View Full Version : depth of field in premiere or vegas
February 21st, 2004, 05:19 PM
This question is for anyone adept at using at using Vegas 4 (ie Douglas Spotted Eagle, etc). I am using the JVC HD10U hi def prosumer camera. I am able to import the ts stream into Vegas, but the camera does not let me obtain much in terms of the shallow depth of field that you get with film (I also use nd and pro-mist filters with some little success). I was hoping there was a way to get the shallow depth of field in Vegas that I am unable to create with just the use of the camera. Could you please tell me how, if at all, this can be done in Vegas, or point me to a tutorial on the subject in Vegas.
February 21st, 2004, 05:54 PM
You can't really get shallow DOF with Vegas.
You can mask something out and blur or do special effects on the background, but that is EXTREMELY time consuming and Vegas isn't the right tool to do it. It's not really shallow DOF either.
You basically need to shoot with shallow depth of field. There's a depth of field thread somewhere... and an article on it on this site.
February 21st, 2004, 06:19 PM
This question is for anyone adept at using at using Premiere or Vegas 4. I am using the JVC HD10U hi def prosumer camera. I am able to import the ts stream into Vegas and Premiere, but the camera does not let me obtain much in terms of the shallow depth of field that you get with film (I also use nd and pro-mist filters with some little success). I was hoping there was a way to get the shallow depth of field in Premiere or Vegas that I am unable to create with just the use of the camera. Could you please tell me how, if at all, this can be done, or point me to a tutorial on the subject in Premiere or Vegas.
February 21st, 2004, 07:45 PM
Generally, the wider the angle of the lens the bigger the depth of field, so conversely, to reduce depth of field, move the camera further away and zoom in.
February 21st, 2004, 09:15 PM
Depth of Field is a function of the CAMERA, not the NLE. You need to shoot the image appropriately to get the appropriate depth of field. If you try to simulate it in the NLE, you are looking at a LOT of time consuming work and rendering times.
February 22nd, 2004, 10:53 AM
Also...the size of the camera's CCD(s) has a direct effect on effective depth of field. Larger CCDs achieve a much lower depth of field.
February 22nd, 2004, 09:26 PM
Yeah, I figured as much. I have tried many of the camera options with little luck. I was just hoping in the wind with the Vegas option. I would use the pro35 but WOW the expense. Still I will keep looking for an adapter which gives me the 35mm shallow depth of field option. If there are any other ways to achieve this goal please let me know.
February 23rd, 2004, 10:19 AM
you can fake DOF in vegas by creating a mask on the subject, then applying gaussian blur to the background.
...and WHO says you can't do DOF in Vegas?
February 23rd, 2004, 11:19 AM
<<<-- Originally posted by Bill Ravens : ...and WHO says you can't do DOF in Vegas? -->>>
It's not a matter of "can't", it's a matter of "practical". As you said, it can be "faked". By why go to all the trouble to fake it when you're much better off taping it that way to begin with. The mask required would be very difficult to get exactly right unless you want to shoot the person in front of a green-screen and then add the blurred background later.
Brian Mitchell Warshawsky
February 24th, 2004, 01:50 PM
From the old school bag of tricks...
There is one solution which, although not right for all or even most circumstances, is very effective when used correctly:
The old Vaseline on the matte box technique can be extremely effective uncer the right circumstances such as when the camera and the subject both remain static.
Obviously the matte box should be adjusted so as to minimize the distance from the camera's lens, and there should be an optically pure piece of glass to which the Vaseline (or other suitable substance) is applied.
And it goes without saying that the area of the glass immediately in front of the subject itself should (largely) remain free of any Vaseline.
Try it and let me know.
This does not replace the Mini 35 for use of quality lenses, but my apologies to anyone who bought or built a device strictly for shallow DOF purposes without first considering this technique.
February 24th, 2004, 01:51 PM
You could do it in Vegas (like bill said).. but (barring ability to use the camera to do it) AFX or Combustion would be a better idea.. vegas isnt really for compositing.
and, depending on the length of the clip you want to do, it might not be that bad. if it's just for a "Second" camera angle to cut to for a few seconds at a time, it might only take 1-2hrs per second of footage (or less, possibly) to get it right.
February 25th, 2004, 01:30 AM
Brian, you can kind of achieve that effect by duplicating video onto itself, apply gaussian blur, and by lowering transparency. Vegas already has a filter that does this built-in I believe (called glow I think).
However, I'm curious: When you do it optically, can you move the glass/vaseline such that out of focus areas get more softening than in focus areas?
February 25th, 2004, 04:20 AM
>"vegas isn't really for compositing."
That's a bit of a broad statement Adam - ok, it can't do as much as After Effects, but Vegas has stacks of fabulous compositing tools - not glitzy 3D stuff, but heaps of things like Displacement, Height or Bump Mapping, Child/Parent Modes, Keys, Masks, easily variable transparency, Track Motion etc etc - in the right hands there's a great deal of compositing can be done without leaving the building.
February 25th, 2004, 09:04 AM
Vegas isn't really for compositing.
Definitely WAY too broad of a statement. In fact, Vegas is KNOWN for it's compositing abilities! Many people use it for a variety of compositing project over AE because it's faster and easier. So, I'd definitely disagree with that statement.
February 25th, 2004, 09:18 AM
Ok, I try both types of compositing and see which gets me better results for the effort made. I will also try a variation of the vaseline technique. I will use think diffusion plastic on clear glass (for static shots) and see where that takes me. I'll report back on my results.
Brian Mitchell Warshawsky
February 25th, 2004, 10:10 AM
>>>>However, I'm curious: When you do it optically, can you move the glass/vaseline such that out of focus areas get more softening than in focus areas?>>>>
Do you mean move the glass during shooting?
If you mean to adjust the glass itself, there is really no right or wrong way of doing this, but ideally, like an artist, you would keep only those areas that you want to remain in sharp focus free and clear on the glass, with a varying thickness of the petroleum jelly/Vaseline depending on the level of diffusion sought.
If the diffusion material is too thick, it may appear too obvious r too dark and ruin the effect, so the only way to get it exactly right is to experiment.
The great thing about doing this on video is that you can instantly see if your results are satisfactory, and when it works...no render time!
Please post any results of this method, and if anyone comes up with any materials which improve on this technique.
FWIW, I believe that this technique originated in the early years of Hollywood.
Robert Knecht Schmidt
February 26th, 2004, 11:34 AM
I'm not sure an NLE like Premiere or Vegas is the appropriate tool for this type of work. You'll probably be better off with a compositing tool like After Effects or combustion, but you may be able to use an NLE program so long as it supports masking and applying filters to masked areas.
Essentially what I think you want to do is frame-by-frame mask out your foreground and apply a gaussian blur to the background. It won't be "true" depth of field, but it will offer some sense of verisimilitude, provided you're willing to expend the energy it takes to do frame-by-frame masking out of complex moving objects. (Try applying a bit of a gradient to the mask edge to soften the effect.)
You might be interested in the "Agus 35" thread in the film look forum here, which has spurred many users to build a simple custom camera add-on which can provide true 35 mm depth of field on a budget. It has quickly become the most popular thread on all of DVinfo.net.
February 28th, 2004, 10:42 AM
Robert, I have looked at the agus 35 option, and I am in the process of getting the materials to make one myself. The thread did not give a lot of detailed instruction on how he did it so I will contact him directly. I'll let you know if it works.