Anyways, given that im almost finished with the project, im not going to give up now. So basically, i have two problems.
1: I want to have a DOF effect so the city wonīt look so CG and perfect.
2: I want the bokeh effect that i see so much in movies when two characters are talking and thereīs a city in the background and you can see all this little circles of colors dancing around.
So, the first thing i tried was to enable de DOF of the camera in the After Effect project. FAIL... one of the problems that took me so hard to solve, where some buildings suddenly flashed in front of others that shouldīve been obstructing them, reappeared.So i looked for other options.
What i finally did was to order the layers of the buildings in a logical fashion in the stack, i.e., the row of buildings that were far in the background, were at the bottom of the stack, and the ones that were closer to the camera, were at the top. Between every row of buildings layers, i placed an adjustment layer (actually i did this early on to make different 3d spaces so the buildings would stop overlapping over one another). So, in those adjustment layers, i applied the "Lens Blur" effect, and i tried to cheat a "DOF" look by applying more blurriness to the bottom layers (the buildings that were fartest away) via the adjustment layers, and less blurriness the to the top layers (the buildings in the foreground) that should be in focus (oh,and i knew that the amount of blur that i applied to the top adjustment layers would "add" to the blur applied to the lower adjusment layers; i tried to adjust the values to compensate this).
So, the result of all of this was a look that was really close to what i was going for; it was not perfect, but it was enough for me. So, i rendered a test animation and... FAIL. The animation looked good to me, but the blurred highlights, the "bokeh" like thingies, were flickering very badly. I tried to use different parameters to no avail. I then searched the forums about this and a lot of people mentioned the "Frischluft Lenscare" plugin for doing this type of effects. So i downloaded a demo and did a test and the results where very similar to those of the "Lens Blur" effect of AE. The effect looks nice in a still, but when i render an animation it looks really weird.
So... i have 2 questions regarding this.
1 - Is there a way to generate a Z-Depth pass within an After Effect project so i can apply a Depth of Field Effect (be it the AE own Lens Blur or Frischluft Lenscare) without doing the messy thing i explained earlier with the bunch of adjustment layers and such? Iīve imported before .rpf files rendered from 3ds Max to AE and extracted the Z-depth succesfully, but this time all the 3d was done inside After Effects. Its there a way of doing this?
2 - Why the hell do the bokeh like highlights flicker so much when i render the animation? (whether im using "Lens Blur" or "Frischluft Lenscare") Can i get around this problem? Im not very familiarized with these kind of effects so maybe im missing something very stupid. Sorry if thatīs the case.
Oh, im working with a 16bpc project (i dont konw if thatīs relevant to my problems).
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I attached a part of the video for you to see what im talking about. Cheers.