Blurring particular objects


Need to work out some blur in a single render pass without post processing, and having trouble dialing in DOF due to other constraints on where certain objects need to be so they don’t collide.

I’d really prefer to just be able to blur certain objects each by a specified amount. Most of the info I’ve been able to find in threads is quite old, and mainly seems to indicate global render filters and/or post production. (Post definitely not an option here due to sheer number of videos being output)

Just wanted to check if there was anything more recent perhaps that might be able to address this or otherwise achieve a similar end. For instance, object specific DOF would work in this case.

Quick and efficient single render (no post) is more important than accuracy in this case.


I don’t think this is possible to do “in camera” - you’ll have to either A render two passes and comp them together or B render once and comp the blur in using object buffers.

Speaking more generally, (and assuming these recent posts of yours are all about the same project) I would seriously consider evaluating your pipeline for this job. Rendering directly to MP4 is in my opinion a disaster waiting to happen, as is the lack of any post time for this project.

Having said that I don’t know your project, your client or your budget so feel free to tell me to mind my own business!


Point taken, and I’d tend to agree in general even with my limited knowledge of C4d, but the elephant in the room for me right now is efficiency and the sheer number of little videos to be rendered. I just don’t have time for any comping.

To that end, though, certain things that are unduly impractical may have to be sacrificed. This may be one of them. I’m concerned about trying to make foreground text easier to read, so wanted some DOF or background blurring to assist this, but the practical consideration of workflow efficiency is more important, so I may just darken background or something similar.


Obviously I don’t know your projects, but multiple things here are giant waving red flags.

  • There’s simply no mechanism for blurring part of an image in-render, this is something that really needs to be done in post. If you have many videos then it might be possible to automate the process by just swapping out passes and hitting export

  • Why is there text in the 3D world? Again, I don’t know the project so it might be the way it needs to be done, but typically you would add and track text in post for quick updates to typos, client changes, translations etc. Otherwise every copy change is a full re-render. Make use of aec files to get the 3D data

  • Can’t see any mentioned of rendering to mp4, but if you are, don’t, it takes 10 seconds to queue up an encode in adobe media encoder and gives better quality and the option for different compression exports. mp4 export from c4d should be for quick test previews generally.


I’ve been considering some of those factors. I’m coming from the Adobe world. Not sure where the balance is for me right now, but my considerations are:

  1. Blur is not a huge deal. Would like to have it, but not worth extra steps.

  2. The project is mainly text. (picture a 3-d lyric video) The 3d effects on the text are one of the main features, and they are flying around in front of and behind other objects, so it would require mattes passes, etc to recombine if not done in single step.

  3. There is no client. I am a one man operation, and I’m a musician who still needs time left in the week to do create, edit, mix, and master music, and to run the social media, etc. Time isn’t a factor, it’s THE factor.

  4. The whole purpose of the templates is to do the work ahead of time so I have something that looks good, but it can be very quickly swapped out for other text/image and new videos rendered in minimum time. I’m looking at putting out a video per day per format per template… so we’re talking about a dozen or more videos rendered per day on the only machine I have which is also being used full time for other purposes. Hopefully, with takes in a one-step output process, that’s just me swapping out a few files once a day, and hitting render 3x a day, then doing other things until it’s ready to upload, then deleting the files once uploaded since I’ve got 4 massive drives overflowing with files already.

  5. The sheer storage needs and system demands of lots of large alpha files on my 2008 Mac Pro for that many videos WHILE recording and mixing audio is a dealbreaker.

I’m sure it’s not ideal from the perspective of a hired gun looking to maximize quality for clients, but my consideration is more about time management and efficiency.

I do have Adobe ME, though… Are you referring to exporting full .mov viles or something and then compressing in ME, or is there actually a way to do a single stage render out of C4d via ME? The first isn’t really feasible for the reasons mentioned, but I could do the second if there’s an option for that.


The best way for most people is to render out animations as a series of still images. The reasons for this are many, but the main ones are that if the render stops or crashes, nothing is lost and you can pick up from where it stopped with the the biggest render loss being 1 frame; rendering to an mp4 will trash the entire render if an error occurs.

Also this makes playback in editing software much quicker as the software can just pull out the single frame it needs when scrubbing as temporal compression used in mp4 can slow down playback. Using high quality stills also means you can try different compression values to get a feel for file size vs quality. finally they also offer features that mp4 doesn’t; embedded alphas, multi channels, lossless compression, 16/32bit colour.

In a nutshell image sequences are the superior option in every regard unless you’re absolutely desperate for harddrive space that you can’t afford a few gigs until the project is done.

But for what you’re doing you may be taking the best route, churning out a dozen videos a day, I’d also be after shortcuts. TBH though, you may find you’re better off with one of After effects’ 3D tools like element3D if you need this quick of a turnaround.


Looking to leave Adoe for C4d specifically because AE is much more sluggish and hard to preview on my system for similar setup. Will miss some ME and Photoshop style options, but workflow efficiency is key. Only used Element a couple of times, but having much better luck working quickly in C4d.

I also should have mentioned these are short videos, so I’m not particularly concerned about failed renders (1080p 30fps or less and between 15 seconds to 2 minutes each), and no heavy render options enabled, so a failed render is not a huge problem. Definitely a good point for bigger vids, though.

I’m not necessarily looking for shortcuts so much as acknowledging that I just need a delivery format, and don’t need to edit or do anything else with it, so some of those considerations don’t apply.

Only thing I plan on doing with them after rendering is adding poster frame / metadata. I’d do that within a single render step too if I could, but not aware of any way to do this.

Now… I’m assuming the mp4’s I can render from C4d are otherwise acceptable. If there’s something in particular about those renders that doesn’t work well for YouTube, FB, IG, TW, etc, then that’s a consideration for sure.


It would help if you could post a sample video, or even a couple of reference stills of what you’re trying to accomplish.


Noted. I’ll try to make that a priority next time. In this case, even just basic DOF ended up quadrupling render time which is a deal-breaker, so looking into some basic cheats like textures with baked in blur to be able to go back to standard render.