For this After Effects tutorial, Creative Cow enlisted the help of Andrew Kramer to explain adding depth of field to AE compositions.

In this helpful AE tutorial, motion graphic rock star Andrew Kramer walks us through the process of adding depth of field to existing footage. While he is using an older version of After Effects, the logic and process is still the same in After Effects CC. So let’s check out the tutorial, presented by Creative Cow.

Let’s recap the steps that Andrew takes to pull off this effect. We’ll add some helpful GIFs so you know exactly where to go in the new After Effects CC interface.

1. Import and Start a New Comp

To start things off, Andrew shows us how to import, drag, and drop our footage to create a new composition.

After Effects Tutorial: Depth of Field - Import Footage

After Effects Tutorial: Depth of Field - New Comp

2. Add Lens Blur

Next up, we’ll go to Effect, Blur & Sharpen and finally to Camera Lens Blur.

After Effects Tutorial: Depth of Field - Add Lens Blur

3. Create a Depth Map

Now, create a new solid and then head to Effects, Generate and then Gradient Ramp. Once this is done, pre-compose your depth layer.

After Effects Tutorial: Depth of Field - Depth Map

4. Focal Distance

Finally, head over to the Effects Controls for the Lens Blur that you added to your footage. Here, you’ll need to adjust your Blur Focal Distance and keyframe it so that we get the rack focus effect that you see in many feature films.

After Effects Tutorial: Depth of Field - Focal length

Want to know more about After Effects? Check out these additional articles from RocketStock.

Was this After Effects tutorial helpful? How will you be using this effect? Show us your work in the comments below!