This is a tutorial on how to use Black Dragon to capture DEPTH information for use in Photoshop (PS). The techniques can be used in GIMP and Paint.Net. The buttons are just in different places.
The reason you may be interested in using PS rather than a viewer’s built-in DoF is to get more control. Viewers tend to provide a perfect render of a scene. Our eyes pick up the texture and dust of real-life so a computer image usually doesn’t fit our experience of how the world looks. Making a photo-realistic is about adding the subtle noise of real life to an image.
This image raised some questions in the SL Forum thread How does your avatar look today? (About 1,300 pages) Mostly, I think, because I pointed out I did the Depth of Field out of focus thing using Photoshop with a Black Dragon Depth map.
Most viewers provide Depth Maps. You can create Windlight settings that will create a depth map too, but that is a PITA. It is easier to use a viewer that has the feature. So, Firestorm or Black Dragon or the Linden Default Viewer. I haven’t checked the others. I assume most have the feature.
With the Linden Viewer you have to be saving to disk for the Color/Depth option to work.
How does one use the Depth feature?
First let’s look at a depth map.
This is the map for the opening image. Black is in-focus (near) and white is max out-of-focus (far away). Grays are varying degrees of focus.
Understand the image and the depth map have to match perfectly for the parts you want in focus. So, the trick is in how to do that. Black Dragon is prefect for capturing an image and associated depth map. I use the Poser to freeze the avatar in place.
To open the Poser you can add a button, just right-click an on-screen button to open the Toolbar Buttons panel. Drag the Poser button to the left, right, or bottom of the screen and drop it. (Notice the circled icon in the image below.) Or you can open it from the menu, Dragon->My Useful Features->Poser.
More pages… links below.