Let’s talk about the updated Depth of Field (DoF) mode in Toolbag 4.04. we’ve added a new high-quality ray-traced DoF mode, revised the controls to mimic real-world cameras, and added a new focus tool. Ray-traced DoF produces more natural and realistic transitions between objects and works especially well for complex materials with transparency or refraction. Check out some examples and learn how to use the new Depth of Field features below.
UI Update & Focus Tool
You’ll find the revised UI in the camera object. We’ve added a camera dial control to set the aperture or amount of blur. Higher values will define wider DOF or less background blur, while lower values define narrower DOF or more background blur.
Note: With the recently updated physical camera controls, the scale of the objects in your scene becomes more important. If you notice that the range on the aperture dial seems to be off, check the Imported Units in the Scene object. This should be set to match the working units in your 3D modeling application. You can also enable Show Scale Reference in the Viewport Settings to get a proper sense of the scale of your scene.
There is a new Focus Tool option in the toolbar and a quick focus button next to the Focus Distance slider. The quick focus option lets you click on the viewport to set the focus point and you can also use the middle mouse button to set the focus point at any time. With the Focus Tool engaged, you can click once or click and drag to set the focus point. Holding down Ctrl will allow you to set the aperture value as well.
Post Effect vs Ray-Traced
Let’s examine the two different types of DoF available. On the left is a render with Post Effect DoF, while the render on the right shows Ray-Traced DoF. Hold and swipe the margin UI to see the differences between both modes.
Post Effect DoF shows the objects behind the whiskey glass rendering with the incorrect blur. With Ray-traced DoF, we see an improvement in the overall DOF falloff and the DOF effect is rendered correctly even through multiple overlapping refractive surfaces.
The primary drawback to ray-traced DOF is the noise generated by the effect, which may require additional samples and denoising to resolve. Ray-traced DOF is generally a great option if you’re looking for the highest quality, but for quick video renders the Post Effect option may be a better choice.
It’s also worth noting that ray-traced DOF only works when ray-tracing is enabled, otherwise the DOF effect will fall back to the Post Effect method.