Fast Bokeh Documentation

Fast Bokeh Pro

Please note: Make sure to download and install the latest version.

What is Fast Bokeh?

Fast Bokeh is a plug-in to simulate cinematic Depth of Field (also known as Bokeh) for 3D renders using a Depth Map.

Rendering Depth of Field directly in a Raytracer/Physical Rendering system is prohibitively slower for many projects. Fast Bokeh helps to simulate that easily in post-production using Depth Maps.

What does "Pro" mean?

If you purchase a "Pro" license and register it, you simply get more features like Custom Iris Shapes, Zone Control, Linear Color Working Space, GPU acceleration and more.

Registration

If Fast Bokeh Pro isn’t registered you’ll see a watermark rendered by the plugin if you utilize any of the Pro features. To remove these restrictions, you have to register the plugin with the license key you have purchased. To register, click on the “Register” button in the effect controls of Fast Bokeh.

For more detailed instructions checkout the registration page.

System Requirements

For Windows machines, Windows 7 and above. OpenGL 4.3 and above required for GPU Rendering. For Macintosh computers, macOS 10.14 (Mojave) and above is required. For GPU Rendering a GPU that supports Metal 2.

Effect Controls

Fast Bokeh ECW

Blur Radius

Amount to blur to applied. Internally, this is multiplied by 5 to calculate the blur radius in pixels.

Depth Map Layer

The Depth Map Layer to use from which blur radius for each pixel is to be calculated. Depth values have to be in the range 0.0 to 1.0. A depth value of 0.0 indicates nearest to the camera and a value of 1.0 indicates furthest away from camera. If no depth map layer is applied, all pixels are blurred to the full radius.

Invert Depth Map

Invert the values of the Depth Map. Useful to remap some depth maps produced by some applications.

Focus Distance

The depth value that is currently in focus. You can either enter it manually or use the Focus Point Selection.

Use Focus Point

If selected, select the Focus Point directly in the comp window using the Point picker. Focus distance values are automatically updated. Pro Registration Required.

Use Focus Point Every Frame

This option enables to sample the Focus Distance actively from the location of the Focus Point, every frame. Useful if you need to track a certain object for focus.

Iris

This section enables you to choose the shape and other characteristics of the Iris used to simulate the blur.

Iris Shape

Set the shape of the Iris to one of the following. You can visualize the shape using the Iris Preview parameter.

Gaussian: The blur looks like a Gaussian blur. This produces the fastest blur but visually not always the best.

Spherical: The blur looks like multi-blade full circle Iris shape. Requires Pro Registration.

Polygon: The blur looks like multi-blade Iris shape with fixed number of notches. Requires Pro Registration.

Polygon (HQ): Similar to Polygon option but renders at a much higher quality.

Custom Image: Use a custom image layer as an Iris. See further notes below

Iris Aspect Ratio

Set the Aspect Ratio of the Iris. Useful to create Anamorphic Bokeh.

Polygon Sides

Set the number of notches to the Polygon Iris shape.

Polygon Rotation

Set the rotation of the notches in the Polygon Iris shape.

Polygon Curvature

Set the curvature of polygon sides.

Custom Image Iris

Use a layer image as the shape of the Bokeh. Currently, only Luminance from the layer is supported.

We recommend using Image Layer of dimensions 128x128px. You can use bigger size images too, but might cause a slight drop in render performance. But if you do use lower than 128x128px, there will be a significant loss of quality especially in higher blur radii. We recommend setting the Image Sampling Detail between 25-100. You can enter much higher values but the results are not much different visually.

Iris Image Sampling Detail

Set the Image Detail co-efficient. The higher this number is, the more detailed the Iris shape is, but the render will become a lot slower. The level of detail follows a diminishing return i.e. for values higher than 100, the visual difference is imperceptible. We recommend setting this as low as possible.

Zone Control

Zone Control or technically speaking Segmentation will give a lot of control over the parts of the image that have to be blurred. For example, you can have full blur in the far zone i.e. away from the focus and no blur in the near zone i.e. closer to the camera. You can also have a much wider focus zone so that all pixels that have a depth in that zone will not be blurred.

Zone Visualization

Fast Bokeh Zones

This visualization shows the amount of blur applied at the nearest zone to the camera, the focus zone and also the farthest zone. The blur is the highest at the near end and far end. It is completely zero in the focus zone.

Focus Zone Width

Set the width of the focus zone. The wider it is, the more depth range is in focus. If set to zero (default) only one depth value is in focus.

Focus Zone Offset

Set the offset of the Focus Zone. By default the focus zone is split evenly among near and far zones.

Near Blur Factor

Blur Factor to be applied to all the pixels in the near zone. If set to zero, near zone pixels will not be blurred.

Far Blur Factor

Blur Factor to be applied to all the pixels in the far zone. If set to zero, far zone pixels will not be blurred.

Render Each Zone Separately

If checked, each zone is Rendered Separately and the composited to a final image. This avoids a lot of pixel leakage from far and near zones into focus zones.

Show Zone

Visualize each zone or the final composite when rendering each zone separately.

Highlights

Adjust the highlights in the image to get a more cinematic effect. For best results use 32bpc.

Threshold

Minimum luminosity threshold required before brightness and saturation are modified for the pixel. Setting the threshold to 0 boosts all non-zero pixels. Setting it to 1.0, only boosts over bright pixels.

Brightness Gain

The amount of energy fed into pixels that are above the threshold. Depending on how bright a pixel is above the threshold, the pixel value is increased in brightness by this relative amount.

Saturation Gain

The amount of color retained in the boosted pixel. Setting it to 0 pushes the boosted colors toward white while setting to 100 attempts to retain as much color as possible. Useful to retain the color of highlights in the image.

Intensity Boost

Boost the color intensity. Useful for large blur radii and transparent images.

Render Quality

Multiple levels of quality. 1x is the fastest but low on details. 4x is the highest but slowest. 3x is the sweet spot for quality and render performance. Visually, 3x and 4x are almost identical. So 3x is recommended instead of 4x.

Linear Color Working Space

Produces a result similar to a project set to a linearized working color space. Check this property (or set it from the project settings) to see realistic bokeh effects from your images.

Use GPU

Use GPU to render. Please note that you need a compatible GPU that supports Compute. We don't recommend using this option if you're using Integrated GPU on a laptop. Results may vary depending on GPU.

You need a GPU that supports Metal 2 on macOS (10.14 and higher only). On Windows, you need a GPU that supports compute (GL 4.3 and above).

Due to differences in algorithms, GPU and CPU renders might have minor differences. For pixel accurate results across multiple machines and render farms CPU rendering is recommended.