Question: What’s the most appealing difference between a typical fixed-lens video camera and a cinematographic model (or a dSLR, for that matter)? The answer must be: the shallow Depth of Field (DoF). The problem is price. A Sony NEX FS100 costs about 5,000.00 Euros without a lens. But wait a minute: while it’s not a 100% match, you can simulate shallow DoF in software.
What you’ll need:
- A copy of Final Cut Pro X or Final Cut Pro 6/7
- A license for Crumplepop’s ShrinkRay plug-in
The ShrinkRay plug-in is intended to create tilt-shift effects for making big things look tiny; in other words: it’s a plug-in with which you can make the world seem small, miniature. However, the controls that are available in that plug-in can be used to create shallow depth of field in a videoclip.
What you’ll do to use the ShrinkRay plug-in for this purpose, is turn off the saturation boost, and turn down contrast. Furthermore, you’ll have to experiment with the focus centre and in some cases you might have to use one of the patches as well. The end-result, however, will be quite close to the depth of field effects you can get out of a camera costing 20 to 40 times as much as Crumplepop’s plug-in.
Here’s a video that quickly takes you through the process: