Add shallow depth-of-field and bokeh effects to your photos using AfterFocus

Add shallow depth-of-field and bokeh effects to your photos using AfterFocus
So, the HTC One (M8) just got announced, and one of its fanciest features is the Duo Camera on its back. Basically, it enables you to apply special blur effects to images, to highlight an object by leaving the background out of focus. Identical effects are present in the camera apps of other new high-ends, such as the Galaxy S5 and the Xperia Z2. However, you don't necessarily need any of these phones in order to emulate a shallow depth-of-field in your pictures. The effect can be applied with the help of an image manipulating app called AfterFocus. 

Now, this app has been around for a while, we know. But given the rise in popularity of the aforementioned effect, we feel the need to highlight the AfterFocus software for those who might have never come across it. 

To use AfterFocus, you'll first need a photo, of course. Go on and take one, preferably of something not far from the camera, and don't forget to leave enough background area in the frame. You'll need something to apply the blur effect to, right? Then load the image in AfterFocus and choose either its Smart or Manual method for selecting the focus area. In Smart mode, you'll have to draw around the object with the finger, while Manual mode requires you to highlight it manually. The area of the image that is going to be in focus after the effect is applied will be marked red. AfterFocus lets you adjust the strength of the effect, as well as the aperture shape. Filters like Black & White, Sepia, Vintage, and Color Mask can be also added. Hit the Save or Share button once you're happy with the results. 

Of course, the AfterFocus app is unlikely to give you better results than what, let's say, an HTC One (M8) can produce with its Duo Camera, but it is an alternative for those who like the effect, yet don't like the idea of buying a new phone only to have it at their disposal.

The free version of AutoFocus has a limited maximum size of 800 pixels for the saved image, but if you spend $1.99 on the Pro version, you'll get that limit increased to 2048 pixels. Also, the paid variant supports edge feathering, which makes the edges of the blur effect smoother. Hit that download link below if you feel like giving AutoFocus a try.

Developer: MotionOneDownload: Android (Pro version), iOS
Category: Camera appsPrice: Free/$1.99/$0.99 on iOS

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12 Comments

1. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2359; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Nokia apps comes with this :) js

2. alan_1230

Posts: 86; Member since: Apr 22, 2012

I dont like the fact HTC had to add a useless camera just for special effects when there's simple apps to perform such act as a blur effect ... lol htc really should of worried about improving there camera . i know MP don't really matter but come on ... Truth is the not so smart consumer will hear about the 4 mp ultra pixel camera and will get scared they will prefer a nokia or a samsung that carry more MP . cold truth there

3. HTCOE

Posts: 650; Member since: Nov 20, 2011

this is making the process complicated and not simplified

5. hassoups

Posts: 473; Member since: Jun 06, 2013

It literally takes a few seconds and there's so much to do with it that your photos look like they just came out of a dslr

4. Anshulonweb

Posts: 468; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

and suddenly HTC one duo camera becomes useless

6. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

I use this app and I think it's great

7. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I think ppl that dont understand what those terms are....will see some smartphone cameras do this by default....and claim the camera sucks. I saw it with the Droid X and Incredible...IIRC.

8. andhraking17

Posts: 59; Member since: Jul 06, 2013

i have been using this app more than a year. it is a great app for editing.....

9. Ishmeet

Posts: 111; Member since: Sep 16, 2013

It's a really great app. Been using it for over an year and quite satisfied. The only letdown is it's old, skeumorphic UI; but you can't complain much when you get such awesome functionality at you hands for just $1.99.

10. srgonu

Posts: 557; Member since: Feb 13, 2012

My note 3 has this bokeh built in to photo editing for sometime. Yes, its new for non-note folks ;)

12. jboogie1289

Posts: 3; Member since: Sep 08, 2013

Do tell, do tell.

11. MobileGuru

Posts: 82; Member since: Jan 18, 2014

HTC One duo camera is as useless as Samsung heart rate monitor -- both features are available through third party apps

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