Perfect focus change between two layers in After Effects CS6

Focusing can be challenging when using depth of field in AE. This tutorial shows you how you can focus between different layers easily and accurately.

Written version:

We begin by creating a text layer and turning it’s 3d switch on.

Then we duplicate it with control D and change the text to far.

Let’s also make the color less saturated.

Now let’s position this far layer further away on the z-axis by dragging on the blue arrow.

Next we’ll create our camera. It has to be a two-node camera for this to work. If you prefer a one node camera, you can switch to that after you have done the focusing.

Let’s make sure depth of field is turned on. We’ll also give the aperture a very large value in order to create a very visible blur.

To animate the focus between the near and far layers, we turn on the stopwatch for the focus distance parameter. Then we’ll move a bit further in time and select both the layer that we want to bring into focus and the camera.

Then simply go to layer –> camera –> set focus distance to layer.

We have now made a perfect focus pull between these two layers.

Thanks for watching and see you next time on!

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