This creates a new composition within our main one, meaning we will be able to output the new composition as a new, modified Z-Depth layer. Name the new composition Z, move all attributes to the new composition and open it (Fig.46).
As you can see in the new composition, the sky area of the Z-Depth is represented as pitch black, making the Lens Blur effect read the sky as really, really far away and therefore making it really, really blurred. We'll change the colour to something brighter, causing the Lens Blur effect to make the sky less blurred (Fig.47).
Create a solid by right-clicking in the timeline and choosing New and Solid. Make the colour light grey this time. In this tutorial, I'm going for #8A8A8A. The solid goes below the Z-Depth layer (Fig.48).
Drag in a new matte from the Project tab and make it the bottom layer (Fig.49).
Right-click on the Z-Depth layer, choose Effect, Channel and Set Matte. Set Take Matte From Layer to the matte and set User For Matte to Red Channel, Green Channel or Blue Channel. Now we have a z depth map with a lighter background (Fig.50).
Back in the main composition, you'll notice the sky is significantly less blurred (Fig.51).
Step 9.2: Blur
I would recommend adding a small amount of blur to the composition as 3D renders often get too crisp. To do this, simply add another Adjustment Layer, call it Blur and add the effect called Fast Blur. Set the Blurriness to somewhere between 0,5 and 2 and make sure to Repeat Edge Pixels (Fig.52).
Step 9.3: Grain
Finally, if you wish to give the shot a more filmic look, you might consider adding some grain as well. Create yet another Adjustment Layer, call it Grain and add the effect called Add Grain. There are a lot of settings to play with here, but I ended up with the Preset called Eastman EXR 50D (5245) and decreased the Intensity to 0.9. I also set the Viewing Mode to FinalÂ Output (Fig.53).
I guess this is all for now. I know there are still a ton of things I could have gone into more detail about or explained better, but I had to stop somewhere! If you're stuck, want something explained more clearly or just want to tell me how plain wrong I am, feel free to leave a comment over at: http://thimic.net/about
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