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Forums Avid Media Composer Depth of field / focus with Photos?

  • Depth of field / focus with Photos?

  • Michael Buday

    September 4, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    I know I can do this in After Effects, but I’d love to avoid going back and forth between AE and AVID given the number of photos I need to manipulate as follows:

    I want to rotate photos and animate them on screen (nothing fancy, just basic slow rotations and X, Y, Z movement), but I want the photos to react as if a real camera is moving around them, with depth of field changes (soft/sharp focus) or a rolloff into darkness based on a light source.

    Is anyone using an AVID effect or plugin for AVID that accomplishes this task efficiently?

    Many thanks!
    Michael Buday

  • Shane Ross

    September 4, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    Still movements…moves on stills…in Avid is still pretty much in the dark ages. It’s one of it’s weak points. Yeah, it’s doable with Avid Pan & Zoom…but that just basic movement, nothing like what you want. Moving Picture…better, but older app. Sapphire has a plugin to do moves on stills, as does BCC….but none of them offer any ability to mess with focus and blurring. That would have to be done separately, with a different effect.

    if you want anything resembling what you are getting with AE…then stick with AE.

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  • Michael Buday

    September 4, 2018 at 8:59 pm

    Thank you Shane. I was afraid this might be the answer ????


  • Graham Tillerson

    September 6, 2018 at 8:37 am

    I just tried it with decent results. Start with a Pan and Zoom on V1 and do a simple zoom in.
    Copy V1 to V2. Solo V2, Alt+drag a Blend> 3D Warp effect onto V2. Add a Start and End Key-frame. On the End key only, max out the DEFOCUS parameter so that the Defocus goes from full off to full on. Next Alt+Drag the Animate effect onto V2 adding Start and End Key frames. Let’s say your Pan and Zoom was on a face. Click on the End key frame in Animatte and use Poly Tool to isolate the face. Then go back to the Start Key Frame and use the Reshape Tool to re-adjust the Animatte to fit the wider face. Animatte Mode should wind up in Key In, displaying the face as solid black . Hit play and the background will get defocused as you reach the End Key Frame. Save that Animatte effect to a bin, and then Alt+Drag it onto V1. Solo V1 and in Animatte Effect press Swap Src to display just the face with no Defocus just a zoom against a Black background. So now if you un-solo and view V2 together with V1, you should see the whole shot zoom in with the Animatte face staying sharp as the background Defocuses. Is that the look you wanted?

    As for Rotation, that’s trickier but if you like, you can Collapse V2 and V1, then add a 3d Warp with Start and End Key frames. Add a slight Rotation or Skew, but it will likely require a partial Target Scale increase so that you don’t wind up with black leaking in along slanted edges.

    There may be a far better way to handle the rotation and the whole effect solely in stock MC. If so, I’d like to know it.

  • Glenn Sakatch

    September 11, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    “Nothing fancy” and “depth of field and reacting to a light source” are two different concepts.

    I do this all the time in Fusion, which you can use as a plug in inside Avid. But you will have to learn some basic 3d in Fusion first.


  • Michael Buday

    September 11, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Thanks Graham. Most likely I’ll have to go thru AE or MOTION to achieve the look I need, but this is an interesting option. I can set up the effect in AE in a few keystrokes, but it was the rendering out/encoding into AVID I was hoping to avoid.

  • Michael Buday

    September 11, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Thanks Glenn. My point re: it not being fancy is that this is very easy to setup in AE or Motion (both DOF and lighting) – and once set, only small adjustments are required for different images/movements onscreen.

    I’m not familiar w/Fusion, so most likely I’ll use AE and pass it back to AVID.


  • Graham Tillerson

    September 11, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    I tried and liked the Free Fusion but it doesn’t accept and/or output larger-than-HD footage, as I recall. I know what you mean about AE. Just curious at this point- what is the look you achieve on photos with AE and lights? I l’d like to try achieving it within MC, just for kicks.

  • Michael Buday

    September 11, 2018 at 11:54 pm

    Here ‘s a very brief example w/o lighting w/ a very narrow DOP:

    In the first image, the focal point of camera favors the right side of the image, closer to the camera:

    Here, after the image is rotated, the left side of the image is sharp:

    Once I’ve set the lens focal length, the focal point and the aperture, all I need to do is “fly” the image around the “3D” space to change what is and what is not in focus.

  • Graham Tillerson

    September 12, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    OK I see what you mean by Rotate… your top example above shows what I think is a mid-rotate squeeze of an elephant and if that’s the look, fine. Probably best to stick with the AE you are familiar with.

    In MC I think it may be possible to use an animated black and white gradient to control opacity of a matte key between a normal photo on one track and a Defocused copy on a lower track, but getting the amount (via position or scaling of the gradient) to track along with an image Rotation may be asking too much from MC, who knows.

    If or how position or scaling tracking in one effect can be applied to parameters in a different MC effect is a mystery to me, but I’m going to play around with that on Animatte effect. I initially thought you were looking to do the kind of photo manipulation seen in “The Kid Stays in the Picture” where a photo can have individual cut-outs of foreground or background focus/scaling/position movement to add a certain look. That’s my interest, but applying it very, very minimally so it is not obvious.

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