Name of effect? Creating out-of-focus are _around_ a subject?

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Traveller, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Traveller

    Traveller Guest

    I've done some online searching and in my Vegas Video 4 manual but I'm
    not getting any results. I know it must be because I'm not searching
    for the right thing. It's something you see a on TV or in movies
    occasionally, when the camera has a shot of the main subject and lots
    of surrounding people, etc., but the camera focuses on the subject and
    the rest of the screen goes out of focus so that we really only see
    the main subject.

    What is this called, anyone know? Once I know what this is called,
    I'm sure I'll find a tutorial or two on the net on how to create this

    Traveller, Apr 11, 2005
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  2. Traveller

    Trev Guest

    Quick easy way put a cheap uv sky filter on your camera and smear some
    Vaseline around the edge,Not a lot just enough to get the effect you want
    Trev, Apr 11, 2005
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  3. Traveller

    C.J.Patten Guest

    You're bang on with that Richard!

    Not specifically depth-of-field related but in a lot of cases, the time it
    takes to "fix" something using technical gee-whizzery is greater than the
    time it takes to go re-do the original source. (be it still photos, video,

    There was a site around where someone built a "go-between" - some kind of
    bellows I think - for a DVX100 to allow for tighter depth of field. The site
    had some sample movies that were fantastic demos.

    I see a commercial tool:

    I recall the "jury rigged" one though - just can't find the site.
    Anyone have that?

    C.J.Patten, Apr 11, 2005
  4. Traveller

    Rob D Guest

    Here´s how Premiere can be used to tackle this. Have a look around Vegas
    controls / menus to see if its do-able.
    Rob D, Apr 11, 2005
  5. Traveller

    Bill G Guest

    I agree with what you're saying, but I think you may have missed the
    point of the question. In my mind anyway, the OP seemed to be asking
    for that effect you see on the news programs where a guy is skiing on
    top of an avalanche and someone is using a camcorder from the other
    side of the valley, so the guy is just a tiny black speck. To keep him
    visible to us, the TV viewers, they blur or darken everything except a
    circular area that includes the subject in order to make sure our eyes
    don't stray elsewhere. There's no way to do that at the time of the
    shooting, it's 100% done in post, because these are amateur videos
    shot with camcorders on the spur of the moment.
    Bill G, Apr 11, 2005
  6. Traveller

    Bill G Guest

    Others have pointed you to 'depth of field', which applies more during
    the time of shooting, but since you want to do this in VV4 I would
    look for something like Filter, Mask, or Video Overlay. I don't know
    the actual steps, but you might be able to make a full-screen blur
    mask with a circular hole in it, and then position the mask so that
    your subject can be seen through the hole. If you're working with a
    long video sequence, repositioning the mask might be a pain but you'd
    probably only move it every X frames so that it seems to follow your
    Bill G, Apr 11, 2005
  7. Traveller

    Trev Guest

    Yes there is or was . A Plastic holder that fits over the lens and has a 7
    blade iris that can be stopped down in the same way as the Aperture . it
    causes a darkened unsharp vignation around the centre area of the lens.
    Lots of soft focus filters with clear centre spots in the Cokin range too
    Trev, Apr 11, 2005
  8. Traveller

    Tony Morgan Guest

    Its also worth mentioning that the depth of field is smaller at tele
    zoom settings (keeping the subject framing the same - i.e. Moving
    further away from the subject).
    Tony Morgan, Apr 11, 2005
  9. Traveller

    Tony Morgan Guest

    In message <>, Trev

    I'd perhaps add that the Cokin is the best solution, since the "spot"
    can be moved away from the centre - especially as most camcorders have a
    37mm or 30mm lens outer size. You can also change the amount of
    softening by varying the tele/WA setting in conjunction with moving to
    keep the framing the same.
    Tony Morgan, Apr 11, 2005
  10. Traveller

    Rob D Guest

    Depth of field effects will not isolate a subject that is at a similar
    distance from camera as the parts you want to isolate it from, of course.
    Regardless of this, I get the impression that the OP has already got his
    material and wants to fix his problem. I would avoid "manually tracing
    around the subject" at all costs unless making a Sci Fi scene or something
    along those lines!

