Houdini HDA: Depth of Field visualiser

A handy little depth of field visualiser. Hang it off the bottom of a camera object, and it’ll create a couple of frames in the scene showing what’ll be in focus.

The calculation is based on a circle-of-confusion (well, maximum blur) of 1 pixel, so a deeper field may appear to be in focus, but it’ll depend on the subject matter. You’ll have to render a frame to see exactly how the focus looks and feels, but this is a particularly handy way to check what the camera’s focussed – especially if the camera’s moving, or if you’re pulling focus between objects.

The visualiser lets you know when you’ve hit your virtual lens’s hyper-focal distance – the nearest focus-distance at which objects at infinity first come into focus. Handy when you want everything in the background in focus, but the foreground as defocussed as possible. Whack up the camera’s focus distance, then pull it down until the “Far” distance is just hitting infinity.

Notes:

  • The asset has no controls; it picks up all the resolution and lens information automatically from the camera it’s linked to
  • The visualiser doesn’t work with Camera Switcher objects, but you can drop a separate visualiser onto each camera if you like
  • The frames and numbers won’t appear in renders, but once you’re happy with the camera’s focus you may want to turn off its display flag to stop its calculations from slowing down preview playback.

Download (CC-0, use and abuse): com_howiem__dof_visualiser__1_0.hdalc

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