Transforming Your Videos with ProgramMatek’s Depth Map Plugin

Dive into the World of Depth Passes in After Effects

Are you familiar with depth passes in 3D programs? Imagine if you could effortlessly generate depth passes from any video clip or image. Well, now you can! ProgramMatek introduces Depth Scanner, an innovative After Effects plugin that revolutionizes the creation of depth maps. With Depth Scanner, you can instantly generate Z-depth passes for your videos and images, opening up a world of possibilities for stunning visual effects. Let’s delve into the details!

What is Depth Scanner?

Depth Scanner is a cutting-edge After Effects plugin powered by artificial intelligence. It automates the process of generating depth passes for your video clips and photos. This plugin analyzes your footage and identifies the parts that are closest to the camera. Using the depth pass, you can seamlessly integrate various compositing techniques into your projects. From depth of field effects to subtle 3D parallax movements and captivating depth-based transitions, the creative potential is immense!

Depth Scanner Plugin in Action
Depth Scanner automatically creates depth maps for video and still images.

How to Use Depth Scanner

Using Depth Scanner is a breeze. Once you’ve installed the plugin, select your video clip or image in After Effects and apply the Depth Scanner effect. Instantly, you’ll see a low-resolution depth pass. To enhance the quality, simply adjust the Resolution setting to Large for sharper results.

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Depth Map Generated by Depth Scanner
An example of a depth map generated by Depth Scanner – a silhouetted dark figure on a white background.

Take it a step further by experimenting with the Model option, which determines how your footage’s depth is interpreted. The default Faster option prioritizes faster rendering, while the Accurate mode delivers superior results, albeit with longer rendering times. Try both and choose the one that suits your project best.

Effortlessly Slice and Dice with Depth Scanner

Depth Scanner also features a slicing mode that empowers you to isolate specific areas of your video based on the depth pass. To activate this mode, simply switch to the Slicing option in the Mode settings. Adjust the Minimum and Maximum percentages to define the desired area, and refine the edges with the Soft Border setting.

Depth Slicing in Action
Slice out parts of your video using the Slicing mode.

This convenient slicing effect can save you significant time if you need to remove elements from a video clip. By slicing out unwanted areas, you can create transparent regions and seamlessly utilize Content-Aware Fill in After Effects.

Unleash Your Creativity with Depth Passes

With the ability to generate depth passes from any video, a whole realm of creative effects awaits. Let’s explore a couple of exciting techniques you can achieve with Depth Scanner.

Depth of Field: Bringing Your Focus to Life

One of the easiest yet most impactful effects you can apply is adding Depth of Field. To achieve this, you’ll need two copies of your footage in your composition. Apply the Depth Scanner effect to the bottom copy and fine-tune the settings for a visually pleasing depth pass. Next, add the Camera Lens Blur effect to the top copy, which appears as the “normal-looking” footage.

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Camera Lens Blur Settings
Set the Layer to your depth pass footage and the Source to Effects & Masks.

To create the desired effect, set the Blur Map to your footage with Depth Scanner applied. Adjust the Blur Map Source to Effects & Masks and gradually increase the Blur Radius. Watch as depth of field beautifully transforms your shot!

Depth of Field Example
Adding depth of field to a video shot in post using Camera Lens Blur with a depth pass.

Smooth Depth Transitions: Animate with Depth

For captivating transitions, Depth Scanner’s slicing mode comes into play. Apply Depth Scanner to your footage and switch to the Slicing mode. Keyframe the Maximum setting from 0% to 100% to bring your video to life based on the depth pass.

Depth Transition Example
Create depth transitions using the Slicing mode.

For additional flair, layer your video footage using the slicing effect and experiment with effects and presets, such as the 8-Bit Video Game preset, to achieve strikingly stylized visuals.

Unleash the Power of Other After Effects Plugins

Depth maps can elevate your creative projects even further when combined with other effects and plugins. Here are two notable recommendations:

  • Crossphere Bokeh: This plugin enhances the Camera Lens Blur effect by producing superior-looking bokeh and significantly faster rendering times.

  • AE Pixel Sorter 2: With an intuitive Input setting, this plugin allows you to utilize your depth pass to control mesmerizing “pixel sorting” effects based on image depth.

Using AE Pixel Sorter 2
Using Depth Scanner with AE Pixel Sorter 2.

Photoshop’s Neural Filters for Depth Maps

If you have the latest version of Adobe Photoshop, creating depth maps becomes a breeze with their new Neural Filters. Access the Neural Filters under Filter and enable Depth Blur. (You may need to download the filter by clicking the Cloud Icon if it’s not installed.)

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Using the Depth Map in Photoshop
Use the Depth Blur Neural Filter in Photoshop to instantly create a depth map on images.

In the settings, select Output Depth Map Only, click OK, and save your depth map.


Discover the world of possibilities by integrating Depth Scanner into your video editing environment. Revolutionize your visuals and unlock your creative potential with ProgramMatek’s Depth Map Plugin. To learn more about ProgramMatek and their range of offerings, visit ProgramMatek.

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