photoshop creative
Oct
2

Review: DOF Pro

Posted in:
Reviews, by Mark White
October 2, 2017

A Photoshop plug-in that promises to complex and realistic depth-of-field effects

Creating believable and realistic depth of field can be tricky to get right. Enter DOF PRO, a Photoshop plug-in aimed at doing precisely this. It can be used on CG renders and also for enhancing photographs. The plug-in works by using a depth map to create the depth of field. CG renders often come with depth maps, but photographs need them to be created. That can sometimes be difficult, but patience pays off.

DOF PRO has powerful built-in gradient features that can help with the depth map creation. DOF PRO also offers fine control over many parameters that are required for achieving a realistic result. For example, users can change aperture shape, chromatic aberration, edge blending, highlight processing, aperture texture, matte box effect and noise.

The plug-in has built-in aperture controls so the user can create his or her own aperture to work with. It features circular aperture shapes; polygonal aperture shapes ranging from three to 16 aperture blades; blade notching with variable-notch scale and positive and negative notch angle; custom apertures that enable the loading of aperture maps; astigmatic featuring both sagittal and tangential astigmatism; aspect ratio selection; optical vignetting with vignette scale control; catadioptric (Mirror, Reflex) lenses; and more. All these parameters give users creative freedom when deciding on the final look of the out-of-focus areas and can greatly enhance the final image. Also, DOF PRO can be applied to animated content.

When you are working with the plug-in, it will downscale the image preview to increase performance. This means you can view changes almost in real-time. It is possible to increase the preview size if you need, but performance speed will degrade on the larger scales due to the very complex calculations. You need to decide what’s best for you.

When you are happy with the settings, click OK in the interface and DOF PRO will apply the filter to the image. As you would with sharpening edits, it’s best to work with DOF PRO after you have finished editing or grading the image.

Verdict

9/10 – DOF Pro is a really good plug-in for creating realistic depth of field effects. The wide range of parameters offers users nearly infinite creative possibilities.