Post Production

Classic Course: Compound Blur

The original AE effect to blur one layer based on the pixels in another.

An important concept in After Effects is the idea of a “blur map”: a layer that tells you how to blur another layer. This is often used in compositing – often in conjunction with multi-channel 3d renders – to help you create a sense of depth by blurring areas that the camera’s not focused on. But it there are also a lot of creative uses for blur maps, as well.

The two movies below cover the original Compound Blur effect, which is a good introduction to the idea of how to use a blur map. The first movie focuses on how to put it to good use:

While the second movie focuses on its shortcomings:

At the end of that second movie above, we mention Lens Blur as a better alternative to Compound Blur. Therefore, that’s the effect we’re going to feature next week.

These movies previously appeared in our Insight Into Effects course on Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making them available publicly for free.

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Chris & Trish Meyer founded Crish Design (formerly known as CyberMotion) in the very earliest days of the desktop motion graphics industry. Their design and animation work has appeared on shows and promos for CBS,…

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