Depth Composite


Hey all

I have two images that I want to composite together. One is a grayish image that is the depth pass. The other is all my other stuff that has been tweaked and layered together.

How do I use the depth image properly? Is there a special format of file to use? Should I try a different method? Any help is much appreciated.


Using AE 7 here.

Once you got all your composite layers how you want them, create an adjustment layer on top of everything.

Make sure your depth pass is in the comp as well (bottom of everything else is fine) but NOT visible.

Apple the the following effect to your adjustment layer:

Effect >> Blur & Sharpen >> Compound Blur

Under the “Blur Layer” menu, select you depth pass (should show up if its in your comp)

Adjust “Maximum Blur” to taste.

Note: You may need to check on “invert Blur” if its going the wrong way.


Thanks for your reply

hmm. Well I got it to work, but the blur is really quite nauseating. Either it is incredibly pixelated or it barely has any effect. It looked much better as an integrated part of the 3D render. Is this an adjustment layer thing with temporary display settings?

thanks again


i generally use adjustment layers for this kind of thing.

here is a tutorial on the techniques I use :


If you are looking for an depth of field effect, try the Lens Blur of AE7. Same Filter as in PS.
And the good thing is the depth channel could be a seperate image. For better results I would recommend to render the depth channel in a 16bit image format. That will increase the depth steps.


while its certainly not optically accurate, its not pixelly and its noticeable. you definitely cant use it for really extreme blurs. as to pixelation, make sure its not on the draft setting. (that little diagonal bar on the layers). it should be just as overly velvet smooth as the regular gaussian blur, assuming your mask image itself is suitably high res and antialiased.


thanks guys:)


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