would have done any research into this, it would have been very obvious that there's a huge difference. 

No defocus or blur (Click for full image)

Same shot, in camera defocus (click for full image)

Way out of focus, in camera. (click for full image)

The original sharp image, blurred in Photoshop (Click for full sized image)

Notice how the last image looks.  It look bad, it doesn't look like it came out of a camera.  The highlights don't bloom out, they get smaller.  The highlights don't get bright, they get darker.  In the video tutorial below, I'll explain:

  • Older tools in Nuke that create defocus effects: Convolve and Defocus
  • The new zDefocus tool.
  • How would you apply this tool to a image that has no imbedded depth information
  • How would you apply this tool to a 3D render that has depth information.

Here's a link to a frame of the CG that I used in the tutorial.