Fast Bokeh For After Effects
Ever since I rendered out the first depth map in a 3D modeling program, I always wanted to have a quick DoF blur filter that can be added later in a compositing program like AE that looks decent. There are many lens blurring plug-ins out there for After Effects, some of them produce custom aperture shapes along with many bells and whistles. Even AE comes out of the box with a few. But none of them really satisfy all the three following requirements.
- Very fast and blur radius independent.
- Handles edges properly.
- Gaussian blur equivalent quality.
The ones that produce high quality bokeh are really slow and get bogged down once the blur radius gets more than a few pixels. Other plug-ins while reasonably fast, fail to handle edges properly and produce nasty hard edge artifacts.
Fast Bokeh satisfies all the three above requirements. First off, the performance of the plug-in is only dependent on the image size, NOT the amount of blur being applied.
Next, all the edges are handled as expected within reasonable limits i.e. pixels are spread out of the object boundaries like a real DoF filter should and no hard edges and halos.
Lastly, the quality is equivalent to a nice Gaussian-like fast blur without any complicated aperture shapes and bokeh settings. The UI is very simple and only has a few params and they're straightforward.
Best feature of all, it's free!