I’ve found myself using depth of field a lot more in project, quite shallow depth of field which is very expensive in render time, require many, many samples. However depth maps can be used to MASSIVELY speed up the rendering process by processing the depth of field as a post process. I put together a little scene with the mind to test some of the solutions out there.
Small hotspots occasionally appear with the defocused bokeh ball, depth edges feel overly aliased and colours spread beyond edges of objects.
Now for the aforementioned Frischluft Lenscare for After Effects. So far I’m very happy with the results. Small highlights defocus into clean bokeh balls that can be customised. Object depth edges anti-alias well and the blur doesn’t spill.
A few of my ‘takeaways’ which experimenting have been: rendering a z depth at double the res, comping the defocus effect at that res then downscaling to the required resolution shows improved results. It also helps to front focus away from the edge of objects to hide aliasing.