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Wrangling depth of field

Our project is completely reliant on CineCameras, and while I appreciate UE4 making a camera that’s friendlier to production people, I’m having a devil of a time trying to wrangle depth of field. It’s gorgeous when it works, but it seems like more often than not DoF is way too shallow- nearly unusable. I am admittedlly working with smaller objects (like 15-30cm), but even when I set my aperture to F20 the whole thing is a blurry mess other than a tiny 1mm stripe at my focal plane. On top of that, I then have to set exposure compensation in the camera to make up for the loss of light, but since I’m trying to maintain consistent exposure through a global postprocess volume it muddies those waters. And my attempts to control DoF in the postprocess don’t seem to do anything at all.

Does anyone have guidance on best practices that I might be missing? Any tips on balancing between CineCameras and postprocess volumes?

i turn off auto exposure in project settings, i find that helps having to do exposure compensation with dof