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Title: SDOF - Focus and Context Taken Literally
Participants: Robert Kosara, Silvia Miksch


Description: One way of focus and context has been done for a long time in photography: Using selective blur (by controlling the depth of field (DOF)) to point the viewer to a certain person or object, while retaining the context in a non-distracting manner. See Figure 1 at the very top of this page for an example: The ferris wheel is shown in the context of a blooming tree. The wheel is quite easy to see, even though most of it is hidden behind the tree.

Semantic Depth of Field (SDOF) makes use of this idea by blurring objects based on their current relevance rather than their distance from the camera. This makes it possible to immediately see the objects being pointed out. In fact, we have reason to believe that sharp vs. blurred objects are perceived preattentively, i.e., within 100ms after exposure to such an image.