SOLIDWORKS Visualize – Add Realistic Depth of Field
In the photography world, all lens and cameras produce photographs with some amount of depth of field. For landscape photos, the desire might be to have as much of the scene in focus as possible. Whereas in portrait photography, the goal might be to only have the subject in focus and blur anything in the background or foreground.
Using SOLIDWORKS Visualize, you COULD create images with zero depth of field, making everything perfectly (unrealistic) in focus. If you want to bring more realism into your renders, then continue reading.
You might have also heard of another term, Bokeh (BOH-kǝ, or BOH-kay), which is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus part of an image. The term comes from the Japanese word boke, which means blur, and was first mentioned in photography magazines in the late 90’s. With a real camera lens, the effect is produced by a large aperture or low f/number (ratio of lens focal length to aperture diameter). The effect could also be influenced by the number of blades in the iris diaphragm where a low number of blades could produce a polygonal blur shape. In Visualize we are not limited by the size of the lens used or the iris, and thus can create very shallow (unrealistic) rounded depth of field.
Again, in the real world, if you have a large fast lens, and a custom masking filter over the lens, you can create custom shapes from out of focus point sources. This effect can also be replicated in Visualize using the same technique with a masking shape in front of the lens.
Below a black painted plane has a ‘heart shape’ opening positioned just in front of the camera.
The effect is all out-of-focus point light sources inherit the same heart-shape blur.
This is achieved with some extreme settings for depth of field.
The aperture is huge, using 80mm which is f/0.1 for a 50mm lens! In this scene I have added a few extra small white spheres in the background, and the environment also has several point-light sources.
Below Depth of Field is turned off so you can see the point light sources.
Using different shapes over the lens, you can make any effect you choose. What kinds of renders have you produced using Visualize and this technique?
Enjoy, and have some fun with this custom filter technique!
Sr. Application Engineer
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.