This probably you already know, but if you don’t, it’s time you did.
I’ll show you a nifty add-on that aids at creating your output nodes for render layers & passes but I’ll also present to you the probem, this way if you haven’t had it yet, you might recognize it in time before needing to do all the research.
Well some of us, are very fond of blender and want to do EVERYTHING in blender, and sometimes you feel some parts of it are a bit limited, or maybe you’re not as comfortable as you’d like to be to produce quality in short time… the compositor is one of them that has taken me a long time to get used to not because it’s hard, but seems like many features (like anti-aliasing on id masks) wont work as they one thinks they should, not having widgets to control things visually makes the workflow so much slower, so sometimes, I revert back to after effects (which to the day I hate because it’s clunky and resource hungry, but it has been a life savior many times, mostly because all the plugins like RSMB, CE LightWrap and all that added knowledge spread over the web)… I know node compositors, I used Inferno, Fusion and Shake for a while, but I haven’t gotten around to get used to Natron which could be a nice alternative.
Anywho, the problem is that well EXRs are extremely heavy so you’ll want to be able to output layers, and passes to separate file sequences in separate folders in PNGs or TIFFs or even TARGAs
So a thing that is not cool about blender is that you can’t just output your layers and passes in different folders and files by default you need to go to the compositor and setup a file output like this one.
Then you’ll say well that’s pretty easy, and I’ll say, okay, deal with this:
That might be a bit of overkill, but not totally unrealistic the next example is actually much closer to what this case scenario should look like, and still it becomes cumbersome to setup the nodes for just outputting the different layers and passes with naming consistency and such, multiply this by the amount of shots you have and then you’ll be stuck doing repetitive tasks over and over again.
Well, there is a solution, it’s been around for a while, I’d love to have something built in in blender that wouldn’t have to go through the compositor, but in any case it works for now.
So install it:
If you’ve never used it before make sure you start with a clean node editor, by checking the “use nodes” option and then deleting all the nodes… then go to the Misc tab in the tools panel (T) and hit the Create File Nodes Button, I like them to be in their own folders so keep that checked too.
You’ll get a very messy setup, but it’ll work, you can reorder the nodes but it shouldn’t be necessary.
And there you go, when you render you’ll automatically get something like this for each Pass of each layer.
Off you go, now go get those layers and passes to your preferred compositor!
Oh before i forget, grab the add-on here.