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Crummy Camera Lens Blur CS6

New Here ,
Jan 14, 2013

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The Camera Lens Blur effect that came with AE CS 5.5 and CS 6 doesn't look nearly as good as the old Lens Blur effect that came with CS 5; it's pretty much unusable for my purposes. Foreground elements that should be sharp render sharp, but with a blurry halo around them. The old Camera Lens blur does not exhibit this behavior, nor the Frischluft Depth of Field plugin.

Here's an image showing the depth map and how the three plugins render it:

CameraLensBlur.png

The images are composited from 16-bit PNGs rendered out of Cinema 4D. There's a nasty halo visible around the foreground particle in the upper left in the CS6 Camera Lens Blur version. I saved the old Lens Blur effect as a preset out of a CS5 project and am, fortunately, still able to use that approach in CS6 since the "improved" version of the plugin looks pretty crummy (I skipped AE CS5.5). As a test I installed the demo of Frishluft's Lenscare plugins, and after inverting the depth buffer in the plugin I got a good result.

The "new" Camera Lens Blur is acting like the Compound Blur effect. Foreground elements appear sharp but with a blurry halo since the entire "background" is being blurred, creating a blurred ghost of the foreground element. The old Lens Blur effect was very slow, but it did work.

Anyone know how to make this new "improved" Camera Lens Blur look like the other plugins?  I've posted a zipped file with the image and depth map in a small AE CS6 project here if anyone here would care to check my settings.  Maybe I'm missing somthing.

CameraBlurs folder.zip

Thank you.

Shawn Marshall

Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

The After Effects team does consider this to be a bug, and it's on our backlog to fix. It just hasn't risen to the top of the to-do list because we have seen very few bug reports about it, so it seems that not very many people are bothered by it. We tend to work on bugs in priority order based on severity and how many people report that they are affected.

So, yes, do submit a bug report to cast your vote.

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Crummy Camera Lens Blur CS6

New Here ,
Jan 14, 2013

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The Camera Lens Blur effect that came with AE CS 5.5 and CS 6 doesn't look nearly as good as the old Lens Blur effect that came with CS 5; it's pretty much unusable for my purposes. Foreground elements that should be sharp render sharp, but with a blurry halo around them. The old Camera Lens blur does not exhibit this behavior, nor the Frischluft Depth of Field plugin.

Here's an image showing the depth map and how the three plugins render it:

CameraLensBlur.png

The images are composited from 16-bit PNGs rendered out of Cinema 4D. There's a nasty halo visible around the foreground particle in the upper left in the CS6 Camera Lens Blur version. I saved the old Lens Blur effect as a preset out of a CS5 project and am, fortunately, still able to use that approach in CS6 since the "improved" version of the plugin looks pretty crummy (I skipped AE CS5.5). As a test I installed the demo of Frishluft's Lenscare plugins, and after inverting the depth buffer in the plugin I got a good result.

The "new" Camera Lens Blur is acting like the Compound Blur effect. Foreground elements appear sharp but with a blurry halo since the entire "background" is being blurred, creating a blurred ghost of the foreground element. The old Lens Blur effect was very slow, but it did work.

Anyone know how to make this new "improved" Camera Lens Blur look like the other plugins?  I've posted a zipped file with the image and depth map in a small AE CS6 project here if anyone here would care to check my settings.  Maybe I'm missing somthing.

CameraBlurs folder.zip

Thank you.

Shawn Marshall

Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

The After Effects team does consider this to be a bug, and it's on our backlog to fix. It just hasn't risen to the top of the to-do list because we have seen very few bug reports about it, so it seems that not very many people are bothered by it. We tend to work on bugs in priority order based on severity and how many people report that they are affected.

So, yes, do submit a bug report to cast your vote.

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Jan 14, 2013 1
Explorer ,
Jan 15, 2013

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Okay, 71 views in 24 hours and no replies.

How about this?  I see this forum is frequented by Adobe employees.  Would Todd or Aldofo care to take two minutes, open the CS 6 AE project I posted, and confirm that the Camera Lens Blur plugin is behaving as designed?

