Simulating Physically Accurate Depth of Field in Nuke

Depth of field is a hugely important part of simulating photoreal imagery. Focal length and bokeh and film back size greatly affect the look of a photograph.

I recently uploaded a couple of Nuke tools that I created in my spare time to visualize and simulate physically accurate depth of field.

OpticalZDefocus: A ZDefocus replacement which creates physically accurate defocus using the depth of field equation.

DofCalc: A tool to visualize the range of focus, given the specified lens geometry, focus distance, and depth unit.

These tools are also on Nukepedia – OpticalZDefocus and DofCalc.

I also uploaded a tutorial on depth of field, if anyone is interested in hearing me ramble on about nerd stuff!

Simulating Physically Accurate Depth of Field in Nuke from Jed Smith on Vimeo.

Outline

  • Terminology – What is depth of field, circles of confusion, hyperfocal distance, etc
  • What variables affect depth of field and how: lens focal length, lens f-stop, camera filmback size, and focus distance
  • How to simulate depth of field in Nuke
    • ZDefocus
    • Explaining z-depth channels and how they work
    • Demonstrating the OpticalZDefocus Tool
    • Visualizing depth of field behavior with changing lens parameters with the DofCalc gizmo
    • Simulating lens bokeh more accurately by sampling a bokeh from a plate and using that as a filter input to our defocus tool
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