Sharpen Depth of Field in After Effects with One Click
In this video tutorial, Dustin Klein shows you how to create a depth map with one click while working in After Effects. Using the recent Digieffects plug-in, Depth, he shows you how to add more accurate and photoreal results than you can create with the default tools inside AE. The Depth plug-in can turn an entire AE comp into a depth map based on the relative positions of layers in z-space.
Though aspects of many notable plug-ins were rolled into After Effects CS5, this version of the compositing software still isn't all things to all people. Newer plug-ins have emerged to fill in the remaining gaps identified by power users, for example, Scopo Gigio, as pointed out by Scott Simmons in a recent blog post. We've got more video tutorials featuring plug-ins that shorten or improve your AE workflow, including one on how to use Digieffects' Depth, above, and a tutorial on stabilizing footage with Boris Continuum Complete.
If you haven't seen Ghost Town Media's spectacular use of Trapcode Form and Particular in the most recent Linkin Park video (see below), spend some time studying the effects. GTM does things with particles that seem utterly fresh and new.