Thank you.

Shawn Marshall

Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

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Jan 15, 2013 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jan 15, 2013

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Hi Shawn,

It is behaving as designed. You might try adjusting the Blur Focal Distance (Blur Map) and the Blur Radius for better results. The Camera Lens Blur effect is much more accurate than the original one, though you certainly do need to adjust parameters according to the particular shot.

See what Ash Beck says about the Camera Lens blur effect at 2:22 in this video: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/ae-me/ae-me-ash-beck/

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Jan 15, 2013 0
Explorer ,
Jan 15, 2013

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Thanks for the reply, Kevin.

No doubt, this new version is faster and does a nice job simulating bokeh effects which probably looked nice in Spider-man.  That said, it's pretty much useless for my work.

Did you have an opportunity to check my project file?  I can find no combination of settings that duplicates the behavior of the old Lens Blur effect.  A Blur Radius of anything but zero creates the blurry halo around my foreground element; the larger the radius, the bigger the halo.  And, obviously, there is no DOF effect if the radius is zero.

Adjusting the Blur Focal Distance racks the blur.  Cool.  But that parameter does nothing to mitigate the blurry halo.

The old Lens Blur effect did it correctly.  The Frishluft DOF plugin does it correctly.  Am I going to have to spend $200 on a third-party plugin to retain this functionality going into the future?  At what point will the old Lens Blur become incompatible with After Effects?

Cheers.

Shawn Marshall

Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

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Jan 15, 2013 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jan 15, 2013

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WShawn wrote:

Did you have an opportunity to check my project file?  I can find no combination of settings that duplicates the behavior of the old Lens Blur effect. 

Yeah, I checked it out. Here's what I came up with. You don't want to crank up the Blur radius too much or you will get that halo problem.

Does this work for you?

camlensblur.png

params.png

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Jan 15, 2013 0
Explorer ,
Jan 15, 2013

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Kevin:

Again, thanks for looking into this; I appreciate it.

Your sample isn't really what I'm looking for.  I want that big particle in the upper left to be totally sharp, with everything in the distance getting progressively blurrier without any halos around that foreground element.  The old Lens Blur had no problem with this.  If you look at the Old Lens Blur comp in my project you'll see that you're able to crank the Iris Radius way up, creating a background that's really out-of-focus but without a halo around that foreground particle.  The Frishluft DOF plugin produces the look I want, too, and it's much faster than the old, native Lens Blur.  That CS5 version is staggeringly slow.

Also, I attempted to duplicate your settings, but my Blur Focal Distance in the Camera Lens Blur only has a range of 0 to 1.  I don't know how you were able to plug in 8520.  Of course the Blur Focal Distance settings are moot if I'm only allowed a miniscule blur radius to prevent a halo from forming.

It would be swell to have the speed of the new Camera Lens Blur combined with an ability to produce results comparable to the old Lens Blur.  At this point this feels like lost functionality, which wouldn't be the first time for me when upgrading After Effects.  It would be about the fifth time that tools I used regularly were removed in new versions of After Effects, software I've been using professinally since 1997.

Cheers.

Shawn Marshall

Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

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Jan 15, 2013 0
Adobe Employee ,
Jan 16, 2013

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Sounds reasonable. Can you file a bug report?  Updated link (3/19): After Effects: Hot (1390 ideas) – Adobe video & audio apps

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Jan 16, 2013 0
Explorer ,
Jan 16, 2013

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I submitted a feature request since you said the plugin is currently working as designed.  I won't be holding my breath waiting for the issue to be fixed.

Thank you.

Shawn Marshall

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Jan 16, 2013 0
Explorer ,
Feb 14, 2013

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I'm only chiming in to say that I'm having the same exact issue.  I wonder if anyone has been able to use the depth map feature without getting a halo?  And I honestly can't see this as being a feature of the effect, and not a bug.  Oh well.

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Feb 14, 2013 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 14, 2013

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Please also file a bug report, Jumpymonkey. The more they get for an item, the higher priority it gets.

