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Old June 4th, 2007, 04:18 PM   #1
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FCP: Recommend Blur Plugin/Filter?

Hi All-

I'm currently editing a short film in which I am trying to keyframe a blur so it looks like the focus is being pulled. I want it to go from sharp, to out of focus. Right now I'm just using the Gaussian Blur filter in FCP and keyframing it, but it looks like that is exactly what I am doing if you were to watch it.

So hopefully someone has a recommended plugin or a suggestion about how to make this look more like it is taking place in camera instead of in post.

I haven't taken my footage over to after effects yet, but I think I might try that next to see if it handles it better.

Thanks!

-Sean-
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Old June 4th, 2007, 05:22 PM   #2
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I believe Motion has a defocus filter which might give you a bir more realism, but I've never used it for this purpose so your mileage may vary
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Old June 5th, 2007, 12:49 PM   #3
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I have heard from numerous people on this site that www.nattress.com has some great plugins. I have not purchased any yet so I can't tell you first hand. But I am looking at possibly getting their "Big Box of Tricks" which is only $100 and includes several blurs. Hope that helps.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 10:44 PM   #4
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take a look at the freebie pack of FxFactory plugs by Peter Wiggins
http://www.idustrialrevolution.com/free/fp1/

Rack Focus may be what you're after, but it is more designed for rack focusing beweeen alpha channel composited clips and their backgrounds.

cheers
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Old June 8th, 2007, 03:28 AM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. I'm still working it out.

I was going over the scene with my DP and he made an observation that for some reason I had been missing. The scene I'm working on consists of numerous fairly short shots that go in and out of focus. We had planned for this when we shot, so most of the footage looks exactly like what I wanted. The footage that I'm applying the filter to in an attempt to match the in-camera stuff doesn't work very well when laid down next to this other footage (hence my original post).

What I was missing was the fact that the in camera stuff has that slight zoom effect you get when pulling focus. So the footage that I added the filter to lacked that and of course just remained static across the keyframing of the filter.

Andy's suggestion sounds the best to me, though the link isn't quite working at the moment. The brief description of the plugin made me realize another aspect I was missing actually. Depending on the depth of field (ours being fairly shallow in this scene) different parts of the image should go out of focus at different points, not all at once. If I had looked at the footage a little more carefully I would have noticed that fact as well. That's what I get for editing in the middle of the night.

So in short:

-Adding a little movement across the defocusing may help it look more natural.
-Having different areas go out of focus at slightly different times (in logical order) should also help.

The second of which is a lot more work of course. Hopefully the plugin Andy suggested works out.

Thanks for helping me think it through!

-Sean-
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Old June 8th, 2007, 03:29 AM   #6
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The link you provided is now linking, thank you Andy.
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Old June 8th, 2007, 08:20 AM   #7
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If the image is relatively static (or you have time), DigitalJuice details how to separate the layers of depth in an image for faking DoF and Movement in still images... http://www.digitaljuice.com/djtv/seg...how=all_videos

Using this technique, you could not only defocus in planes, but add slight zooms to the layers separately to get the lens breathing effect.
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Old June 8th, 2007, 01:44 PM   #8
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Thanks Cole. I was figuring out what my workflow is going to be and that video was very helpful. It seems that the main difference for me is that I will need to do all the steps that take place in Photoshop in AE instead to preserve what little motion there may be in some of the shots.

-Sean-
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