Using Depth of Field in Blender Render

Hey all! Last night, I watched the movie Wall-E that Pixar made a few years back. Well, I got inspired. In the movie, they were using a lot of blur effects, or Depth of Field. Well, I went Googling, and I found out how to do it in Blender! It’s not to hard, but it covers a new subject we’ve never talked about: Compositing (or Node Editing as it is sometimes called).

1. Make your scene. You could lay balls around or make doughnuts or anything, but for my scene, I used Monkeys and rings.

2. Add an Empty (Add>Empty) and place it where you want the camera’s focus to be.

3. Now select your camera. In the Properties window, click the Camera button. Under the Display header, select Limits. under the Depth of Field header, in the Focus box, select your Empty. Unless you renamed it, it’s probably called “Empty”.

4. Now for the Nodes. Change the Editor Type to ‘Node Editor’ or select ‘Compositing’ from the window list at the top.

Once you’re there, check the box that says ‘Use Nodes’. Go to Add>Filter>Defocus. Drag it in between the two existing Nodes.

5. Check the ‘Use Z-Buffer’ box. Now connect the Z output on the Render Layers node to the Z input on the Defocus node. Also connect the image output on the Defocus node to the image input on the Composite node.

6. Back on the farm (or Defocus node 😉 ), set fStop to something low like 10 or 12. Lower is blurrier. Un-check the ‘Preview’ box too. Now you’re done!


You can even keyframe the blur. Just right click on the fStop box and click Insert Keyframe. Now go to your timeline and select where you want the blur to end. Drag the slider to the place where you want it and select ‘Insert Keyframe’ again.

Final Result:

And here’s the final result!



5 thoughts on “Using Depth of Field in Blender Render

  1. Awsome tutorial Rio!! this affect can be used for still Renders and movies like Wall.E. That brings me to my 2 questions. 1. Are we going to be seeing more Node tutorials? 2. Are you going to make a texture mapping tutorial? Thanks again Rio.

  2. Neat. Hey Rio when i texture map my head i went into front veiw then projected the UV from view with bounds and it looked good but then i noticed that the face texture was on the back of the head. i tryed other ways of doing it but they didn’t work could you send me a picture of how you did it? Thanks

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