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Feb 14, 2013 0
Explorer ,
Feb 14, 2013

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Issues like this make me wonder whether anyone else is using these features professionally, or whether they just don't have much attention to detail.  Does Ash "Amazing Spider-Man" Beck not notice the halo around foreground objects?  This "new and improved" Camera Lens Blur has been out for, what, two years now?  The old Lens Blur handled depth maps correctly, but it was slow as hell.  If Adobe had just made that plugin multiprocessing-aware we'd be golden.

Shawn Marshall

Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

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Feb 14, 2013 0
LEGEND ,
Feb 14, 2013

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The old Lens Blur handled depth maps correctly, but it was slow as hell.  If Adobe had just made that plugin multiprocessing-aware we'd be golden.

Yup.  I suspect the application's legacy code prohibited it, but I have NO insider information on the topic. 

AE seems to be heading for a crossroads: will it keep up with times, or will it be consigned to other applications that worked well for a while, then disappeared?

I love working with AE.  I hope it's the first option.

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Feb 14, 2013 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Feb 15, 2013

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You could just buy a third-party plug-in. As I said in another thread - any of them is better than what AE can/ could ever do, including the legacy CS5 Lensblur.

Mylenium

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Feb 15, 2013 0
Explorer ,
Feb 15, 2013

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Mylenium wrote:

You could just buy a third-party plug-in. As I said in another thread - any of them is better than what AE can/ could ever do, including the legacy CS5 Lensblur.

Mylenium

Define "better."  If you look at the comparison image I posted at the beginning of this thread I put a render from the old CS5 Lensblur next to the Frishluft Depth of Field Blur, and I don't see any appreciable difference in quality.  No halos around the foreground element, nice realistic blur stretching off in the distance.  The primary thing that makes the Frishluft solution better is that it's a lot faster than the old native Lens Blur.  I think it kind of sucks to have to spend $300 to regain functionality that was native in After Effects.

Can you recommend a different solution that looks as good but isn't as expensive?  Frishluft is the only one I know of.

Thanks.

Shawn

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Feb 15, 2013 0
New Here ,
Feb 27, 2013

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I am experiencing the exact same issue. I use depth passes in After Effects all the time for flexible compositing. This problem has made me completely avoid using CS6.

I would definitely consider this a bug. Not having clean foreground elements really defeats the purpose of using depth maps in the first place.  I have found no combination of settings that creates a clean foreground image without a background halo. I understand you can reduce the effect by adjusting the blur radius, but this doesn't allow for dramatic or stylized blurring. Furthermore, even if adjusting the blur radius was an acceptable solution, even that method doesn't work properly. The foreground object's halo and the background receive the same amount of blur radius. If the halo's blur radius reduced exponentially compared to background's blur radius, then it would accurately reflect the "depth" of the object.

Please, fix this issue or make the old lens blur available. I really don't want to have to buy Frischluft for all my stations.....

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Feb 27, 2013 0
Feb 28, 2013

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If you're not happy with the way that something works, submitting a bug report / feature request (Updated link (3/19): After Effects: Hot (1390 ideas) – Adobe video & audio apps  ) is much more useful than commenting on a forum thread. The people who make the changes see the former, not necessarily the latter.

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Feb 28, 2013 0
New Here ,
Feb 28, 2013

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You can still use the old Lens Blur in CS6 if you still have a copy of CS5 working.  Just apply the old Lens Blur to a layer in CS5 and save it as a preset.  You can then call up that preset in CS6 and the old Lens Blur effect will appear in the effects palette, even though that actual plugin doesn't live in any of the plugin folders as far as I can see.  That legacy support is in there somewhere.  It's just too bad it's so very slow and kills multiprocessing.

Shawn Marshall

Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

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Feb 28, 2013 0
New Here ,
Feb 28, 2013

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Thank Shawn! That work around will work great for me, I am glad the old functionality is still alive, buried in CS6.

I agree, it is a pain that lens blur is so cripplingly slow, but I think the final visual is worth the time. Just have to do the final renders over night.

I love having my after effects compositing effects, flares, particles, etc blurred properly in the scene. I think the true 3D depth of field looks better, but that doesn't help when it comes to composite elements.

