Auto Focus

Focus on the selected layer with just one click

Auto Focus logo
Current Version
Version Release Date
May 24, 2011
After Effects CS6 and Newer


Auto focus does exactly what its name says. It automatically focuses your camera on the currently selected layer. If you have a 3D layer in your composition and an active camera, Auto Focus will set the focus distance for the camera to the correct distance so the selected layer is in focus. The plug-in will automatically correct for the change in distance to the object when the camera is not facing the layer. Auto Focus will not maintain focus throughout a composition, it simply sets the focus for the current frame.

After Effects does have this feature built in, however, the built in auto focusing feature does not account for every situation, so often times, the camera's focus is set incorrectly. Auto Focus works correctly.

Using Auto Focus

Using Auto Focus is simple, but there are a few requirements for the utility to be active. First, the selected layer must be a 3D layer. Second, the selected layer must not be a Camera or Light layer. Auto focus will be deactivated if the selected layer is a light or camera. If your selected layer meets these requirements, the Auto Focus option will be activated in the 'Layer' menu.If you do not have an active camera in the composition, you will receive an error when running Auto Focus. After Effects cameras (like cameras in real life) cannot focus to negative distances. If your selected layer is behind the camera, you will be asked if you would like to disregard the focus, or set to the distance the focus would be set if the camera was facing that layer. Meaning if you select 'Yes' and then rotate the camera towards the selected layer, it will be in focus when the camera is pointed directly at it.Auto Focus sets its distance to the position of the anchor point. If your layer has been moved from its anchor point, you may notice incorrect calculations.


After Effects: 2021, 2020, CC 2019, CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015.3, CC 2015, CC 2014, CC, CS6


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