How to have Bokeh particles appear around a character at
DV Info Net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Digital Compositing and Effects

Digital Compositing and Effects
After Effects, Shake and everything else.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 13th, 2010, 02:04 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
Posts: 16
How to have Bokeh particles appear around a character

I'm shooting a short where I would like some bokeh circles (out of focus highlights) to appear for a few seconds, behind a character. Like jpeg 3.

I was planning to achieve this with my 35mm adapter and some clever staging. But unfortunately my adapter is being serviced so I only have use of my HD camera. What would be the easiest way to accomplish this in post? The effect would occur when the character is in a moving car, during the day. I figured I should frame the shot tight like jpeg 5, with the lead space containing only blue sky. I would like the bokeh to appear in front of him, if possible. Is there a plugin I could get or could some animated bokeh be overlayed on the footage? I don't know AE, so some advice would be appreciated.

Here is a bokeh effect I found on youtube.
YouTube - Blackberry U2 HD

Attached Thumbnails
How to have Bokeh particles appear around a character-3.jpg   How to have Bokeh particles appear around a character-5.jpg  

Ruben Mendez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 15th, 2010, 08:54 AM   #2
Major Player
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Posts: 616
It's easier to achieve this with night time/darker shots like that jpeg you've attached. You could do it with your HD camera as is, if you could get far enough away and zoom in. Which doesn't sound like an option.
But there aren't any effects that I know of that do this. The only way I know to get anything close to this effect in AE is by using blur filter in 32bpc (click the bottom right of the project window, usually set to 8) -I hear it also needs to be in a linear color space whatever that means. That supposedly makes the image effect more like a camera's lens. If you can shoot it a bit shallow to begin with you may be able to mask out the soft area and enhance it a bit more. I would guess that the mask could be a bit rough and feathered like a vignette if there's not too much movement of the camera and subject (so you wouldn't need to mask frame by frame or anything.) Try a test with a random still maybe.
With my camera on light days I have luck getting a shallow DOF by turning the ND filter all the way up making the image darker and the shutter speed higher than usual.
Aric Mannion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2010, 06:58 PM   #3
Major Player
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Anchorage, AK
Posts: 315
It sounds like you're trying to achieve some kind of particle effect, right? If you have After Effects and Photoshop, you can achieve this by painting your highlights in Photoshop and comping them into your frame in After Effects.

A second way to do this would be to use After Effects' own particle playground plugin combined with a gaussian or lens blur and some tweaking of the colors with lights or the Colorama effect.

A third way to do it is to use Trapcode's Particular, available through Red Giant Software. Particular has some phenomenal capabilities when it comes to using particles, and it gives you an amazing level of control.

Since you aren't familiar with After Effects, the only other software option I can think of is using Apple's Motion. But if you're not using a Mac and Final Cut Suite, this probably wouldn't be much help.

The only other thing I can think of is checking out programs like Boris Red/Blue or the Sapphire plugins by Gen-Arts. The downsides to those are their costs. Boris also has a learning curve that's not quite as bad as After Effects, but steep enough that you're not just going to open the program and instantly do what you it to do in 5 minutes.
Shawn McCalip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2010, 07:58 PM   #4
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 114
Hi Ruben. As Shawn says you could achieve this with particles or several other ways but if you are not an experienced AE user it will take a long while to get what you want. I would suggest that you use footage of real Bokeh (shot at night with a black background - defocused Christmas tree lights of the colour(s) you want spring to mind)) lay this over your footage and use a blending mode like Linear to mix the two images together. If the bokeh is moving and goes behind your actor you will need to rotoscope (mask) his head out and place that above the other two layers. I've done a rough version using your two images to give you an idea of the effect. Hope that helps.

Edit: After numerous attempts I still can't upload the image??????? But have a try with your two images yourself and you'll get the idea.

Persistence pays!
Attached Images

Last edited by Gregory Gesch; April 24th, 2010 at 08:47 PM.
Gregory Gesch is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY USA

Scan Computers Int. Ltd.
+44 0871-472-4747
Bolton, Lancashire UK

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Cross-Platform Post Production Solutions > Digital Compositing and Effects

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:39 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2021 The Digital Video Information Network