Video tutorial: Pull focus for cinematic depth of field

Cinematographers love to pull focus from a sharp foreground to a sharp background, letting the rest of the frame go out of focus. Sometimes it’s impossible to get this effect in-camera, and sometimes you only realise you want it after you’ve shot it.

To create this look in After Effects, use one adjustment layer to create the blur. By quickly masking off parts of the image, and animating the mask opacities, you make it look as though focus is blending from foreground to background. The new Mask Feather tool in After Effects CS6 perfects this technique in a few clicks, so you can add this look to your own shots with minimal effort.

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