Is is possible to increase the depth of field in cycles while keeping the same blur size? I know this is not physically correct, but in some renders this would be useful. Here is a demonstration of what I am looking for:

Normal Focus:

Normal Lense Depth of Field

What I'm trying to achieve (New part shaded green): Adjusted Lense Depth of Field (Shaded Green)

Is this possible (Maybe with the compositor)? If so, how? Any help is appreciated.

An example for what this would be used for would be the following: I have a somewhat lengthy main object that I want in focus. The other background objects are moderately close to the main object, but I want them to be blurred. If you increase the DOF blur to ensure the background objects aren't in focus, your main object is only partially in focus. The Depth of focus is too shallow to fit your main object. Now if you change to a wide DOF, the background objects would still be relatively clear which is not what you want. The solution is what I am describing; You would set a very shallow DOF, initially, so that the background is well out of focus, and then you would increase just the focus area to cover the main object but keep the blur amount the same.

  • $\begingroup$ I believe DOF stand for depth of field. $\endgroup$
    – Vader
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ DOF can also stand for Depth of Focus which is sometimes used interchangeably with Depth of Field. To avoid confusion, I have changed it to Depth of Field. Read more here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 23:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just for the record Depth of Field and Depth of Focus are NOT interchangeable (from the "American Cinematogrpher's Manual): DEPTH OF FIELD - The range of object distance within which objects are in satisfactory sharp focus, the limits being the establishment of a circle of confusion of greatest acceptable size. DEPTH OF FOCUS - The range through which the image plane (the emulsion of the film) can be moved backward and forward with respect to the camera lens such as defined under the depth of field and circle of confusion. This term is often confused with depth of field and vice versa. $\endgroup$
    – user1853
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 2:16

1 Answer 1


One way to do this:

  1. Set the depth of field to your liking and keep the focus on the object you want sharp, even if adjacent objects on the same focal plane look sharp.
  2. Separate the object in focus in one layer and the rest a different layer.
  3. Assign the layers to different render layers.
  4. On the compositor choose the render layer with the objects you want to defocus, and add a blur node.
  5. Mix the two layers back together.

If you want a bit finer control, use a defocus node instead of blur and control the blur using the Z information.


Here's another solution to make "impossible" Depth of Field. Using a color ramp to modify the Z pass on a defocus node.This way you have absolute control on what goes in focus and how blury it gets!

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here The blend file is here:

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ In the color ramp example, the top of the 5 seems to appear behind the number 6. Can this be avoided? $\endgroup$
    – Neil
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 14:44

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