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View Full Version : Questions for those of you with Evasion3d X-Dof 2.0


milqman
07-16-2003, 07:54 PM
G'day,

For those of you with X-Dof 2.0, I was wondering how it works. Do you just use X-Dof or do you use the camera's DOF in conjunction with X-Dof?

How fast is it in comparison to Digital Confusion?

Is it worth 200 dollars? ( I'm looking for some educational rates on that cause its a bit steep for me)

Finally, can someone point me to some reviews for it?

Orange1
07-16-2003, 08:12 PM
Yes, i'm interested in that, too. Thanks.

CourtJester
07-16-2003, 08:47 PM
XDOF v2.0 kicks Digital Confusion's ass, rips its head off and ships down its neck, IMNSHO...

It is fast, much much faster than Confusion. It is almost always accurate, it is very easy to start using right away with minimal tweaking.

Four times out of five you can use it on its own; the other fifth time, usually when you are doing rack focus with shallow DOF or other more extreme situations, you can use it together with LW DOF and it will handle almost anything you can throw at it. You'l never need to go past Enhanced Medium.

Its only weakness is the same one facing all pixel filters using the Zbuffer; it isn't accurate shooting through glass or into mirrors (as explained here (http://www.altyna.com/lw/DOFreflections.htm) .)

IIRC it's $150 per seat. We have one here and are considering a few more. Once you XDOF, nothing else is any good.

Only gotcha is that only the one licensed machine can touch its scenes. Unlike Sasquatch for example (which won't let you touch the interface, but still renders and stays in the scene), if anyone else loads the scene to edit something else, XDOF will balk and go away, requiring re-addition on the licensed machine. That causes a bit of a bottleneck here.

Triple G
07-16-2003, 08:53 PM
Never used the latest version, but I used version 1 at a studio I worked for a couple of years ago, and it kicked butt! I can only imagine what improvements they've made since. It looks much, much better than LW's built-in DOF, digital confusion or not. We even preferred its output to doing it in post with RLA/RPF files in After Effects. You lose the ability to tweak your settings in post, but X-DOF renders pretty quickly so it's not tough to get exactly the look you're going for, and like I said...the results are beautiful. If I remember right, you just apply it as an image filter, tell it what you want it to focus on (you can specify an exact distance, or you can have it always focus on a particular object, such as a null...which is really handy for doing rack-focus shots), and off you go. I'm pretty sure that you can use it with any anti-aliasing setting, not just medium or higher like LW's built-in DOF.

CourtJester
07-17-2003, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by Triple G
If I remember right, you just apply it as an image filter, tell it what you want it to focus on (you can specify an exact distance, or you can have it always focus on a particular object, such as a null...which is really handy for doing rack-focus shots), and off you go. I'm pretty sure that you can use it with any anti-aliasing setting, not just medium or higher like LW's built-in DOF.

When used with low AA setings, it does all the DOF on its own... with medium, it follows LW's camera settings, and works only enough to "help" LW DOF by blurring out its artifacts.

The way I control either XDOF or LW DOF, is to use a sphere with a one-meter radius parented to the camera. It's built with 36 sections longitude by 18 sections latitude, polys facing inward. Then I bevel them out using a small offset, and then set the new polys to a transparent surface. It will look like your camera is wearing a hockey mask in OpenGL. By scaling the sphere, you have a cool way to see exactly the distance from the camera... see where the geometry intersects and look at the scale readings. That's your distance. Enter that number into XDOF or LWDOF and you're done.

Or, use Channel Follower to drive the DOF settings from the sphere's X scale, and rack focussing becomes easy as pie to control by hand. Remember that Channel Follower adds, not replaces, so you have to zero out the one keyframe on the channel first.

Orange1
07-17-2003, 04:53 PM
Thanks a lot, CourtJester and Triple G.

preludian
07-17-2003, 11:40 PM
BTW is there some sort of forum or something else like a mailing list with a faq for X-Dof??

I have a small problem and don't know if it's due to 7.5c as I haven't use it so heaviliy before. Maybe you can help...if I have the AA settings on low with no adaptive I have a strong aliasing effect on the sharp edges. If I turn off X-DOF it's perfectly antialiased. I have to set at least medium or better to get rid of the jaggies. ???? Oh and then I was asking myself if it was possible to tell X-Dof a area where it should be sharp. In the Graph-Editor I can add a modifier for start and end sharpness, but in X-Dof I found no such function???

CourtJester
07-18-2003, 03:27 PM
Preludian: the sharpness could be due to any image filter you've got after XDOF. I found that a big glow-behind flare I was using for a distant sunset "assumed" the sharp edges of distant trees that XDOF had blurred, giving a strange "sharp-glow" look to the edge. The flare was doing it (flares render after pixel filters).

Another possibility (untested) is the issue with dynamic range and AA; try "Limit Dynamic Range" (Image Process-->Effects)

As for the sharpness range, XDOF doesn't have a "sharp from here to here" control, but it does allow you to scale the blur in front of and behind focus.

Steve Warner
07-18-2003, 05:08 PM
preludian:

I believe X-DOF comes with a Dof_Antialiasing Image Filter. Have you tried that?

preludian
07-18-2003, 08:12 PM
CourtJester + Steve Warner: Yeah, I tried everything, X-DOF-Antialiasing, Clipping and I have no other filters, except for G2 which I added later though, but didn't change the result.

Thanks for the scaling tip, I read it in the HTML Manual but thought it would only affect the LW DOF.

The first image is a WIP with no AA and no X-DOF

http://www.smolka1.de/temp/fish_noAA_noDOF.jpg

The second image is a WIP with no AA but with X-DOF

http://www.smolka1.de/temp/fish_noAA_DOF.jpg

The third image is a WIP with low AA and no X-DOF

http://www.smolka1.de/temp/fish_lowAA_noDOF.jpg

The fourth image is a WIP with low AA and X-DOF

http://www.smolka1.de/temp/fish_lowAA_DOF.jpg


As you can see, bad jaggies in the X_DOF images, they only go away if I use medium or higher AA setings.

Do you use LW 7.5c or 7.5a?? Did you never encounter such problems??

CourtJester
07-18-2003, 08:31 PM
X-DOF has two quality settings, "medium" and "high". I ran into those jaggies also ,especially with X-DOF on low AA with motion blur... using "high" went much of the way to fixing it. I have not noticed any time cost to using "high", so I use it exclusively now.

I don't use the X-DOF AA feature, I tried it once at some point and it just seemed to blur everything such that nothing was quite in focus.

I use the LWDOF+XDOF at enhanced medium combo for problematic shots.

WARNING: do NOT use any of the "dithered" motion blur settings with XDOF. It seems to drop one field, and the jaggies are huge.

preludian
07-18-2003, 08:46 PM
Thanks alot for your quick reply. I turned off X-DOF AA and set quality high and you're completely right, it's much better now and the unlogical bluring where it should be sharp is gonne.
Many many thanks.



:applause: :applause: :applause:

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