How do you do this out of focus camera effect?

I can't think of any specific movies off the top of my head but in a lot of movies, when a character is looking at a photography, the foreground of the photo will be in focus, and the background, out of focus. Then the character notices something suspicious in the background of the photo.

We see a POV shot of what he is looking at in the background, and the out of focus background goes into focus, but you see the foreground of the photo, now go out of focus.

However, obviously if you were to take a real photo with the background out of focus, shoot it with a camera, and rack focus on the photo, the whole thing will go out of focus. You can not rack focus on an out of focus background of a photo, and put it in focus obviously. So how do they do this for the movies with photographs in the shot?

Thanks for the input.
 
from my head it would seem that the initial photo was taken with everything in focus, they then rotoscoped the foreground image seperate from the background image, they could then move the image closer or further away and blur either image without affecting the other one, the effect I have in mind is called the 3d photo effect you can youtube it.

this is the only answer I can give and have no times for ifs and buts, its an answer to your question.
 
If the picture is pretty sharp, but not filmed perpendicular to the camera AND a open lens is used, it is possible to have just a part of the picture in focus and then shift the focus to the part that is more towards or away from the camera.
This of course wouldn't change the DOF and focal point in the picture that is being filmed.
So if the foreground of the filmed picture is mostly on the left and the detail in the background is on the right side, it can be focuspulled if the left is closer to the camera than the right. (Or further away, but that would be a less logical choice)
 
Or: the picture in the movie triggers a memory within the character looking at it and you are actually looking to the visualization of that memory instead of the photograph.

But unless you come up with a specific example of such a shot, we can only speculate how it would be possible AND whether you misremembered it.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
If the picture is pretty sharp, but not filmed perpendicular to the camera AND a open lens is used, it is possible to have just a part of the picture in focus and then shift the focus to the part that is more towards or away from the camera.
This of course wouldn't change the DOF and focal point in the picture that is being filmed.
So if the foreground of the filmed picture is mostly on the left and the detail in the background is on the right side, it can be focuspulled if the left is closer to the camera than the right. (Or further away, but that would be a less logical choice)

Good point.

I think what would really do the trick here is a tilt shift lens!
You can film perpendicular to the photograph and keep the person in focus on one side, then switch to having the background in focus on the other.
 
Good point.

I think what would really do the trick here is a tilt shift lens!
You can film perpendicular to the photograph and keep the person in focus on one side, then switch to having the background in focus on the other.

Indeed: as long as picture plain and focal plain aren't aligned.
 
Okay thanks. It's just I want a POV shot, and people do not naturally look at photographs from a perpendicular angle. They look at them much more straight on. As long as it still looks good in the moment...
 
Okay thanks. It's just I want a POV shot, and people do not naturally look at photographs from a perpendicular angle. They look at them much more straight on. As long as it still looks good in the moment...

OMG, do you realise that perpedicular is as straight on as it can be?
It means 90 degrees.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpendicular
Looking straigh at a picture = a 90 degree angle between the line of sight and the picture surface...

That's not rocket science, but basic math.
(And I can tell, because I actually did study aerospace engineering for 2 years, before switching to art school :P )

Or did you think I was suggesting looking at the thin side of the picture? ;)
 
I've never seen a shot like this where the photo was a flat plane parallel to the film plane/sensor of the camera capturing the scene.

It's always angular so that there is depth on the Z axis (from the perspective of the camera capturing the scene) with which to manipulate focus. Tilt-Shift lenses could do this, as could very narrow DoF or even using a Macro lens, which can give a very narrow DoF as well.

Think of it like those ECU shots of text, where focus rolls along the text or stays put, only showing a few letters or words sharp, with lines above/below being soft.

If you're talking about some Blade Runner style "Zoom and Enhance" type of thing where a the original photo has a shallow DoF and the viewer somehow renders that as sharp, then vfx are coming into play. Assuming the focus of the source photo remains constant, just do it as outlined above.
 
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I've never seen a shot like this where the photo was a flat plane parallel to the film plane/sensor of the camera capturing the scene.

It's always angular so that there is depth on the Z axis (from the perspective of the camera capturing the scene) with which to manipulate focus. Tilt-Shift lenses could do this, as could very narrow DoF or even using a Macro lens, which can give a very narrow DoF as well.

Think of it like those ECU shots of text, where focus rolls along the text or stays put, only showing a few letters or words sharp, with lines above/below being soft.

+1
 
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