The Camera feature in AE has 2 properties: . What is the difference between then?

I believe the Zoom Distance, is the place where the camera is actually looking at (which is why it makes sense that when you change the Zoom Distance, the focal length also changes). But the focus distance? What is this? Also ignore the values I have set for these fields - I am just testing and trying to understand them that's all. enter image description here

1 Answer 1


The Zoom adjustment is just like a zoom control on a traditional camera - it magnifies the image and zooms in as you increase it.

The focus distance is the distance from the camera at which everything will be in focus. If you have a low F-number (like 1 to 3), you should see a shallow depth of field, where only objects around the focus distance from the camera are in focus. If you have a higher F-number (eg 22), you'll have a wider depth of field where more objects will be in focus.

Shallow depth of field photo f=1.4 (from Wikipedia) shallow depth of field

Wide depth of field photo f=22 (from Wikipedia) enter image description here

The aperture control corresponds to the F number, so adjusting either one changes the other. Aperture set to 500px is usually a good starting point if you want some depth of field, then adjust to taste.

Unlike on a real camera, these adjustments don't affect the exposure of the camera's image.

There's a good explanation on the After Effects camera here: https://www.schoolofmotion.com/blog/cameras-after-effects

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