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Rendering with Depth of Field

On this wiki page, we will cover how a lens captures the world in regards to F-Stop and how this plays a part in depth of field. We'll then look at simulating similar results in Maya/Arnold.


Before we dive in, I just want to give a huge shout out to our collaborative partner, Clear Angle Studios, for supporting CAVE Academy and allowing us to  capture high-quality datasets, and share the results on our Wiki.

For more information on cameras and lenses, you can check out this course here:


So back to the topic. Let’s kick things off with an exploration of how a lens sees the world.

…and here are some of the results from playing with the F-Stop. Please note, to achieve a similar brightness across all the images, I have modified the shutter speed to compensate for the change in F-Stop.

DOF in Maya/Arnold

Here we will take a look at how to apply some of the above lens characteristics to our renders using Maya/Arnold.

Example Renders

The fantastic Robby the Robot model was created by Glenese Hand.

Onset Training

For more information on all things onset related, you can check out our courses here:


  • Cameras – Arnold User Guide – Official documentation for cameras in Arnold.
  • Lentil – Lentil is an advanced camera toolkit for the Arnold renderer. It is a set of shaders that extends creative control and physical correctness, while significantly reducing the time (~30x) needed to render bokeh through bidirectional sampling of camera rays.

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