Depth of Field and how to manipulate it in Photoshop

This is by far my most favorite modo tip ever by the illustrious illustrator, Warner McGee, where he shows you no matter what Depth of Field you may have set in modo, you can always change, or fix it in post, in Photoshop.  I remember whilst watching his video how I was taken  completely by surprise.  It was really nice of Warner to share this with the modo community 🙂


After a discussion on the Luxology Forums Warner McGee explains Depth Passes and why you would want to use them.

He demonstrates with a bunch of balls and Depth of Field (DoF). Warner then imports the rendered output files into Photoshop and shows how you can change the focus/lens blurring from within Photoshop just by clicking somewhere in the image

    • In the Shader Tree, under Render, in addition to having a Final Output, create a Depth Output
    • Click on the Depth Output and change the Maximum Depth, by checking the Remap Pixel Value box.
      • To figure this out, first place your render camera where you want it to be and adjust the Focal length, if necessary.
      • Now change your viewport to Top, and using the Dimensions or Ruler (under the View menu at the top) measure from the camera to the back of your scene.
      • Render out your scene and save it as a layered (.psd) file.
    • Open up in Photoshop
      • Under the Layers tabs, select the Depth Output layer, and copy it
      • Go to the Channels pallet, create another channel and paste it in (and rename it as say, Depth)
      • Go back to the Layers and select the Final Output and go to > Filter  > Blur > Lens Blur 
      • Under Depth Map select the channel you just created where you pasted the Depth Output
      • Now you can click on any part of the image and based on the depth map, it will determine what will be in focus.
Author  Warner McGee
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