Also, Todd, I did submit a bug report so hopefully the issue gets addressed some point down the road.

Thanks

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Feb 28, 2013 0
New Here ,
Apr 18, 2014

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Mr Kevin I have a better solution.

You don't get halo effect when you simply turn off the effect!

Why bother decreasing the vaule??

Such a silly answear from you!

The effect works wrong! It worked well before. Don't you see it? If it works as it's designed... IT'S BADLY DESIGNED. The value decrease is not a workaround. We don't pay for workarounds sir!

You made something good, than you screwed it. Now it's time to fix it!

And stop behaving like all's fine when you see it yourself it is not.

cheers

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Apr 18, 2014 0
Adobe Employee ,
Apr 18, 2014

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Hi Blindesign,

Sorry you feel that way. If you don't mind, please file a bug report/feature request as my colleague suggested earlier in post #15: Updated link (3/19): After Effects: Hot (1390 ideas) – Adobe video & audio apps

Thanks,

Kevin

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Apr 18, 2014 0
Apr 18, 2014

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The After Effects team does consider this to be a bug, and it's on our backlog to fix. It just hasn't risen to the top of the to-do list because we have seen very few bug reports about it, so it seems that not very many people are bothered by it. We tend to work on bugs in priority order based on severity and how many people report that they are affected.

So, yes, do submit a bug report to cast your vote.

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Apr 18, 2014 0
New Here ,
Jul 22, 2014

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Any chance you could get this fixed as soon as possible?

It's an incredibly annoying feature about the Lens Blur! And it has been for years now... about time it got fixed, or just bundle in the Frischluft Depth of Field plugin if needs be! Pleeeaaassse

I've submitted a bug report.

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Jul 22, 2014 0
Explorer ,
Jul 23, 2014

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I agree here, I too have this issue and it needs to be fixed.

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Jul 23, 2014 0
New Here ,
Jul 11, 2013

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Has there been any updates on fixing this problem in CS6?

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Jul 11, 2013 0
New Here ,
Nov 18, 2013

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I was able to import the blur effect from CS5 into the plugins folder for CS6. I took away the current pluging for "lens blur" and this worked. store your CS6 plugin somewhere else for use in the future. However when I open After Effects both "camera lens blur" and "lens blur" show up in my effects panel. Not sure why they are both there, but they both work!

-seth

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Nov 18, 2013 0
Community Beginner ,
Aug 07, 2014

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AAAAnnnnnnnd still unresolved. Look, I know there must be a ton to do at Adobe, but how could such an egregious mistake make it through quality control? Is there literally no one that tests new effects when they are implemented? I somehow doubt it, which leads me to believe that this was a known issue when the new effect was added. I could be wrong, but either way, for something as essential as using a depth map for DOF effects, this is unacceptable, especially for a software that touts itself as being a professional level compositing application. 

I have filled a bug report, but if its honestly been this long, what chances are there that this will be resolved anytime soon? It's sure not going to help me finish the project I'm working on currently.

It seems like every other day I need to buy this plugin or that plugin to get the functionality I need from AE. I left Nuke due to the high cost, but now I'm beginning to understand that you get what you pay for.

To the poor individuals who have to read all of our complaints, I thank you. I know you aren't responsible.

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Aug 07, 2014 0
Adobe Employee ,
Aug 07, 2014

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Hi puppetnonsense,

We are looking at making improvements to the Camera Lens Blur effect for a near-term release. Right now I can't promise that this will definitely happen, or when such a release would be available. I can say that the work is high on our priorities list.

When we introduced Camera Lens Blur in After Effects CS5.5, it solved many issues with performance compared to the old Lens Blur effect, as well as adding new capabilities. It also introduced this problem with overlapping depths. We have investigated this and understand the problem; the solution requires a complex re-working of the algorithm that Camera Lens Blur currently uses. The amount of time it will take to engineer this, and the fact that the existing results are good for cases where overlapping depths do not occur, have been contributing factors towards us not yet choosing to make this change.

Now that the issue is higher on our priority list, there's a good chance the work will get done soon.

