For my last shot of the year I wanted to focus on subtle acting instead of body mechanics. After finding a dramatic piece of dialogue to animate to, I created the story of a Kingpin who is attempting to bribe the Chief of Police. I set up the scene with the Kingpin character in the foreground while the Chief of Police is sitting in the background, almost totally obscured in shadow (since he isn’t the main focus of this shot).
At first I figured the lighting was enough to draw attention to my foreground character but just in case, I decided to blur the background a bit to help the viewer’s eye focus on the Kingpin. I wasn’t 100% sure of how to do this in Maya using the camera and the depth of field controls, so instead I chose to render out the foreground (Kingpin) and the background (Chief of Police & office environment) on two separate layers so that way I could apply effects to them in Premiere Pro independently of each other. After some research online I figured out how to execute this plan and able to render out these two image sequences:
As you can see in this image sequence of the Kingpin character, none of the background (Chief of Police, assets, walls, etc.) were rendered. Solely just the foreground character, lights, and shadows were rendered out.
In this image sequence of the background, we can clearly see the Chief of Police, the assets of the office, light and shadows, and even the Kingpin’s cast shadow on the desk.
And as stated before, I was able to apply a gaussian blur in Premiere Pro to blur out the background in order to focus the attention on the Kingpin character in the foreground.