… for Apple Motion

Tip #1449: Add Depth of Field to a Camera

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Rendering Depth-of-Field is very processor intensive. Turn it off when you don’t need it.

Top view showing camera angle, far and near focus. Text displaying resulting depth of field.

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(I discovered this tip while researching a recent PowerUP webinar illustrating Cameras, Sets & Drop Zones in Apple Motion 5.5.)

Depth of field (focus) can be added to any camera in Motion; though it is off by default. Here’s how to turn it on and adjust it.

  • Go to the Render menu in the top right corner of the Canvas (Viewer) and enable Depth of Field.
  • Add a camera to your project.
  • Select the camera, then, in Inspector > Camera, twirl down Depth of Field.
  • DOF Blur Amount. The amount of blurriness.
  • Near Focus. Indicated by a yellow line nearest the camera. This represents the nearest an object can be to the camera and still be in focus.
  • Far Focus. Indicated by a yellow line farthest from the camera. This represents the farthest an object can be to the camera and still be in focus.
  • Focus Offset. Drag this setting to roll the focus from foreground to background.

In this screen shot:

  • DOF Blur Amount: 60
  • Focus Offset: -2.0
  • Near Focus: 311
  • Far Focus: 0 (This is, generally, left at 0)
  • Camera Angle of View: 74°


Use keyframes to animate Focus Offset to create a real-time roll focus.

Rendering depth-of-field is processor intensive. If playback is too slow, turn it on to set values, then turn off until ready to create final exports.

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