Please do continue filing bugs for issues that you see in After Effects. We read all of them and the data we get helps us to prioritize improvements to After Effects.

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Aug 07, 2014 3
Community Beginner ,
Nov 06, 2014

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So now we're in AE CC 2014 and I see absolutely no difference to this essential feature!

How come this is not more important? I literally use this effect on every single project where I import 3D sequences and there are no such cases where "overlapping depths do not occur". The one reason I want to use this tool is because I have overlapping depths from a depth map. If there wasn't any overlap I wouldn't need this tool. I could simply use another simpler blur effect and mask the desired area and I'd be ok with it. With depth maps that's not possible, though, so a tool like this is essential!!

Either fix it or remove it. This tools' been sitting in the effects box for generations without fulfilling its purpose

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Nov 06, 2014 1
Community Beginner ,
Mar 03, 2015

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Has this moved forward yet or been dealt with, do you know?

Thanks!

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Mar 03, 2015 0
Explorer ,
Mar 04, 2015

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Nope, it still looks awful.

Adobe, any chance on when we can get this updated?! Sooner rather than later please!

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Mar 04, 2015 0
New Here ,
Mar 11, 2015

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Amen! Even in CS5 it was never as good as Frischluft's Lens Blur. C'mon Adobe, step it up.

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Mar 11, 2015 0
New Here ,
Mar 20, 2015

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It's been now more than 2 years now that Shawn referred to you this "bug". Thing that I doubt to be a bug. However, after 2 years now, and being on CC 2014.2, this is still ugly when using a depth map. The bokeh is nice, I give you that. But you clearly can't use it with a Dmap. I know it's pretty useless to tell you things that you already know, either make a bug report. It's clear now that it won't get any update.

And as someone here said, if you can't/don't wonna fix it, why can't you simply pack the old Lens Blur from CS5 as an obsolete effect ? Or let's go crazy, just buy the Frischluft (Dat name...) blur which works and pack it.

I would love, of course, to hear from you that you're on it and that a new release is coming soon... Anyway.

Just to remind you, here some pictures of what we are experiencing with your Lens Blur using a depth map.

Adobe Lens Blur.jpg

Halo around the lens on the middle until the screw top right... and cannot be fixed by any way with the focal distance. But yes, the bokeh is really nice.

And here with the Frischluft

Frischluft.jpg

It simply works.

You could say then, why am I not buying it ? I'm considering it a lot now.

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Mar 20, 2015 0
Explorer ,
Aug 10, 2015

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THE number one selling point for this whole Creative Cloud thing was that the developers would no longer be subject to the tyranny of having to come up with new, attention-grabbling features every year for major, annual releases.  They could now go in and fix all of those little issues that impact workflow but aren't exciting selling points.

Yet here we are, two-and-a-half years since my original post on this issue, and still no progress.  According to Tim K. this was "higher on our priority list" almost exactly a year ago, and yet the problem exists.  Not that I've personally confirmed this since I refuse to install CC 2015, or work in anything higher than CS6 since the developers have removed the option for me to work in a dark on light interface for no apparent reason.

Maybe instead of letting broken features persist for years because only a handful of users understand how the feature should work and thus generate a sufficient number of bug reports you hire some more programmers to fix these issues.  Or just remove the feature until you get around to fixing it.  In the meantime I'm using Frischluft.

Shawn Marshall

Marshall Arts Motion Graphics

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Aug 10, 2015 0
Explorer ,
Aug 11, 2015

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Amen to that!

Adobe, some of us work for studios who are not willing to go and buy plug-ins, so we rely on the tools that are luckily given to us (E.G creative cloud), it's not good enough when these tools don't work as they should especially when they are something as important as being able to use depth of field properly for compositing 3D shots.

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Aug 11, 2015 0
New Here ,
Mar 11, 2015

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I'm having the same issue. I just submitted a bug report.

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Mar 11, 2015 0
Community Beginner ,
Mar 11, 2015

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I'm having the same issue. This is ridiculous. Use to work so well. I'd happily take a render hit for accuracy. Just made a bug report

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Mar 11, 2015 0