    Rob D, Apr 11, 2005
  11. In fact it's *very* apparent, almost over-used in the new labour TV ad
    errr I mean "party broadcast" ;-)
    Cheers - Neil
    Neil Smith [MVP Digital Media], Apr 11, 2005
  12. Traveller

    Bill G Guest

    But that doesn't apply to the examples and scenarios I gave above. :)
    Bill G, Apr 11, 2005
  13. Traveller

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    The effect to use is called Cookie Cutter.
    Place 2 copies of your clip on the timeline, one under the other.
    On the lower track, click the Event FX icon and select "Gaussian Blur".
    Select "medium blur" in the Preset box. You'll go back and adjust this later
    so don't worry about it being too blurry right now.
    On the upper track, click the Event FX icon and select "cookie cutter".
    Select "circle center" in the preset box, "circle" (or other effect as
    desired) in the shape box and "cut away all but section" in the method box.
    Increase the "border" size until you can see it. You'll only use this to
    help with positioning. Afterwards, drop it back down to 0. Adjust the
    other parameters (feather, border and center) and move the little square in
    the white box to the left of the settings windows to position the circle as
    Now go back to the upper track and adjust the blur to the desired level. If
    you want the blur effect to fade in over time, you'll need to add key frames
    (the timeline at the bottom of the Video Event FX window) to the effect.
    Simply set the blur amount to 0 at the beginning, move the cursor to the
    point that you want the blur to be fully in, create a new keyframe and enter
    the new blur amount. That should be it.

    BTW, there are a number of excellent Vegas forums around to learn a lot
    Creative Cow:
    DV Info:

    And also check out: (check out the "Resources" page here)
    Excellent set of free (pdf) newsletters at
    Very comprehensive site at

    Happy reading.

    Mike Kujbida, Apr 12, 2005
  14. Traveller

    Tony Morgan Guest

    It would increase the degree of control, but not significantly. IMHO
    it's hardly worth the investment unless you have a need for extra tele -
    and under max tele settings you will need to tripod mount to get a
    steady picture - in spite of 'steady-shot'.
    Tony Morgan, Apr 12, 2005
  15. Let's hear again from Traveller. I'm not at all sure differential
    focus is what he's looking for, though 90% of this thread is
    addressing that topic :)
    Laurence Payne, Apr 12, 2005
  16. Traveller

    Rob D Guest

    I think Bill G, Mike and I at least (sorry if I missed anyone else), have
    him on the right track.
    But he has gone rather quiet - perhaps busy trying out the suggestions!?

    Rob D, Apr 12, 2005
  17. Traveller

    Tony Morgan Guest

    If you are looking for a tele lens, have a look on Ebay. I fairly
    recently got a new 2x one from the US for a very modest sum, and it
    turns in quite good quality. And for cheaper than Cokin (look-alikes)
    you might try SRB at

    SRB also do relatively inexpensive circular screw-in filters.
    Tony Morgan, Apr 14, 2005
  18. Traveller

    Traveller Guest

    That would work. I had a shot in the vid that was the only shot where
    the subject and guide dog were shown properly, i.e., full frontal and
    clearly showing face. But it's a shot where they're coming up out of
    subway and too many people around plus a person was blocking a good
    part of the right-hand side of screen. I _did_ do a workaround. I
    found a mask and just had the actor and dog and everything else pretty
    much blacked out. Professionally, anyone seeing this on TV would say
    it stunk, but for home use as an intro to a TV ep, I was happy enough
    since result showed what I needed.

    I'll be looking to fine-tune something like this and the above example
    is an excellent description. I'd also like to see a blur rather than
    black, as I had to do.

    Traveller, Apr 23, 2005
  19. Traveller

    Traveller Guest

    Sorry for delay in responding and thanks to eveyrone for the info in
    this thread. 'course, I didn't understand half of what y'all were
    talking about <lol>, but I'm just a newbie but filed a lot away in my
    head for future reference.

    As I just described in another msg in this thread, I ended up
    figuring out how to work with one of the masks and fiddled enough so
    that the subject and guide dog in the shot were what was visible.
    There was too much "interference" in the particular shot I used but
    was the best one showing subjects and faces and expressions at best
    angle and fully. Not a very professional-looking end effect but it
    still looked neat, for a beginner <g> and it did the job. No nasty
    pedestrian's piece of swinging arm and leg as well as the back end of
    butt in the shot anymore distracting from the main subjects!! <lol>
    Got rid of all the other pedestrians, too.

    The idea in one of the other msgs of the camcorders and
    post-production work and adding blur was spot-on and is exactly what I
    was trying to do in spirit. My black mask attempted to do that type
    of thing and it did do the job. I'd be interested in knowing how a
    blur could be achieved though instead of using black.

    Traveller, Apr 23, 2005
  20. Traveller

    Traveller Guest

    Yes, so sorry. RL got in the way and I did come up with a solution in
    the meantime. I finally figured out how to work with masks! <g> I
    used that and blacked everyone else out. It worked. But I'd be
    interested in doing the same thing but trying a blur instead.
    Anything would have done here just to get all the pedestrians out of
    the shot esp. the one who just walked in front of the subjects and so
    that all we see is a bent elbow, a leg and a butt! <lol> Very
    Traveller, Apr 23, 2005
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