Depth Of Field

The depth of field effect provides a better simulation of physical camera lens and aperture settings that gives much more realistic renderings. Boxshot features a simple circle aperture with adjustable size and focal distance that is more than enough for making really compelling pictures. In this tutorial we will show you how to use it.

Let’s make a scene

We’ll need a scene with several objects, some of them a little bit further from where the camera is than others. The depth of field effect depends on the distance from the camera, so make something like this:

Move most of the objects to the background, leaving just one object a little bit closer to the camera, so the scene has some depth. Then render the scene:

Nothing new so far, right?

Enabling Depth Of Field

Now go to the camera panel at the left and check the Depth of field box. Boxshot doesn’t show the result in preview, so render the scene again without changing anything else:

Click the image to see the full version if you don’t see the change above. The front-most box is blurred, while the back ones are sharp. That looks pretty much like an out-of-focus photo, right? Let’s focus it.

Focal distance

Exactly as with a real camera, Boxshot has a distance from the lens where the objects are sharply in focus. That distance is controlled by the Focal distance slider. Although you can change it manually, it is highly recommended to use the automatic way: simply hold the Control + Alt Command + Option keys and click the place you want to be in sharp focus. You will see the Focal distance parameter change as Boxshot adjusts the focal distance of the lens.

Now focus on the front box and render the scene again:

As you can see, the front box is now in focus, while the back boxes are blurry. You may also notice that the scene looks more realistic than the flat one we rendered before.

Aperture size

The second parameter, Aperture size, controls the level of the effect. The smaller the aperture size, the less effect of changes to depth of field. This parameter uses real-world size, measured in centimeters, so you will need to adjust it to get the look you want for your scene. You will see no depth of field effect on large scenes with small aperture size and you will get everything blurred with a large aperture size setting on small scenes.

Let’s give it a try. Using the same scene, increase the aperture size by 2-3 times and render the scene again:

See it? The back boxes are completely blurred and even the back parts of the front box are blurred. The aperture is wide open now and the “sharp” range becomes quite short. The only sharp area is around the place that you clicked on while focusing.

Let’s do the opposite thing and make the aperture smaller than before:

Now the front box is as sharp as before, and the back ones are just a little bit blurred.

Once again

In summary: to make the depth of field effect work for your scene you need to enable it first, then focus on the object you need, and finally adjust the aperture size to make as much blur as you want. Increase the aperture size to get more blur, and reduce it to get less.

That’s all

That’s basically all you need to know about the depth of field effect in Boxshot. Note that rendering takes longer when the effect is enabled.

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